Long Point First Nation declares state of emergency, asks for government support

MONTREAL — The Long Point First Nation Council declared a 20-day state of emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, requesting immediate government assistance to protect the community located in Winneway, about 700 km northwest of Montreal.

In order to establish safety and security on the territory, Council Chief Steeve Mathias is asking the provincial and federal governments to either increase the Surete du Quebec’s workforce in the region, or to deploy RCMP officers or the Canadian Armed Forces to help enforce confinement rules. 

Increased security would help Long Point contain members within its territory to limit the spread of the virus both inside and out of it. For the time being, members will only be allowed to come and go for doctor’s appointments, emergencies, or to provide essential services. Non-members, other than essential-service workers, won’t be allowed visiting. 

Checkpoints will be established at the entrance of the community. 

“Long Point is being left to its own devices,” Mathias said. “This is unacceptable and intolerable. The governments must assume their responsibilities and come help us deal with this crisis that is affecting us all and forcing us to take exceptional measures to ensure the health and safety of our members.”