For the first time in 14 years, the residents of Slate Falls First Nation can now drink water from their taps. The community, under long-term drinking water advisories since 2004, had their 11 advisories lifted on February 5 after final testing was completed earlier this year.
"While many Canadians take this simple act for granted, it is most definitely a cause for celebration as the lives of each community member will be positively impacted," said Kenora MP Bob Nault. "I look forward to sharing in the excitement during my next visit to Slate Falls First Nation. My congratulations go out to Chief Lorraine Crane, her council and the community. Their determination, hard work and perseverance played a crucial role in ensuring the success of this project," he added.
Indigenous Services Canada invested more than $11.6 million for the new water treatment plant that will provide clean, dependable drinking water to all residents, the Bimaychikamah Elementary School and other community buildings including the health centre, nurses' residence and the First Nation's administration building. The water investments also enhance the community's fire protection capacity through the installation of additional fire hydrants and pumps. The community is located approximately 120 kilometres north of Sioux Lookout.
On January 23, 2018, Minister of Indigenous Services, Jane Philpott, announced that the government is expanding its efforts to end long-term drinking water advisories by addressing an additional 24 long-term drinking water advisories on systems that had not previously received federal support.
Since November 2015, 52 long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted on public water systems financially supported by the Government of Canada, bringing the total number of long-term drinking water advisories in effect on public drinking water systems on reserve to 81. Twenty-eight drinking water advisories were added during that same time.
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Nault's agenda in Ottawa