Work is ongoing to end remaining long-term drinking water advisories: Trudeau

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Published December 9, 2021 at 4:46 pm

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government remains committed to ending all long-term drinking water advisories that exist on First Nations. 

Trudeau discussed the work done to date during an address to a virtual gathering of chiefs with the Assembly of First Nations. 

Ensuring reserves across Canada have access to clean drinking water was a signature pledge he made around reconciliation before becoming prime minister in 2015. 

Trudeau had promised to end all long-term drinking water advisories by March 2021, which didn’t happen. 

As of today, a government website reports there are 42 such advisories still in place in 30 different communities. 

Trudeau told the virtual gathering of chiefs that for every remaining advisory there is a project team working to bring it to an end. 

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Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu has said she’s reluctant to set a new deadline for when the remainder of these notices will be lifted. 

She has said each community has a different set of priorities, and some have unique challenges, such as their remoteness of their location, which impacts how the work can be done. 

During his speech today, Trudeau also spoke about his government’s pledge to appoint a special interlocutor to work with Indigenous communities as they search for unmarked graves at the former sites of residential schools. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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