First Nations Drinking Water

Motion: That the House call on the Government of Canada to address on an urgent basis the needs of those First Nations communities whose members have no access to clean, running water in their homes; that action to address this disparity begin no later than spring 2012; and that the House further recognize that the absence of this basic requirement represents a continuing affront to our sense of justice and fairness as Canadians.

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, as this is the first time I have risen to ask a question in the debate today, I want to thank the Liberal Party of Canada for putting forward this important resolution to focus our attention on first nations drinking water quality and I thank the hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia for his presentation on the issue.


I think we are all of one mind in the House and I would like to take partisanship out of it. As long as I can remember, parliamentarians of all stripes have been talking about the scandal that first nations in this country do not have drinkable water. It is a federal responsibility and yet it seems to bedevil the solution.

I would like to ask the hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia, can he suggest how, with new legislation, we could deliver the results we want if we do not back it up with billions more dollars?

Mr. David Wilks: Mr. Speaker, it has been recognized in the past that we have thrown billions and billions of dollars at this problem. Without a standard of law being put in place, we will not be able to ensure this works well. When we put the regulation in place, it will also be a matter of law to ensure that all systems are run properly, legally, and within the letter of the law.