The crisis is a predictable outcome resulting from conscious choices made by federal officials to underfund critical infrastructure. Examples of non-point source pollution … Thousands of readers turn to Water Canada for exclusive, insightful content that speaks to Canada’s water expertise, connects the country’s decision-makers, and promotes better water management and stewardship of our most important natural resource. Written by Catherine Paquette, Associate Specialist, Freshwater Health Assessments Pollution is one of the most significant threats to aquatic ecosystems in Canada because of its presence in our lives and in our environment. While some First Nations have seen their advisories lifted, others have seen little substantive action. While this response is revealing, it is not at all surprising. You can’t build a treatment plant and walk away. Point Source pollution is discharged into the streamflow from a specific site, often a disposal pipe. Groundwater contamination can also be difficult or downright impossible to clean up, rendering that water unusable for decades, even centuries. Justin Trudeau’s father tried to erase the Indian problem through the Liberals’ 1969 White Paper, where he advocated no Indian Act, no reserves, no Indians and no more treaties. Air pollution, atmosphere, sources, levels, causes, pollutants. Water Canada on Twitter Tweets by @CanadianWater. So the water safety issues of a community that gets water shipped into contaminated cisterns and not through a so-called public system don’t get counted. How can officials address the water crisis if they close their eyes to the full scope of the problem? Please attribute the author(s) and mention that the article was originally published by Policy Options magazine. We don’t get the full picture. If Trudeau can find $7 billion (plus operating and maintenance costs) to buy a pipeline, he can find the same amount to ensure that First Nations have access to clean water and sanitation. She is an author, activist and currently serves as Associate Professor and Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University in Toronto. Find out how the Government of Canada works with First Nations to end long-term drinking water advisories and improve water and wastewater systems on reserve. The PBO also estimated that operations and maintenance would cost $360 million a year, yet Ottawa is providing only half of that. The lack of clean, safe drinking water in First Nations is one of the greatest violations of the UN-recognized human rights to water and sanitation. The public supports environmental — and water — leadership in Canada. These attitudes are particularly astonishing because the water crisis is entirely of Canada’s own making. Government policy decisions are supposed to be evidence based. On the surface, so to speak, dumping unwanted materials and substances into a body of water is easy and convenient. Long-term drinking water advisories are applied to public water systems on reserve and can mean the water is safe to drink after boiling, or not safe for consumption at all. There is no reason why Canada, the provinces and First Nations cannot lead an emergency plan to have this done within 18 to 24 months. Water Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the water body that disturbs aquatic environment. That is the story of this water crisis — it did not spring up overnight. Here lies the crux of the problem: you can’t fix infrastructure incrementally. Even getting a handle on the true severity of the crisis is difficult when the federal government plays shell games with reporting on water advisories. This transfer of pollutants occurs daily from one region to another around the globe, and while some chemicals are rendered harmless through exposure to sunlight, others can survive to circulate for months or years. The federal government is legally responsible for infrastructure on-reserve, and its failure to uphold these legal obligations is a significant liability on its part — and a real health crisis for First Nations. Download flash, download PDF reader. Fact 4 : Water pollution kills around 10,000 people around the world every day – that’s 3.6 million people every year… Fact 5 : At least 320 million people in China do not have access to clean drinking water. But while it may not be immediately or obviously visible, the damage inflicted by such a practice can be lasting and can pose serious hazards for people and the natural environment. Michel Burrowes, a deputy director at Indigenous Services Canada, bluntly refused to commit to funding to alleviate the water crisis in Garden Hill and instead told the CBC, “Frankly, people should be living in other places.” It is ironic that the same government that pledges reconciliation with Indigenous peoples would be so quick to suggest that First Nations should simply abandon their homes instead of addressing the water crisis. When your roof springs a small leak that will cost $800 to repair but you repair only $100 worth, then that water will spread into the ceilings and walls and cause more damage. What makes matters worse is that this purposeful, discriminatory underfunding has not applied only to water and sewers. Water pollution affects the entire biosphere plants and organisms living in these bodies of water. by Pamela