Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

Mamakwa Statement on Chiefs of Ontario Closing the Infrastructure Gap: Ontario Regional Analysis  Report

Published on April 10, 2024

QUEEN’S PARK— NDP Deputy Leader and critic for Indigenous and Treaty Relations, Sol Mamakwa made the following statement responding to “The Closing the Infrastructure Gap: Ontario Regional Analysis Report”  recently released by the Chiefs of Ontario, showing Ontarians the stark reality of the infrastructure needed on First Nations to be equal with the rest of Ontario: 

“In Ontario alone, it will cost $58.9 billion to ensure infrastructure in First Nations is on par with the rest of the province by 2030. This gap represents one of the most significant disparities across Canada. A major portion of this deficit, $25.8 billion, is attributed to the critical shortfall in housing. 

“For generations, First Nations across Ontario have suffered from strategically underfunded programs. This has perpetuated a cycle of inefficacy that displaces First Nations peoples from their treaty lands while facilitating the Crown’s access to development resources. 

“Ontario's wealth cannot continue to be built on these ongoing infrastructure shortfalls, such as boil water advisories, overcrowded and unsafe homes, aging remote airports, inadequate digital connectivity, and severely deficient education and community facilities. 

Ontario and Canada's status-quo approach to these matters is a primary contributor to the significant misery and impoverishment of First Nations. Without major systemic change, this gap will only continue to widen. First Nations refuse to stand idly while governments allow this gap to grow unchecked. We demand and deserve better and will continue to fight until progress is made.”