The troubled northern Ontario First Nations community of Kashechewan is being urged to relocate to Timmins after continued problems with tainted drinking water and mold in the community.

“The benefits of such a relocation are clear,” said the author of a study examining options for the town, Alan Pope. “This will offer the greatest advantage of improved economic and individualopportunities to the members of the Kashechewan First Nation.”

Pope, a former Ontario provincial politician, presented 51 recommendations to Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice and the chief of Kashechewan on November 9.

“I recommended the relocation of Kashechewan First Nation to the outskirts of the city of Timmins because of the benefits it gives to the community of Kashechewan,” said Pope.

Pope was appointed in the summer as a special federal representative to make proposals for the benefit of the community. He stressed that it is not a government plan but his individual report.

Kashechewan Chief Jonathan Solomon is currently looking at the recommendations and will be presenting them to his community of 1,600 people.

In the report, it is recommended that the community retain the rights to their old community for traditional pursuits like hunting and fishing. They could also return for ceremonies and community events.