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Canada: Clean water right - Oct2012

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 00:00

    Speak out for the right to water

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    “Every family in this country should have access to clean, safe drinking water and First Nations should not be an exception.”

     -- Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo
     
    An estimated 20,000 First Nations people living on reserves across Canada have no access to running water or sewage. In addition, the federal government reports that as of January 2014 the tap water in 88 First Nations communities was not safe to drink.
     
    According to an independent expert panel appointed by the federal government, the basic problem is the gap in resources provided to First Nations communities, such as infrastructure and training. 
     
    The federal government has failed to close this gap. It has also failed to give priority to the urgent needs of people in communities such as the Lubicon community of Little Buffalo that have no access to any running water or sanitation.
     
    Instead, the federal government has moved to introduce new legislation, if passed, creates a framework for regulating First Nations water without providing any new resources to ensure that the needs of these communities are actually met. 
     
    The international community has recognized that access to safe drinkable water and adequate sanitation are basic human rights.  This means that every governments must work to fulfil this right to the best of its abilities, without discrimination of any kind..
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