Ashton Calls for Immediate Action on Water and Sewer Services on Manitoba First Nations

November 2, 2010

Ottawa – New Democrat MP Niki Ashton (Churchill) is calling on the Federal Government to take immediate action in working with Northern Manitoba First Nations facing third world living conditions when it comes to water and sewer services.

New investigations reveal that federal investment in water and sewer services on certain Manitoba First Nations fails to address third world living conditions they face. An investigative report by the Winnipeg Free Press focuses on the glaring absence of adequate water and sewer services that exist on the four Island Lake First Nations: Red Sucker Lake, St. Theresa Point, Garden Hill and Wasagamack.

“The Harper Government has been claiming for some time that water and sewer investments on First Nations have been a priority,” said Ashton. “Yet, that is not what we see on the ground. First Nations people in the Island Lake area and in other communities face conditions impacting on their health and wellness that most Canadians would never face.”

Ashton pointed out that while investments have been made into water treatment plants, it’s not enough to ensure people get adequate access to water and sewer services in their homes. “Without water and sewer lines, people depend on water trucks that break down often and facilities that include buckets and outhouses. Clearly the Government cannot point to the status quo and say it’s enough.”

Today, in Question Period, Ashton will be raising the issue with the Government. “The Island Lake First Nations and First Nations in Manitoba deserve the quality of life all Canadians have when it comes to water and sewer services” said Ashton. “When will the Government work with First Nations to put an end to the third world conditions in our own country?”