Marc Miller, minister of Indigenous services, provided the department’s monthly progress update on its commitment to end all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves by March 2021.
“Our commitment to lifting every long-term drinking water advisory on public systems on reserves by March 2021 is unwavering,” said Marc Miller, minister of Indigenous services. “Since November 2015, 87 have been lifted. Preventing short-term advisories from becoming long-term is an essential part of our goal to eliminate all long-term drinking water advisories on reserves.”
“First Nations and the Government of Canada will continue to work to lift the remaining long-term drinking water advisories, complete the water and wastewater projects underway now, and bridge the gap in essential infrastructure on reserves,” Miller added.
In November 2019, two short-term drinking water advisories at risk of becoming long-term were lifted from public systems on reserves. One drinking water advisory became long-term.
Short-term drinking water advisories lifted before becoming long-term:
- Woodland Cree-Marten Lake (Alberta) lifted a short-term drinking water advisory from its Marten Lake Community Hall Semi-Public Water System on November 14, 2019. The drinking water advisory, in effect since August 16, 2019, was lifted following repair and cleaning of the cistern and successful water testing.
- Biigtigong Nishnaabeg (Ontario) lifted a short-term drinking water advisory from its Pic River Public Water System on November 12, 2019. The drinking water advisory, in effect since November 15, 2018, was lifted after a UV disinfection unit was installed to provide adequate disinfection for the building.
A drinking water advisory at Little Pine First Nation in Saskatchewan became long-term on November 14, 2019 after being in place for more than 12 months. The advisory was put in place in November 2018 due to mechanical and electrical issues. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) continues to work with the First Nation to resolve the existing issues and on an expansion and upgrade project.
Since November 2015, 87 long-term advisories affecting public systems on reserves have been lifted.
In total, 552 water and wastewater projects have either been initiated or completed since Budget 2016. These projects include new, upgraded or repaired infrastructure, and feasibility and design studies to ensure First Nations have the right infrastructure systems in place for growing communities. To date, 226 projects have been completed and another 326 are underway benefitting 581 First Nations communities across the country.