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Too often, a resolution to improve is a three-act tragedy. It begins with a hopeful desire to reverse bad habits. In Act 2, resolve falters and progress sputters. And finally, in Act 3, there is resignation. Ah well, there’s always next year.
Act 3 is where we find the federal government and its stated, and restated, promise to provide safe drinking water on all First Nations reserves. Years, and many missed deadlines, have come and gone since Justin Trudeau and his Liberals first vowed to eliminate boil-water advisories on reserves. During the 2015 federal election campaign, Neskantaga First Nation Chief Wayne Moonias challenged the candidates to make a resolution. His Ojibwe community, located 430 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, had gone without clean drinking water for two decades. Who would fix it?
Later that day, Justin Trudeau accepted the challenge, promising to eliminate long-term boil-water advisories on every First Nation within five years. At the time, there were 105. “It’s not right in a country like Canada,” he told a town hall. “This has gone on for far too long.”
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