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HALIFAX - In the wake of a recent government survey outlining the poor state of water quality in many communities across Nova Scotia, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Nova Scotia is renewing its call for government investment in municipal water works projects.

T00680065se survey results are an outrage, 00730061ys Betty Jean Sutherland, President of CUPE Nova Scotia. N006f0076a Scotians have the right to feel safe about the water they drink and it’s about time that both the federal and provincial governments made funding available so municipalities can do something about it. 000a003cp>

In the recent Health Canada survey, 18 Nova Scotia communities were found to have unsafe levels of a cancer-causing chemical in their water. The chemical, known as trihalomethane, is produced when leaves and other organic materials come into contact with the chlorine used to treat water. Judique, Bridgewater and New Glasgow are just a few of the communities whose concerns have been identified.

D00650061ling with the problem will require decisive action on the part of the federal and provincial governments, 00530075therland adds. M0075006eicipalities need the money to invest in ways to treat water without chemicals. 00200053he points to alternatives such as treating tap water with ultraviolet light or a process of ionization, as safe, long-term solutions.

According to Alex Somerville, CUPE national representative, turning to the private sector is not the answer to municipal funding woes.

A00200073mall but powerful group of corporations are stepping up their efforts to privatize water services not only in this province, but across Canada, 00680065 says. W00650020need to make sure municipalities have the funds to upgrade their water systems or we’ll be held ransom by privateers who will hike prices and create greater health risks. 0020000d

Under its Water Watch campaign banner, CUPE has been championing the cause of public investment in water infrastructure projects for several months. Last week, Sutherland, CUPE National President, Judy Darcy and CUPE representatives from across Canada lobbied federal politicians in Ottawa to invest $2 billion a year to upgrade water systems across the country.

For more information, please contact: Betty Jean Sutherland at 1 (902) 396-5429 or Alex Somerville

December 16,1999