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Statement from the Minister of Indigenous Services on the preliminary findings from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation

OTTAWA, ON, April 19, 2024 /CNW/ - The Minister of Indigenous Services, Patty Hajdu, issued the following statement today:

"I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, for visiting Canada to better understand and assess our country's efforts to implement the human rights to water and sanitation. More work must be done to ensure all First Nations have access to clean drinking water.

Decades of discriminatory funding will not be undone overnight, but we are making progress. In 2015, 105 long-term drinking water advisories were in place. Our Government has increased funding by 150% in water infrastructure and followed the lead of First Nations communities with a plan to lift all long-term drinking water advisories. Today, 28 long-term advisories remain.

After extensive consultation with First Nations partners across Canada, we also tabled Bill C-61, the proposed First Nations Clean Water Act, that provides the next steps to ensure clean drinking water in First Nations. Concretely, it will: affirm the inherent right of first Nations to manage their own water systems; ensure First Nations communities have reliable access to drinking water; hold governments accountable to provide sustainable funding towards water infrastructure; and create the necessary tools to protect their water sources.

At the forefront of all solutions is the leadership of First Nations. Our Government will be with communities every step of the way to ensure they have clean drinking water for generations to come."

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SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada

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