The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations says the federal government’s new safe drinking water act violates treaty rights, provides insufficient funding to enforce standards and has been passed without proper consultation.
The organization adds the new legislation downloads all of the responsibility for enforcing new regulations on to band councils, which have neither the capacity nor resources to enforce them.
The FSIN also says the act does nothing to monitor water that may be polluted by mining and oil companies before flowing downstream into First Nations communities.
Vice-Chief Kimberley Jonathan accuses the Harper government in a release of disregarding its constitutional and legal obligations to provide safe drinking water to First Nations.
In a release earlier in the week, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt says the new legislation will ensure First Nations people have access to the same water quality as all other Canadians.
The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations says new federal government legislation actually endangers the safety of on-reserve drinking water.
The FSIN says the Harper government’s new safe drinking water act for First Nations downloads all responsibility for enforcing standards on to band councils, which they have neither the capacity nor resources to do.
The organization also accuses the government of abandoning its constitutional and legal obligations to First Nations with passage of the act.
Vice-Chief Kimberley Jonathan says in a release the safe drinking water act violates treaty rights, has been passed without proper consultation and offers no financial commitment to improve on-reserve water quality.
In a release earlier in the week, the federal government says the new legislation will allow for the creation of enforceable standards for drinking water, wastewater and source water on First Nation lands.