Council brief: Health Services devolution, roadwork delayed

OHSWEKEN — Indigenous Services Canada sent Ontario Regional executive Garry Best to Six Nations Elected Council to reaffirm a commitment to transfer health services to Six Nations in a possible devolution process.

As part of Indigenous Services Canada’s Departmental Plan for 2018-2019, Ottawa is seeking a tripartite agreement with the “Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Anishinabek Nation, Six Nations and Treaty 3 to develop new models of health transformation and possible devolution.”

Best was at Elected Council’s General Council meeting Tuesday to discuss the beginnings of authority over Six Nations existing health services being transferred to the community.

SNEC members Audrey Powless-Bomberry, Carl Hill, Sherri-Lyn Hill Pierce, Melba Thomas and Helen Miller all expressed frustration and concern, saying the Progressive Conservative government’s recent actions to slash funding for Indigenous Services, paramedics and rumoured plans to consolidate health care in surrounding communities could put Six Nations health services in jeopardy.

Best said he intends to help Six Nations make a work plan to take over health services effectively via a proposed tripartite technical working group composed of people representing federal, provincial and Six Nations interests.

Roadwork extension

Elected council extended permits for 63 days on the completion of the watermain running to the Oneida Business Park. Construction was delayed for securing CN rail permits. Work is extended through to May 31, 2019.

Neonicotinoid study

Six Nations approved the water department to participate in the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s 2019 Drinking Water Surveillance Program study on neonicotinoid pesticides. The study was established in 2016 to monitor levels of the pesticide that surface in source drinking water in areas with significant corn and soybean acreage.

West Nile & Lyme disease Information Night

Six Nations Public Health is hosting an information session for the community on West Nile virus and Lyme disease. The event will be at 5 p.m. on Wednesday evening at the Six Nations Community Hall. A number of cases of West Nile Virus surfaced in 2018 on Six Nations, Missisaugas of the Credit and the surrounding counties, prompting a need for increased community awareness.

Gypsy Moths

Council heard a briefing note and recommendation for proposed arial spray to control gypsy moths. The cost for the treatment over the community, an estimated 20,000 acres, is just over $1 million. SNEC said the funding for that treatment has been set aside. Councillors moved to ensure there would be adequate public notice of when and where spray would be dispersed. It is expected to happen in May.

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