Canada's NDP


March 16th, 2020

Statement by NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq amid COVID-19

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq released the following statement today:

"I have been monitoring the development of the COVID-19 pandemic that is worrying many Nunavummiut. Although there are no confirmed cases in our communities, we must be prepared when it hits. We will need assistance when it hits.

It is important to be aware of the facts about how COVID-19 spreads. I encourage everyone not to believe everything you read on social media. The Public Health Agency of Canada website provides comprehensive up-to-date information about the outbreak. There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for elders, people with compromised immune systems or with severe medical conditions.

The NDP has been calling on the Liberals to step up and get serious about the reality facing communities in Nunavut amid this pandemic. The lack of infrastructure, running clean water, and the overcrowding in homes put our communities at a much higher risk when the COVID-19 hits. Many remote communities depend on long travel to the south to receive basic health care treatment because of the lack of services on homelands.

The federal government must consider this high risk in their response planning. The government announced isolation tents will be sent to northern communities when COVID-19 spreads. This is no solution for our region that faces harsh weather this time of the year and an insulting suggestion for our communities that have been in dire need of housing and infrastructure. We need to see significant federal investment in affordable quality housing and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the way to minimize the spread of the illness is by washing your hands, disinfecting regularly touched areas, and respect other people's personal space. I will not be travelling until I have tested negative. If you don't feel well, stay home and take care of yourself."This is the body of this article. It's important to be concise and clear. Most readers read for seven seconds or less; that's less than 100 words before moving on."