OTTAWA, ONTARIO (March 22, 2019) — The Minister of Indigenous Services, Seamus O’Regan, issued the following statement today:
“Everyone should have access to safe, clean, and reliable drinking water. Today, on World Water Day, we reflect on the progress that has been made toward that goal, both in Canada and around the world, and acknowledge the important work still ahead.
In 2015, our Government committed to lifting all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserve by March 2021. And working in partnership with First Nations, we have committed more than $2 billion to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in First Nations communities across the country.
Since then, we’ve made progress – 81 long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted, and hundreds of water and wastewater projects have been completed or are underway.
No two community’s needs are the same and while some solutions may be more straightforward, others require multi-step and multi-year action plans. From the planning, design and construction of new infrastructure, to identifying an alternative water source, to securing specialized training for water operators and maintenance personnel, solutions must be sustainable and tailored to the unique needs of the community they serve.
This progress continues each and every day and work is underway to lift each of the remaining 59 long-term drinking water advisories currently in effect. By working in lockstep with First Nations partners, we remain on track to eliminating all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserve by March 2021.