3 mining operations build on-site COVID-19 labs in northern Quebec – by Susan Bell (CBC News North – October 7, 2020)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Move means some Cree workers can see family for the first time in months

From June to September, Michelle Polson didn’t get a single cuddle or kiss from her two young children, daughter Payton, 10, and son Keyton, 8.

Like other Cree working in the mining sector, Polson’s life consisted of a brutal routine of 14-days working, followed by 14-days self-isolation, as required by the Cree Nation Government’s COVID-19 restrictions. And it’s not just workers in the mining sector.

Under the restrictions, all mines, exploration sites, forestry camps and Hydro-Quebec work sites are considered “at risk zones” and require Cree workers to self-isolate for two weeks when they finish their shifts, as a way to protect vulnerable populations in Cree communities from COVID-19.

“It was really emotionally hard being away from my family,” said Polson, 26, who works as an underground miner for an exploration company at Osisko Mining’s Windfall site, located on the traditional territory of the Cree Nation of Waswanipi, about 700 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

On any given day in the last week, there were approximately 425 people self-isolating across all the Cree communities, according to numbers informally tracked by Cree officials.

For the rest of this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/cree-mining-osisko-eleonore-covid-19-1.5752969

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