Investments in water and wastewater infrastructure in the federal budget don't go far enough or come fast enough to address the water crisis in First Nations communities, says the Council of Canadians. The budget, released on World Water Day, also falls short in other water-related areas including the Great Lakes and freshwater research and science.
“The Trudeau government has allocated more to First Nations water and wastewater than the Harper government has in past years which is a step forward,” says Emma Lui, Water Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “But we were calling for enough to fully address their water and sanitation needs, as well as much stronger funding commitments for Great Lakes protection and municipal water and wastewater infrastructure. For ocean and freshwater research and science, the devil will be in the details. It’s not clear which programs will be restored and how much will be allocated to the programs.”
In Budget 2016, the Trudeau government allocates $2.0 billion over five years for the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, $197.1 million over five years to Fisheries and Oceans Canada for water science and research (including for the Experimental Lakes Area) and $3.1 million in Great Lakes funding for reducing phosphorus and the resulting algae in Lake Erie.