Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians and Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, have announced upcoming engagement sessions on the development of a proposed legislative framework for drinking water and wastewater in First Nation communities to begin in February 2009.
First Nation communities and regional First Nations organizations across the country, and provincial and territorial governments (except Nunavut, where there are no First Nations), will be invited to attend engagement sessions. Discussions during the sessions will focus on the scope and elements of a proposed federal legislative framework for drinking water and wastewater in First Nation communities, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the Government of Canada and First Nations.
In 2006 the Government of Canada announced a Plan of Action for Drinking Water in First Nation Communities to take decisive action to improve access to safe, clean drinking water on reserves. Building on this progress, a two-year, $330-million investment in a First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan, announced in 2008, introduced new measures for improving drinking water and wastewater in First Nation communities. Consulting with First Nation communities, First Nation organizations and provincial/territorial governments on the creation of a federal legislative framework for drinking water and wastewater on reserve was part of that commitment.