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Inuit Community of Hopedale in Northern Labrador Declares State of Emergency

Friday February 17, 2012 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Inuit Leader Mary Simon calls on government of Canada to assist the community of Hopedale with equipment and expertise, and funding to solve the water crisis in the community.

“Residents of Hopedale, Nunatsiavut, in Northern Labrador have been without proper water pressure for over a week, which is not acceptable,” said Mary Simon. “While I am pleased to learn neighbouring communities have been sending materials to solve the water issue in Hopedale, and officials from the Provincial Department of Municipal Affairs are in the community, there’s a need for our national government to assist in this critical situation, to provide immediate relief, and to assist in providing a long-term solution.”The neighbouring Inuit community Rigolet provided extra hoses, while the Innu community Natuashish sent a pump to assist Hopedale with the crisis, and the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine sent two electric pumps. Nain also sent hoses. Low water levels in the town’s water catchment have been causing extremely low water pressure. There’s a danger of the entire system freezing up, which would result in no water for the community.

“This situation needs immediate action,” says Mary Simon. “The town of Hopedale is planning for an historic celebration in a few weeks with the official opening of the new legislature building for the Nunatsiavut Government in early March. I am looking forward to being there for that event, and I send a message of support to the people of Hopedale now to work together while the water crisis is being solved.”

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Contact:
Stephen Hendrie
Director of Communications
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Cell: (613) 277-3178
[email protected]