THUNDER BAY – In Ontario, Northern Communities with boil water orders may have some help coming.
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Bernard Valcourt says, “Our Government recognizes the importance of ensuring that First Nations have access to the same safe drinking water standards as other Canadians. To that end, we have introduced the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act which aims to provide First Nations communities with drinking water and wastewater standards that are comparable to provincial or territorial standards off reserve”.
Ogoki Post has bottled water flown in to the community. The cost since 2005 has been about $10,000 per week, with a total of over $2.5 million.
“In 2014-2015, our Government is providing Marten Falls First Nation with $304,857 for the operation and maintenance of its water and wastewater systems, in addition to $327,001 in infrastructure minor capital funding,” states Minister Valcourt.
“Our Government has also committed to funding the design of a new water treatment plant over two years,” adds the Minister. “On January 12, 2015, the First Nation submitted its Design Application Request (to access funding for design of the water treatment plant upgrades). We are currently reviewing this Design Application Request”.
“First Nations are owners of their water and wastewater systems and are responsible for their daily operation and management,” concludes the Minister. “Our Government provides funding and advice to First Nations in the design, construction, operation and management of their water and wastewater services”.