Kevin Anderson

KASHECHEWAN – The residents of flood-ravaged Kashechewan First Nation are finally going to have their wish to be moved to higher ground fulfilled.

A press conference was held Thursday to announce an agreement to move the community had been signed by Kashechewan Chief Leo Friday, federal Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan and Ontario Minister of Energy, Mines, Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs, Greg Rickford.

Mushkegowuk – James Bay MPP Guy Bourgouin, who has been a staunch supporter of the proposed move and a harsh critic of the delays in getting a deal done, said he is extremely pleased by Thursday’s announcement.

“Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for this long-suffering community and its residence,” said Bourgouin. “It’s been a long time coming and it is long overdue.”

Bourgouin said he felt the pressure exerted by the residents of Kashechewan in a recent visit to Queen’s Park, in addition to voicing their appeal to the provincial government through the opposition, definitely had an effect on the deal finally getting done.

“It really was a group effort to get to the desired result,” he commented. “The support of other municipalities for the cause was also a big help and we thank them.”

Bourgouin said he also believed appearances were part of the decision.

“The government was starting to look pretty bad and I think that definitely had an influence on them deciding to fulfill their responsibilities.