KENORA – There is an end in sight for the people in Neskantaga First Nation. The community has been under a boil water order for over a decade.
Bob Nault, Member of Parliament (Kenora riding), on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, announced funding to end Neskantaga First Nation’s long standing boil water advisory:
“Neskantaga First Nation’s boil water advisory (BWA) represents the longest standing advisory in Canada, so I am proud to say the Government of Canada has invested approximately $8.8 million to help upgrade the community’s water treatment system and eliminate this BWA.
“For 22 years, residents of Neskantaga First Nation have had to worry about the water they bathe in and the water they drink. The project, which is expected to be completed in spring 2018, will finally alleviate this stress. The project is a part of Canada’s $1.8 billion commitment to improve infrastructure and strengthen Indigenous communities, and while it is a big step for Canada, it is truly monumental for the residents of Neskantaga First Nation.”
- As part of its long-term strategy, the Government of Canada is working with First Nations on sustainable approaches to eliminate long-term drinking water advisories by March 2021, and to prevent new long-term advisories from happening.
- Budget 2016 provides $1.8 billion over five years to significantly improve on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure, ensure proper facility operation, maintenance, and support the training of water system operators, in addition to $141.7 million over five years to improve drinking water monitoring and testing on reserve.
- Committing investments over five years allows for long-term planning to improve on-reserve water and wastewater systems.