Federal government reports progress being made to resolve Canada’s longest water advisory
Neskantaga First Nation marks 29th anniversary of record-long drinking water advisory
February 2, 2024 By Ground Water Canada
Ottawa – Yesterday marked the 29th anniversary of the Neskantaga First Nation’s drinking water advisory – the longest on record in Canada.
Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu, however, reports progress is being made toward achieving clean and safe drinking water for the Northern Ontario community which has now endured 10,591 consecutive days under an advisory.
Neskantaga and the Government of Canada are working together on a 12-point action plan to address the community’s immediate and long-term needs. A meeting Feb. 1 between Hadju and Neskantaga First Nation Chief Christopher Moonias coincided with the government’s additional investment to resolve issues at the existing water treatment plant that would, once addressed, enable the First Nation to lift the drinking water advisory after 29 years.
Moonias and Hajdu agree that a new water plant will be needed to meet the needs of the community. As a start, Hajdu committed to supporting Neskantaga in the design phase of this new plant. The work builds on the existing investments totalling $29.4 million to retrofit the community’s current water treatment plant, initially built in 1993 and expanded in 2017.
It has been recognized that the long-term drinking water advisory has a long-lasting impact on the mental health and well being of community members. No one in Neskantaga has ever experienced clean, safe drinking water in their homes – a full generation has gone without drinking from their taps, unlike others in neighboring cities like Thunder Bay.
Moonias and Hadju plan to meet regularly and work together to help lift the existing long-term drinking water advisory.
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