Body Bags Send To "Battle Swine Flu"Submitted by legalizeliberty on Thu, 09/17/2009 - 11:42
OTTAWA–Federal health officials are scrambling for answers after native communities were shipped dozens of body bags as part of Ottawa's preparations for the onslaught of the H1N1 flu virus.
The disturbing news was taken by some as a grim prediction of the coming pandemic and undercut the message from federal health officials that most healthy Canadians have little to fear from the flu virus.
And it ignited a firestorm of protest from opposition politicians and native leaders, who have been outspoken in their concern that Health Canada has not done enough to prepare communities there for a possible pandemic.
"We asked for funding so we can get organized and to ensure medicine, hand sanitizers and other preventative kits were in place, but instead we are shocked to receive these body bags," Chief Jerry Knott, of the Wasagamack First Nation, located north of Winnipeg, said in a statement.
Chief David McDougall, of St. Theresa First Nation, which also received body bags, said: "To me this is an ominous sign that the government is predicting a grim outcome."
Liberal MP Todd Russell (Labrador), the party's native affairs critic, described it as "shocking and disturbing news.
"The minister should damn well answer to First Nations and all Canadians. How can you trust a government that says it is prepared (for H1N1) and then sends in body bags?"
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