NDP says province, Doug Ford need to 'step up to plate' during Attawapiskat water emergency

People in Attawapiskat continue to speak out about their water problems with some high profile visitors this week.
The presence of THMs in drinking water can have long-term health effects, including increased likelihood of bladder cancer. (CBC)

People in Attawapiskat continue to speak out about their water problems with some high-profile visitors this week.

Attawapiskat's Chief and Council declared a state of emergency more than a week ago when water tests came back with higher-than accepted levels of trihalomethanes.

Exposure to trihalomethanes can be connected to an increased risk of bladder and possibly colon cancer in people who drank chlorinated water for 35 years or more.

Kiiwetinoong's MPP Sol Mamakwa and Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus are planning to arrive on Wednesday, while NDP Ontario party leader Andrea Horwath is planning to visit Thursday.

Andrea Horwath is leader of Ontario's NDP party. (David Donnelly/CBC)

Horwath told CBC News that the province needs to take control of the situation.

"What I'm thinking is that we need to, as a province, step up to the plate," Horwath said. "Mr. Ford needs to step up to the plate, Ms. Wynne should have stepped up to the plate, and start making these investments and then send the bill to Ottawa."

"It's something we wouldn't accept in any other community," she said. "Imagine another community having to survive that way, or having their daily lives burdened by access to water."

Wiikwemkoong's water activist Autumn Peltier will add her voice to the mix today along with school activist Chelsea Jane Edwards and musician Adrian Sutherland.

Public Health Ontario's Dr. Ray Copes is paying a visit today and tomorrow to talk about the health effects of THMs in the community's water.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.