OTTAWA, TRADITIONAL ALGONQUIN TERRITORY, ON, May 3, 2019 /CNW/ - The federal government remains steadfast and on track in its commitment to end all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves by March 2021.
Today, the Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, provided the department's monthly progress update on the government's commitment to end long-term drinking water advisories.
In April 2019, four long-term drinking water advisories and one short-term drinking water advisory at risk of becoming long-term were lifted from public systems on reserves. Two long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on a reserve were added.
Long-term drinking water advisories lifted in April 2019:
- Pinaymootang First Nation, in Manitoba, lifted a long-term drinking water advisory from the Pinaymootang Arena Semi-Public Water System and the water was safe to drink as of April 17, 2019, following upgrades to the water treatment system. The advisory had been in effect since August 17, 2015.
- Mishkosiminiziibiing (Big Grassy River), in Ontario, lifted a long-term drinking water advisory from the Big Grassy Public Water System on April 17, 2019, following maintenance and repairs to water treatment system. ISC has supported the community's efforts to address the safe drinking water needs of its 277 residents. The advisory had been in effect since March 1, 2017.
- Eel Ground, in New Brunswick, lifted a long-term drinking water advisory from the Big Hole Tract Public Water System (#17197) on April 10, 2019, following the completion of a new water treatment system. The advisory had been in effect since October 8, 2008. Work continues on the community's new septic system.
- Stellat'en First Nation, in British Columbia, lifted a long-term drinking water advisory on April 1, 2019, following the completion of a new water treatment plant. The advisory had been in effect since March 13, 2012.
Short-term drinking water advisories lifted before becoming long-term:
- Red Sucker Lake, in Manitoba, lifted a short-term advisory from the Red Sucker Lake Band Office Semi-Public Water System on April 8, 2019, after repairs were completed. The advisory had been in effect since May 25, 2018.
Advisories that reached more than one year in duration and became long-term:
- Two drinking water advisories at Ojibway Nation of Saugeen, in Ontario, became long-term on April 26 and 27 after being in place for more than 12 months. ISC is working with the community to restore safe drinking water at the Saugeen School and Saugeen Health Clinic.
Through Budget 2016, the Government of Canada committed $1.8 billion over five years to improve water and wastewater infrastructure and set a goal of March 2021 to end all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves.
The number of long-term drinking water advisories affecting public systems on reserves has declined from 105 in November 2015, to 57 as of April 30, 2019.
Through budget investments in water and wastewater infrastructure on reserves across the country, 505 projects are either underway or have been completed.
First Nations and the Government of Canada will continue this important work to lift the remaining long-term drinking water advisories on public systems, complete the water and wastewater projects underway now, and bridge the gap in essential infrastructure on reserves.
"Success lifting all long-term drinking water advisories on reserves requires sustained effort. This month's progress report demonstrates the scope of the challenge and our commitment to working in partnership with First Nations to lift all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves by March 2021. Follow our progress at www.canada.ca/water-on-reserve."
The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
- A drinking water advisory becomes long-term when it has been in place for more than a year.
- In total, 85 long-term advisories have been lifted, 38 have been added, and one was deactivated.
- Working in collaboration with First Nations, the Government of Canada has committed to ending all long-term advisories on public systems on reserves by March 2021.
- Since November 2015, 121 short-term drinking water advisories (lasting between two and 12 months) were lifted before becoming long-term.
- Budget 2016 provided $1.8 billion over five years toward water and wastewater infrastructure.
- Budget 2017 committed an additional $49.1 million over three years towards improving access to safe drinking water.
- Budget 2018 provides an additional $172.6 million over three years to help accelerate progress on lifting drinking water advisories and to ensure more infrastructure projects can be completed prior to 2021. Budget 2018 also provides support for repairs to high risk water systems, recruitment, training and retention initiatives, and the establishment of innovative First Nations-led service delivery models.
- Budget 2019 proposes to invest an additional $739 million over five years, beginning in 2019-2020, with $184.9 million per year ongoing. The investment will support ongoing efforts to eliminate and prevent long-term drinking water advisories – funding urgent repairs to vulnerable water systems, and providing water operator training and support programs, so that First Nations communities can effectively operate and maintain their public drinking water systems.
- Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities.
- Ending long-term drinking water advisories
- Investing in First Nations community infrastructure
- Lifecycle of a First Nation community infrastructure project
- Budget 2016: A Better Future for Indigenous Peoples
- Budget 2017 Highlights – Indigenous and Northern Investments
- Budget 2018 – Advancing Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
- Budget 2019 – Advancing Reconciliation
- Investing in Canada: Canada's Long-Term Infrastructure Plan
- Investing in Canada Plan Project Map
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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)
For further information: media may contact: Kevin Deagle, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, 873-354-0987; Media Relations, Indigenous Services Canada, 819-953-1160, SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca