Water quality on Alberta First Nations unacceptable: CUPE

Jun 21, 2012

The Alberta President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is speaking out against the poor quality of water on Alberta’s First Nations communities.

Marle Roberts is calling on the government to take action regarding the fact over two-thirds of Alberta’s First Nations communities have boil water advisories.

“As the union for most municipal water workers in Alberta, we understand the importance of safe drinking water, and we’re appalled at the situation,” said Roberts.Roberts said the problem lies with the Federal government’s insistence that First Nations cover 20% of the cost of operating water systems.

“Twenty percent doesn’t sound like much, but if a community is in dire poverty, it’s huge,” said Roberts. “Ironically, factors like poor drinking water contribute to the poverty these communities endure.”

In May, the Assembly of First Nations National Water Conference at Enoch west of Edmonton drew attention to the plight of aboriginal drinking water in Alberta and across the country.

Marle Roberts was a speaker in the ‘Our water is not for sale’ tour in December of 2011, sponsored in conjunction with Public Interest Alberta and the Council of Canadians. One of the issues she spoke to was the lack of safe drinking water in Aboriginal communities in Alberta.

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