A local MP is getting national media coverage for an impassioned speech given in the House of Commons this week.
Cariboo – Prince George MP Todd Doherty rose Tuesday during an emergency debate on the Attawapiskat First Nation suicide crisis. The chief there attempted suicide on Saturday night in the community of nearly 2,000. Leaders declared a state of emergency in response.
While referring to the fact that the Attawapiskat Chief is currently homeless and couch surfing, Doherty called for action.
“We have a state of emergency declared, we have a First Nations Chief trying to lead from a couch. I’m not sure what further consultations need to be done to demonstrate that this community, and others facing the same dilemma, they’re in dire need of resources. Do we have to lose another life?”
Doherty, who is also the deputy critic of indigenous affairs, teared up when he was speaking about his past experience working with at risk youth and adults.
“I’ve sat with families grieving because they have missed the signs, that we couldn’t reach their son or daughter to save them. Mr Speaker, I have missed the signs. And today, so many years later, I still bear the guilt.”
Doherty called for a concrete plan to distribute the 8.4 billion dollars worth of funding promised in the recent Liberal budget, and blasted the government for spreading the funding out over five years when they are only elected for four.
A video of the speech can be viewed below. A text version here.
(Files from MY PRINCE GEORGE NOW)