Thunder Bay·Audio

First Nations water problems 'shameful'

Canadians should be shocked by the lack of clean drinking water in many First Nations, according to the Blue Planet committee of the Thunder Bay chapter of the Council of Canadians

Thunder Bay chapter of Council of Canadians works toward solutions to long-standing water issues

Ontario is home to the majority of community-wide boil water advisories in the country, including these 10 First Nations in northern Ontario. According to Health Canada data, they have been without safe drinking water for more than a decade. (Google Maps)
Reaction to our story of 10 First Nations with more than 10 years of bad water. We'll talk with Janice Horgos, head of a local committee trying to make a difference. 6:20

Canadians should be shocked by the lack of clean drinking water in many First Nations, according to the Thunder Bay chapter of the Council of Canadians.

Janice Horgos is the chair of the Blue Planet committee of the Thunder Bay chapter of the Council of Canadians. (Council of Canadians/canadians.org/blog)

A CBC investigation recently revealed ten First Nations in northern Ontario have been without clean drinking water for more than a decade.

"We just find this such a shameful situation," said Janice Horgos, chair of the Council of Canadians Blue Planet committee.  "It's shocking in a country rich with water like Canada."

Horgos said her committee is "honoured" to have several First Nations members to help "further our understanding of the complex issue."

"We need to understand what's happening if we're going to become a better ally," she said.

Horgos said each First Nation faces different challenges when it comes to providing safe drinking water, but all are confronted with the same problem without it.

"How can people even think about economic prosperity if they don't have safe, clean drinking water?"

The Council of Canadians is also expressing concern about federal legislation, The government calls the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act "a vital step towards ensuring First Nations have the same health and safety protections for drinking water as other Canadians."

But Horgos said the legislation will force First Nations to meet provincial water standards without providing the funding to meet those standards.

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