Federal government and Slate Falls Nation mark significant milestone as Ontario First Nation lifts eleven long-term drinking water advisories
Minister Philpott congratulates Slate Falls Nation on new system that ends 11 advisories, in place for almost 14 years
February 12, 2018 – Slate Falls Nation, ON – Department of Indigenous Services Canada
After having been under long-term drinking water advisories since 2004, residents of Slate Falls Nation now have reliable access to safe, clean drinking water. Eleven long-term drinking water advisories were lifted by the community on February 5, 2018, after final testing was completed earlier this year.
The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, today congratulated Slate Falls Nation on the successful completion of a new water treatment plant and the ending of 11 drinking water advisories in place for almost 14 years. Minister Philpott commended residents for their perseverance and in particular, applauds the leadership of Chief Lorraine Crane for her role in achieving this milestone.
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 Government of Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to ending all long-term drinking water advisories on public water systems on reserve by March 2021. Indigenous Services Canada is working with First Nation communities to improve water and wastewater infrastructure and ensure proper operation and maintenance. These steps will end long-term advisories and prevent short-term advisories from becoming long term.
“Today I offer my congratulations to Chief Crane and the entire community of Slate Falls Nation. Since 2004, long-term drinking water advisories have limited residents’ access to safe, clean drinking water, and I am absolutely thrilled to see the completion of this new water system and the lifting of eleven long-term advisories. Today’s announcement marks a significant step forward in our government’s commitment to ending all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserve by March 2021. I look forward to visiting the community in the near future to celebrate this momentous occasion.”
The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services
“Today is a big day to make changes to our lifestyle and we are very excited to finally be able to drink water right from the tap. The community is looking forward to not having to purchase water or boil the water, and after almost 14 years of the BWA, it will be a positive adjustment and a change to our lifestyle. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their patience, and the support of elders and leadership throughout this project.”
Chief Lorraine Crane
Slate Falls Nation
- Slate Falls Nation is an Ojibwe First Nation. The community is located approximately 120 km north of Sioux Lookout and is accessible by plane and an all-season road.
- Budget 2016 provides $1.8 billion over five years to significantly improve on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure, ensure proper facility operation and maintenance, and support the training of water system operators. This is in addition to $141.7 million over five years to improve drinking water monitoring and testing on reserve.
- Committing investments over five years allows for long-term planning to improve on-reserve water and wastewater systems.
- On January 23, 2018, Minister Philpott announced 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.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Indigenous Services Canada