Palmater. This callous response to an urgent public health crisis that has affected so many First Nations is not only irresponsible; it shows a real racism and indifference toward the health and well-being of First Nations people in general, and the crisis in Garden Hill specifically. Acid has caused the most damage in environments that cannot tolerate acidification, and has in some areas severely depleted species populations, including fish, insects and aquatic plants. In addition to creating foul-tasting water, polluting substances such as alkylated lead, DDT, PCBs and mercury can cause a myriad of health problems, including infertility, immune system damage, genetic deformities and tumours and other cancerous growths. Here, we count down the Canadian cities with the worst air pollution. The federal government assumed legal responsibility for “Indians and lands reserved for Indians” under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. A national assessment done in 2011 estimated these costs to be much higher, at $419 million a year. In fact, 400 of 618 First Nations were under at least one water advisory between 2004 and 2014. This issue must be treated like the public health crisis that it is. more than 80 percent of people living in urban areas around the world are exposed to air … Canada H3A 1T1, Privacy Policy | What is the continuous circulation of water on Earth called? In fact, 400 of 618 First Nations were under at least one water advisory between 2004 and 2014. Highly intensive industrial uses, agribusiness and pollution are having massive impacts on Canada’s water. Read the report here. [30] In Canada, the worst cases of water pollution occur in southern parts of the country, where most people live and most agricultural and industrial activities occur. How many Canadians would settle for water infected with fecal matter, sewers backing up into their bathtubs or being able to bathe only once a week due to lack of access to water? This section offers information on the causes and effects of water pollution, as well as information about the types of water pollution that are of special concern in Canada. Canada's Air Pollutant Emissions Inventory. As a result, more than 26 percent of all homes on-reserve are in need of major repair, some homes are uninhabitable and thousands have sat on waiting lists for homes for decades. Water pollution by sewage is one of the main culprits involved in polluting drinking water. What is needed here is to declare a national state of emergency and establish a tripartite emergency measures team. Ottawa also doesn’t track homes and community buildings that are not connected to a public water system: in other words, communities or homes that don’t have access to running water don’t get included in the advisory counts. When groundwater becomes polluted by accidental dumps and spills of toxic substances, or by leaking gasoline storage tanks, leaking septic tanks or even municipal or industrial landfill sites, the effects can be spread far beyond the initial contamination site. 40% of China’s water supply is polluted to unsafe drinking levels; 50% of China is dependent on this tainted water for survival; 14 billion pounds of plastics are dumped into the ocean each year; 80% of wastewater contaminates groundwater after treatment Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have literally tried to starve First Nations into submission. Thousands of readers turn to Water Canada for exclusive, insightful content that speaks to Canada’s water expertise, connects the country’s decision-makers, and promotes better water management and stewardship of … Terms & Conditions | Water pollution statistics 2018-2019. ABOUT US. In rural, particular agricultural areas of Canada, everyday substances such as used motor oil, road salt, fertilizer, pesticides and livestock wastes can contaminate aquifers in those regions, ultimately spreading to wetlands, streams and lakes. However, it is sometimes locally or regionally polluted. Air pollution is on the rise and could be taking a toll on your health. We ask that you follow these guidelines. It is hard to imagine that in 2019, First Nations in Canada could lack access to clean drinking water in their own territories — but many do. To make matters worse, although the federal government will be conducting a review of the water issues in Garden Hill First Nation, the homes that currently lack running water and sewer service will be specifically excluded from the review. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 46% of U.S. streams, 21% of lakes, 18% of coastal waters, and 32% of the nation’s wetlands are contaminated by water pollution. A recent CBC investigation revealed that 180 homes in Garden Hill First Nation, Manitoba, lack running water and indoor plumbing. First Nations water problems a crisis of Canada’s own making. Fact 7 : The Ganges river in India is one of the most polluted in the world. Water Bottle Pollution In Canada August 25, 2018 Always carry a reusable water bottle plastic water bottle pollution plastic particles in bottled water plastic bans proliferate in 2019 as bottled water Federal funding for on-reserve housing does not keep up with population growth, inflation or the actual costs of constructing homes in remote or northern First Nations. Incredibly, the