Speaking in the House of Commons, on December 16th 2021, Green Party Parliament member for Kitchener Centre, Mike Morrice, spoke out and demanded action on boil-water advisories in Canadian First Nations communities.

In 2015, Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government vowed to end all boil-water advisories in the country within five years. At the time, 162 such advisories were in place.

Today, over five years later, 119 long-term boil advisories have been put to an end. However, 43 remain in place in the country, affecting 31 different First Nations communities.

According to the Minister of Indigenous Services, Patty Hadju, the government continues to develop strategies to work with indigenous communities to provide them with clean drinking water “in a way that is respectful of some of the limitations and priorities that” they have. Furthermore, she states that having an “artificial deadline” for ending the advisories wouldn’t “actually accelerate the work in any way.”

While Hadju claims that she “will do anything” to solve the drinking water problem in First Nations communities, according to Mike Morrice, the actions of the federal government do not show that to be true.

Fervently calling out the Liberals on the House floor, Morrice pointed out that “a recent parliamentary budget officer report calls out a significant gap.” Morrice continued, stating that “138 million more is needed in annual operating spending” in order to truly accomplish the goal of bringing clean drinking water to all of the country’s First Nations communities.

The Green Party representative concluded his remarks by calling on the federal government to “allocate the resources necessary to fulfill it’s 2015 promise, and ensure that every First Nation community has what every person in Canada deserves – access to clean drinking water.”

Jules Ownby

Jules is a journalist and podcast producer from Montreal, Canada. His areas of interest are the politics of the Americas as well issues surrounding immigration.

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