A new national report card prompted by last years tragic events in Walkerton finds that most Canadian provinces and territories have inadequate laws to ensure the well-being of Canadian water users.
CUPE collaborated with the Sierra Legal Defence Fund in the development and release of the study that found the current regulations in four other Canadian jurisdictions are as bad or worse than those in Ontario prior to the deadly outbreak. And others arent much better.
This is about more than which province passed and which failed, said National President Judy Darcy in releasing the report. We need strong federal action now. The Chrt0069en government cannot pass the buck.
Darcy pointed out that the Chrt0069en government is swimming in a surplus while the country suffers from a major infrastructure deficit. Last year the federal government announced new infrastructure money but their pledge is a drop in the bucket when you look at the actual needs out there, said Darcy.
She criticized the Liberals for failing to increase their funding for water infrastructure.
In their election Red Book the Liberals simply recycled their infrastructure announce-ment. Not a penny more. And, having announced another round of tax cuts last October, Paul Martins decided to just sit tight and not have a budget this year, she said.
The question is, are the Liberals going to continue to be complacent about water protection, or are they going to do something about this looming crisis? We say its time to act whether its in the upcoming Throne Speech or through some other measures. Canadians cant afford to wait, concluded Darcy.
CUPEs support for the Sierra Legal study is only the latest in a series of actions the union has taken to promote quality, public water.
On February 24 26, a meeting of water and waste water workers from across the country will be held in Ottawa to help build a CUPE action plan that will look at funding, regulations, training, testing, governance and related issues. As part of the meeting, the water workers will also meet with MPs and government officials to press for quick action to improve water quality.