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January 21st, 2022

Liberals can't continue to abandon people in Iqaluit: NDP

OTTAWA – People living in the city of Iqaluit are once again living under a boil water order just one month after the previous two-month advisory was lifted. This morning, the NDP MP for Nunavut, Lori Idlout, sent a letter to Minister Leblanc asking for immediate investment from the federal government to address the ongoing crisis.

“The water crisis in Iqaluit is having major ripple effects across the city. The only hospital in town was forced to cancel 30 surgeries and postpone 36 other procedures over an eight-day period. Communities experienced a delay of cargo, leaving grocery shelves empty and recreation facilities, that have brought our community together in these difficult times, forced to close,” said Idlout. “The emergency has also been disproportionally challenging for low-income residents who struggle to make it to water pick up centres, let alone carry 50-pound water jugs home without their own vehicles.”

In November, the City of Iqaluit made an official request to the Liberal government for $180 million to address the problems with the city’s infrastructure. This call for funding support was backed by NDP Leader, Jagmeet Singh, during his visit to Iqaluit in November with the promise that the NDP would continue to apply pressure to the government to deliver. Months later and once again without clean drinking water, the Liberals have still not delivered the requested support. Now, citizens are calling for a public inquiry into what lead fuel to enter the water system.

“Nunavummiut in Iqaluit are among many Indigenous peoples living under drinking water advisories. According to the Council of Canadians, First Nations’ water systems are 'at high or medium risk' of contamination which the organization states is 'one of the greatest violations of the UN-recognised human rights to water and sanitation,'” added Idlout. “Indigenous people across Canada and the people of Iqaluit deserve safe drinking water.”

New Democrats will continue to push the Liberal government to keep their promise to end boil water advisories in Indigenous communities and make sure everyone in Canada has reliable access to clean water.