First Nations Water Symposium to address progress on Federal Government’s promise to eliminate boil water advisories in Ontario First Nations

NIAGARA FALLS, ON, May 14, 2018 – On May 15, 2018 the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC) will be holding the 2018 First Nations Water Symposium in Niagara Falls, ON at the Sheraton on the Falls beginning at 8:30am. The First Nations Water Symposium aims to bring together Chiefs, administrators and water/wastewater plant operators with federal and provincial governments to address water quality issues.

The morning of the 15th will open with welcome remarks from Chief Stacey LaForme, Mississuagas of the New Credit, Wes Bova, President, OFNTSC, Melanie Debassige, Executive Director, OFNTSC and a representative of Indigenous Services Canada (ISC).

After the welcoming addresses, a panel will take place that will discuss the current state of water in Ontario First Nations. During the last federal election the current federal government promised the elimination of boil water advisories in all First Nations across Canada by 2021. Ontario’s First Nations progress towards this goal will be updated by the OFNTSC’s water and wastewater engineer Tricia Hamilton. The OFNTSC will also provide presentations on source water protection, operations and maintenance cost comparison and gap analysis, and an update on the water task force, which was launched in response to the federal government’s Safe Drinking Water Act for First Nations.

Following the morning plenary session on the 15th, the morning will conclude with the launch of the First Nations Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee’s Toolkit. The toolkit will assist First Nations in identifying and developing mitigation measures for risks to infrastructure in First Nations. Representatives of the project team from First Nations, OFNTSC, ISC, Stantec, and Engineers Canada will be on hand for the launch.

Over the course of the two days delegates of the symposium will take part in workshops intended to assist First Nations in the delivery of safe drinking water. Workshops will range from source water protection, climate change/asset management, water security for First Nations, and reducing operations and maintenance costs at your water plant.

The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation was created in 1995 to provide technical advisory services to 133 First Nations, 16 Tribal Councils in Ontario. Areas of service include operations and maintenance, housing, water and wastewater treatment, infrastructure, emergency planning, environment, climate change and fire and safety. For more information on the OFNTSC, please visit

For further information: on this announcement please contact Colin French, Communications Officer, 416 709 8738 or by email at


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