May 30th, 2019

"Create Your Canada" Winning Entry to Provide Right to Safe Drinking Water for Indigenous Peoples

OTTAWA – Today, NDP MP Linda Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona) welcomed Aneri Dave, winner of the Create Your Canada competition held for Edmonton Strathcona High Schools, to Ottawa to present her proposal for federal reform.

Aneri, a grade 11 student at W.P. Wagner School, stated in her submission to the competition, “My idea is quite simple: equality. Not the equality that we seem to have imbedded in our minds but the kind that demands change. I want to see Canada’s federal government take accountability. It shocks me to know that, even in the year 2019, First Nations communities are still suffering from inadequate drinking water. As a citizen of Canada who has been privileged enough to grow up with sanitary water at my fingertips, I know we have the opportunity to create a 21st Century Canada that has truly moved forward from our shameful past.”

Duncan said she selected Aneri’s reform proposal because of the depth of concern the student expressed about First Nations communities being denied their right to safe drinking water, a right other Canadians enjoy and take for granted. She was adamant that true reconciliation requires that the federal government be held accountable for expedited action now to redress this injustice.

“The motion reflects the calls for action by Aneri and the Resolutions passed by the Assembly of First Nations and agreement from the Chiefs-in Assembly,” said Duncan.

The motion calls on the Government to:

a) Commit to repeal the Safe Drinking Water for First nations Act;
b) Support the co-drafting with First nations of legislation to replace the safe drinking Water for First Nations Act that ensures that all First Nations are provided with systems for safe drinking water and wastewater treatment, that fully reflect the rights, need and priorities of First nations; and
c) Commit the necessary resources to develop and implement these measures.