Water is something most Canadians take for granted. We have so much of it, it's no wonder. Per capita, our country has the world's third-largest freshwater reserves, but yet in many Indigenous communities, water can be difficult to access, at-risk because of unreliable treatment systems, or contaminated. That's the case in Delaware First Nation, an Indigenous community of about 500 people an hour southwest of London, Ont., a place where fishing was everything 60 years ago.
In 2016, town council approved an average increase of 53 per cent to the water and sewer rates. About 900 addresses within town limits — homes that are required to be connected to the municipal water system — were hit by the rate surge. The increase was an unpopular move. In Bancroft, incomes average $33,460, which is about 30 per cent lower than the provincial average of $47,915.
Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner will table his first ever private member's bill Wednesday. In it, he asks the province to protect a drinking water source for Guelph, Wellington county and Waterloo region. It's the first bill introduced by the party in the provincial legislature. "For decades the people of Guelph have shown the province how to responsibly use water and what it means to defend water against private interests. Now, climate change and sprawl are putting even more strain on our water supply, so we must take action to protect what's left," Schreiner said in a release prior to tabling the bill Wednesday.
The proposed law would allow municipalities, with the approval of the minister, to sidestep environmental laws, such as drinking water source protection. Doherty thinks the bill would also reduce transparency in government by letting councils get rid of public consultation and eliminating the public’s right to appeal municipal decisions.
Regional councillors do not support planning changes proposed under Bill 66 and will be sending that message to the province about it. During the planning and works committee meeting on Tuesday morning, councillors voted on a staff recommendation to tell the province the region does not support proposed amendments to the Planning Act as set out in Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act, because "it fails to adequately protect human health and safety and in particular the safety of the Region of Waterloo's drinking water resources."
The agency responsible for inspecting elevators, pipelines, furnaces and ski lifts in Ontario is failing to meet its mandate to protect public safety, warns the province's auditor general in a new report. Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk says the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) is doing little to address real safety risks in its areas of responsibility.
Environmentalists are outraged by a "preposterous" large sewage dump into the St. Lawrence River near Montreal and a "staggering" number of smaller, chronic sewage overflows throughout the year in Quebec. They are calling on municipal and provincial governments to be more ambitious in their attempts to monitor and mitigate the release of toxic wastewater in waterways.
Raw sewage has been overflowing into Ontario's lakes and rivers at an alarming rate and the government is doing little to stop it, the province's environmental watchdog said Tuesday as she laid out broad changes required to help keep waterways clean. Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe outlined her concerns and recommendations in an annual report — called Back to Basics — that looked at the state of the province's waterways between April 2017 and March this year. During that time, the report found that raw sewage overflowed into southern Ontario waterways 1,327 times. More than half of those overflows — 766 — were from nearly 60 outdated municipal sewer systems that combine sewage and stormwater.
The federal government has announced $7.2M in funding to connect Wauzhushk Onigum to the City of Kenora's water system. The announcement was long-awaited, with part of the community just south of Kenora, Ont., on a boil-water advisory since 2012. Another portion of Wauzhushk Onigum had its water treatment facility rebuilt in 2017. MP Bob Nault made the announcement on behalf of Jane Philpott, the Minister of Indigenous Services.
The City of Cambridge is installing new technology in 1,200 homes in west Preson and west Galt to better monitor water usage. Water meters will be retrofitted so city staff can read meter data remotely, and people can track their daily water usage online. City officials say that will also help them quickly identify possible leaks or flow issues.
An Ottawa diver who was filming his search for antiques at the bottom of the Rideau River found a surprising amount of trash below the surface. In the underwater video posted to André Constantineau’s YouTube channel there is everything from bottles, to packages, plastic gloves, lighters, tires, and even construction lights shown.
Behind every failed First Nations water plant is an unfortunate story. Assigning blame can be challenging: Although Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) pays for most on-reserve infrastructure and sets most of the rules governing design and construction, many other parties are involved, including project managers, engineering and construction firms and First Nations chiefs and councillors.