Chief Maracle continues push for clean water
“We are still on a precautionary boil water advisory, since 2008,” Maracle said noting the measure was implemented by Health Canada almost a decade ago.
“We have to service the community with an alternate water supply.
There are about 318 homes connected to the Deseronto system.
“Water holding tanks have been an interim measure until the water lines are built.” Maracle will be looking to the government for additional supports to complete the $5.5 million water tower project he champions as the solution to ensuring the entire community can have dependable supply.
The total cost of the tower and water line service extensions will be at least $16 million.
With more than 60 communities still turning to alternative water sources, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to eradicate all drinking water advisories in First Nations communities by March 2021.
“There is often blue-green algae that forms along the bay, so people can’t use drinking water from shore wells and we have 102 wells along the Bay of Quinte,” the chief said.
Budget 2016 included a commitment of $1.8 billion over five years, beyond existing spending, to help achieve that goal.
MP Mike Bossio lauded the chief for pushing the federal government to implement change.
The federal government has allocated $145,000 to address infrastructure work such as digitizing water meters and engineering studies for watermain expansions, and have earmarked $2.5 million (of a $7 million project) to facilitate expansion of the Deseronto plant, which services a segment of the reserve.