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‘It doesn’t make sense’: Feds pledged spend billions on First Nations water plants, but not on the pipes to carry fresh water to homes – APTN News

Feb 23, 2021

The $1.74 billion invested by the federal government for water infrastructure on First Nations hasn’t gone far enough to address issues faced by the 15 per cent of homes that depend on water delivered by trucks, say leaders.

“Why put a great new treatment plant with clean drinking water when you can’t still hook up the community?” asked Chief Larry Barker of Hollow Water First Nation in Manitoba where a more than $9 million dollar investment to design and construct upgrades to his community’s water treatment plant did not include money for piping water to nearly 50 homes.

Across the country, thousands of people rely on cisterns, large tanks for holding water used by individual homes that are not connected to water mains.

A consortium of students and journalists from First Nations University of Canada, MacEwan University, Mount Royal University, University of Regina, Global News and APTN News, coordinated by Concordia University’s Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIJ), has found that money spent by the federal government since 2015 have failed to include sufficient funding to connect homes to centralized systems in many parts of the country.

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