No national standards for drinking water: report - Macleans.ca

No national standards for drinking water: report

Ten years after Walkerton tragedy standards still aren’t adequate

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A new report scheduled for release Monday says that there are no national standards that effectively ensure drinking water is safe for all Canadians. The report, called Seeking Water Justice: Strengthening legal protection for Canada’s drinking water, was written by a group of academic, health and environmental experts. “Canadians do not have equal access to safe drinking water—a basic source of survival,” said an executive summary of the report. “We have voluntary national guidelines and provinces establish their own standards, which may or may not meet those guidelines … This leaves significant populations, such as First Nations and rural communities, vulnerable to water-borne diseases, boil water advisories and associated health effects.” Nancy Goucher, a water-policy expert with the Forum for Leadership on Water, says that 116 First Nation communities had boil orders in recent Health Canada stats, and that 90 percent had those advisories in place for one year, while half had them in place for more than three years. “The thought of not having that guarantee of safe drinking water, I think, would just reduce your entire quality of life,” she says.

National Post

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