Drinking water advisory lifted for Slate Falls
Tim Brody - Associate Editor
“For the first time in 14 years the residents of Slate Falls First Nation can drink water from their taps,” shared Kenora MP Bob Nault. “While many Canadians take this simple act for granted, it is most definitely a cause for celebration as the lives of each community member will be positively impacted.”
The First Nation, which has been under long-term drinking water advisories (LTDWA) since 2004, had those advisories lifted on February 5.
Final testing of the community’s water was completed earlier this year.
“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 Band administration building.
“The water investments also enhance the community’s fire protection capacity through the installation of additional fire hydrants and pumps,” a news release issued by the Government of Canada explained.
“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,” Slate Falls First Nation Chief Lorraine Crane shared. “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.”
“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,” Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott stated. “I look forward to sharing in the excitement during my next visit to Slate Falls First Nation,” concluded Nault. “My congratulations go out to Chief Lorraine Crane, her council, and the community. Their determination, hard work, and perseverance, played a crucial role in ensuring the success of this project.”