10th Anniversary of Fatal Fire in Kashechewan Jail Cell – Many Coroner’s Inquest Recommendations Remain Unfulfilled

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Today Friday, January 8th will mark the ten-year anniversary of the fatal fire at a makeshift police detachment in Kashechewan. Jamie Goodwin and Ricardo Wesley were burned alive while locked in a jail cell in a building without a sprinkler system, fire extinguisher, or even a smoke alarm.   Ten years later many of the 86 recommendations of the coroner’s inquest remain unfulfilled, including putting First Nations communities on par with every other Canadian community to meet the minimum standards of fire safety.   NDP Indigenous Affairs critic, Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay), says issues of fire and police protection in First Nations must be addressed. “It is a terrible thing to attend the funeral of a young person who died needlessly in a fire because there wasn’t adequate fire protection,” said Angus. “No Canadian should have to worry that their community lacks basic fire or police protection.”   As a recent internal government report stated, almost half of First Nations across Canada live with “little to no fire protection”. Angus is demanding the government ensure every community has the infrastructure needed to keep residents safe.   “We owe it to the families of Ricardo Wesley and Jamie Goodwin to honour their memory and their loss by following through on these recommendations. We have to make sure a tragedy like this never happens again.” [author ]Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) – NDP Indigenous Affairs Critic[/author]

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