Today the federal government tabled Bill S-11, the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act, in Parliament. At the same time, a two-year extension of the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan was announced.
Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, together with Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced the introduction of a bill that will help safeguard drinking water in First Nation communities and a funding strategy to safeguard investments in drinking water.
The extension of the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan provides an additional $330 million over the next two years to continue to support First Nations in the provision of safe drinking water. In addition to providing enhanced support for investments in water and wastewater facilities, the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan is funding the National Assessment of First Nations Water and Wastewater Systems. This assessment, which will conclude later this year, will provide a more accurate account of water and wastewater needs in First Nation communities.
Between 2006 -2012 the federal government will have invested over $2.3 billion in First Nations water and wastewater infrastructure.