Congratulations to the St. Thomas Aquinas High School Graduating Class of 2018!

To see advice from the valedictorians to younger students

click here >

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Pikangikum First Nation today.

He was joined by Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott, as well as Kenora MP Bob Nault. They were hosted by the First Nation's chief and council and Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.

Together, they discussed pressing social, infrastructure, and economic issues that have a unique impact on remote Indigenous communities.

“It is an honour to meet again with members of Pikangikum First Nation. Our government will continue to partner with Indigenous Peoples to find long-term, sustainable solutions that make a real difference in their lives and in communities across Canada,” said the prime minister in a prepared statement.

Housing remains a key concern. Dean Owen of Pikangikum First Nation says the backlog was 300 homes in 2005, and it's now around 600. Owen says 10 people often share one of the reserve's existing homes and are forced to sleep in shifts.

A health unit study in 2006 found many of the homes also lacked water and sewer, in part due to the lack of electricity.

Regional Chief Isadore Day noted the community is in dire need of housing, as well as a hydro transmission line to provide power for the community.

"Today’s visit by the prime minister to Pikangikum First Nation is the fulfillment of a commitment he made shortly after the 2015 election, following a series of suicides by young people. In some respects, Pikangikum is ground zero in terms of poor health determinants – a lack of housing, clean water, and reliable electricity. In fact, Minister Carolyn Bennett stated at last July’s AFN (Assembly of First Nations) Annual General Assembly that any new housing for Pikangikum would not happen, until the community is connected to a power grid," the regional chief said, in a prepared statement.

During winter storms, many Canadians are forced from their homes as they deal with a lack of power, water or food. The regional chief noted the lack of electricity, food and clean water is a daily occurence for many First Nation residents.

Funding for a transmission line was promised last August. The First Nation is also looking for ways to improve fire protection and prevention, after nine members died in a fire last year.

It's the third visit to the riding by the prime minister. He also visited Kenora last July, as well as Shoal Lake 40 in April of 2016.

For more information:

Northwestern Health Unit - 2006 housing study

Addressing youth suicide

Long weekend ahead for investigators in Pikangikum

Investigators work to identify deceased in Pikangikum fire

Kenora firefighters offer to help neighbours, First Nations

PM Q&A in Pikangikum

Justin Trudeau visits Kenora

Justin Trudeau in Shoal Lake 40


More Local News

Major fine for New Gold mine

New Gold Incorporated and their Rainy River project site is facing a $100,000 fine for an offence under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act of Ontario. Court heard that in 2015, the Ministry of…

Arena project defeated

Kenora City Council has voted to shoot down the arena twinning design plan project, by a vote of 5 to 1. Councillor Rory McMillian was the lone councillor in support of the city spending $250,000 to…

Council will replace dangerous wood chips

Kenora City Council has voted to replace the reportedly-dangerous wood chips at Garrow Park with artificial turf, after concerns from parents and families came forward. The cost to replace the wood…

Gas prices drop across Ontario

Residents across most of the province should be waking up to lower gas prices this morning. At midnight, the price of gas went down an average of four cents across Ontario. Although the price drop…

Rickford cuts contracts, brings hydro bills down

Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Indigenous Affairs and Kenora Rainy-River MPP Greg Rickford has cancelled 758 renewable energy contracts across the province, in an effort to lower…

Splash Park construction begins

The Kenora Rotary Club, their partners, and community agencies all celebrated the beginning of construction of the Rotary Club Splash Park yesterday, with a celebratory barbecue and sod-turning…

Help from the west for regional fire

Kenora, Minaki, Redditt and surrounding areas may still find a lot of smoke in the air this morning. This is due to a forest fire approximately 30 kilometers north of Wabaseemong First Nation…

Councillors voting to study arena twinning

Kenora City Councillors are expected to vote on and approve a $250,000 amendment to the 2018 Budget today, to fund the creation of detailed design drawings and tender preparations for twinning the…

Smoke near Redditt, Minaki

Kenora residents are warned of smoke drifts in the Minaki, Redditt, Coker and Peterson Road areas. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has confirmed that the smoke drifts are from an…

Council revisiting Garrow Park concerns

Kenora City Council will be revisiting the safety concerns at Garrow Park tomorrow. Last week, Shauna DeGagne made a deputation to city council on behalf of concerned families, saying that the new… is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide