Canada To Miss Deadline To Supply Safe Drinking Water In Indigenous Communities - Minister


Canada to Miss Deadline to Supply Safe Drinking Water in Indigenous Communities - Minister

TORONTO (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 03rd December, 2020) The Canadian government will miss a deadline to supply all First Nations communities with clean drinking water, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller announced at a press briefing.

During his first election campaign in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to end all boil water advisories in indigenous communities, which in many instances have been in place for decades, by March 2021.

"Much remains to be done," Miller said Wednesday. "While there have been many reasons for the delay, I want to state as clearly as possible that, ultimately, I bear the responsibility for this and I have the... duty to get this done."

Despite vowing accountability on the issue, the minister said that the Federal government will not set any future targets, instead choosing to treat clean water delivery as a long-term endeavor. Miller announced that the federal government is allotting an additional $1.16 billion to deliver on the pledge.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, high turnover and the lack of qualified labor were cited as contributing factors for the delay.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) expressed their disappointment with the development.

"First Nations have good reason to be disappointed by the federal government's announcement that after more than five years in office, it will miss its own target to provide safe drinking water to all Indigenous communities across Canada. While there has been significant progress in recent years, it clearly is not enough," said National Chief Perry Bellegarde said in a statement, although did welcome the additional funds.

Across Canada, 59 long-term drink water advisories remain in effect, with 75 percent of them concentrated in Ontario, according data provided by the Indigenous Services Canada to the AFN.

The Trudeau government has faced criticism for failing to meet a number of targets in recent months, including emission reduction goals, a key feature of the prime minister's ambitious environmental policy.