Toxic blue green algae blooms are appearing on Lake Winnipeg beaches earlier than normal, as the deadline looms for the City of Winnipeg to come up with a plan to tackle the excessive amount of phosphorus it's pumping into the lake each day. Some residents who live along the lake's shorelines say the bright green goo — which grows because of an excessive amount of phosphorus in the water — is the worst they've seen.
The governments of Canada and British Columbia recognize how important investing in modern reliable water services is to building healthy sustainable communities. Today, Marco Mendicino, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, and Ronna Rae Leonard, Member of Legislative Assembly for Courtenay–Comox, on behalf of the Honourable Selina Robinson, B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced more than $62.8 million in federal-provincial funding for a new drinking water treatment plant in the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD).
Recently elected Xeni Gwet’in chief Jimmy Lulua doesn’t have running water in his own house. He brushes his teeth from a cup. It is a daily reminder of how precious water is to his people — but, he noted, “It’s not by choice.”
“We’ve never been high on the government’s priority list,” he said. “We live in a third world country in one of the richest countries in the world.”
Semiahmoo First Nation could have potable water – something they haven’t had in more than a decade – as early as next spring, after signing a pair of servicing agreements with the City of Surrey Monday. The agreements, signed at Surrey’s council meeting, also mean sanitary-sewer infrastructure and water for fire protection for the first time in the nation’s history.