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Canada Takes Important Step to End Water Crisis

Canada has unveiled a new approach to fixing the drinking water crisis faced by indigenous First Nations peoples.

Carolyn Bennett, minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), reaffirmed the 2016 budget commitment to $1.8 billion over five years to significantly improve on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure. Her ministry provided information on what has been spent so far in the 2016-2017 fiscal year: $275.7 million in targeted funding has been allocated to support water and wastewater initiatives, including 201 water and wastewater projects. This is an exciting number, but the needs are great, and in the past, INAC funding hasn’t always gone to the neediest communities. Bennett added that 29 of these projects are aimed at addressing 44 long-term drinking water advisories in 28 First Nations communities.

The announcement was made during INAC’s and Health Canada’s joint progress update toward meeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to end drinking water advisories in First Nations in five years.

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Source: Human Rights Watch

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