Kenora MP Eric Melillo Working on Water Issues, Internet for the North


OTTAWA – Kenora MP Eric Melillo was up during Question Period on Monday in the House of Commons.

Earlier in the day, Melillo spoke with NetNewsLedger.

Here is the transcript from Hansard of the exchange between Melillo and ISC Minister Marc Miller:
Mr. Eric Melillo (Kenora, CPC): Mr. Speaker, in the riding of Kenora, the Neskantaga First Nation has been evacuated because they have no water. The water plant has shut down. This summer the government created many new massive programs to address the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, but somehow ensuring clean water for indigenous communities is something it deemed to be too ambitious.

The government has pledged to end all drinking water advisories by this spring. I am wondering if the Minister of Indigenous Services could recommit to that timeline today?

Hon. Marc Miller (Minister of Indigenous Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the member’s question is exceedingly important. I will reiterate the fact that it is unacceptable that Neskantaga has been without clean water for over 25 years.

This is a government that has invested $16.5 million into a new plant, in particular in Neskantaga, and in other places across Canada. There is much more work to do, but this is something that has occurred over a quarter of a century. If the member looks at the 10 years of investment of the Conservatives, in Neskantaga in particular, they only put $300,000 in per year, which is just a tragedy and something that we have committed to fix. We will fix it and we will fix it with financial resources in partnerships with first nations.

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