For the overwhelming majority of Canadians, access to safe drinking water is something we take for granted. Any interruptions to the flow of clean water from our taps are rare and momentary, lasting a few hours or perhaps days at most.
It’s an entirely different story for a shocking number of First Nations.
As of last Fall, 110 First Nations were living under advisories to either boil their water or not drink it at all. The number is often much higher. In many cases, these advisories have been in place for years. In some instances, First Nations have lived a generation or longer without safe, reliable water.
Prime Minister Trudeau has made a public commitment to end this water insecurity by 2020. It’s a welcome and important promise. But unfortunately it’s one that the federal government is in very real danger of breaking.
The barriers to water justice – bureaucratic and financial – are set out in an important new study released by the David Suzuki Foundation and Council of Canadians, and with advisers Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.