A Dryden OPP officer is on a mission. He wants to provide life jackets to as many First Nation people in remote communities as possible. Sergeant Marty Singleton explains why the issue is so important to him.
"I've had unfortunate personal experience with some tragedy professionally and personally with that matter. Unfortunately, with my job I've been into some First Nations communities where I've seen the tragic events of people losing their loved ones in water events. So I'm trying to get life jackets to the First Nation communities up north," he said.
Singleton says when you have limited funds it often means choosing between food and a life jacket.
"The cost of living up north, the basic necessities of life are that much more expensive. Some of these things like life jackets are not seen as a top priority. It's one of those things where we're helping up and doing some prevention work," he said.
He adds that there are also no convenient Canadian Tires on reserves up north.
The drowning death of a friend's friend prompted him to try to raise awareness about life jacket use as well as collect life jackets to donate. Singleton talks about the campaigns they have going.
"There's a couple of campaigns. We are having a pancake breakfast after the May long weekend. We're also going to have a group of my colleagues and I will be doing fundraising to run the Manitoba Marathon. So we'll be pounding the pavement to bring awareness to this," he said.
You can also drop off a life jackets at any of the detachments in northwestern Ontario.
The pancake breakfast is on Friday, May 29 at 9 in the morning at the Dryden OPP detachment. They ask that you bring a gently used or new life jacket or a cash donation.
Singleton has also set up an account with TD Canada trust to accept donations. he says after they've finished all their campaigning they'll go a buy as many life jackets as they can.