federal government is pointing to the devastating results of discriminatory underfunding in the housing program as a reason to not address the water crisis also created by discriminatory underfunding. Each description is supported by full colour imagery. There is no reason why funds for First Nations can’t be transferred directly to First Nations to manage their own programs and services — including the funding owed from treaty obligations not yet honoured. At the same time, it is critically important to address the other policy issue: federal control over First Nations. The federal website counts advisories only for First Nations south of 60, and it doesn’t track First Nations in BC and parts of Saskatchewan. means oneor more substances have built up in water to such an extent that theycause problems for animals or people This isn’t the first declaration of emergency related to infrastructure in First Nations communities. Friday, July 19, 2019. Bodies of water can become polluted in a number of ways. Many political pundits have suggested the federal election result of October 2019 was a clear call for climate action. For example, the government might report on the number of water advisories lifted, but then it fails to note the number of advisories that had to be reinstituted on those same First Nations. The owner and operator of Bayswater Power Station, AGL Macquarie Pty Limited, has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking worth $1.1 million with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) following the pollution of a local creek. Long-range transboundary air pollution is the transportation of airborne pollutants, which will ultimately settle on land or water or even become imbedded amidst successive layers of glacial ice where it can be preserved for millennia. Over time, the damage to the home will make it cost prohibitive to repair; the home may even become uninhabitable. This is a basic human right. Photo: Garden Hill First Nation. Be part of the Policy Options discussion, and send in your own submission. Here is a link on how to do it. | Souhaitez-vous réagir à cet article ? Joignez-vous aux débats d’Options politiques et soumettez-nous votre texte en suivant ces directives. This form of racism has real-life consequences for First Nations. Number of long-term drinking water advisories in effect on First Nations reserves across Canada as of March 11, 2019. The report outlined the current global and national plastic issue, and called on Canada to create a national waste strategy that builds a circular economy and achieves zero plastic waste by 2025. Some of the residents don’t have central heating or power either. Similarly, the chronic lack of funding for housing on-reserve has also created a crisis — one that auditors general have raised on more than one occasion. At the Paris climate summit in 2015, Canada pushed for the ambitious 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) global warming target. Acid rain originating from coal-fired generators, non-ferrous metal smelters, petroleum refineries, iron and steel mills, pulp and paper mills, and from motor vehicle exhaust, releases sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are converted to sulphuric and nitric acids in the atmosphere. Surface Water Pollution Causes . Ottawa also doesn’t track homes and community buildings that are not connected to a public water system: in other words, communities or homes that don’t have access to running water don’t get included in the advisory counts. Yet at any given time there are more than 100 drinking water advisories in First Nations across Canada. These acids return to the earth through wetulphate and/or nitrate deposition, carried in rain, snow and fog. Running that business means skimming funding off the top of monies appropriated for First Nations by Parliament each year, in order to fund the thousands of employees who work at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and their communications, security, water, buildings and other infrastructure. In fact, Burrowes’ response is similar to those made by previous Conservative governments and seems to be wholly in line with Canada’s historic “Indian policy” in general. Photo by Timkal/Wikimedia Commons. 1470 Peel St. #200 Attawapiskat First Nation gained national attention when it declared a state of emergency over lack of housing. It’s a matter of life and death for First Nations. Canada’s Air Pollutant Emissions Inventory (APEI) is a comprehensive summary of common air pollutant emissions from dozens of different emission sources. The water on which many of Canada’s First Nations communities depend, is … If recent statements from federal officials are any indication, even Garden Hill is unlikely to have its water crisis addressed any time soon — or at all. According to the World Health Organization,. Cindy Blackstock took Canada to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for discriminating against First Nations children in foster care and their families by knowingly underfunding child and family programs. Causes of Water Pollution . Hey kids, in this video, Dr Binocs will explain, what is water pollution? The Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report on the actual costs estimated that Ottawa is providing at least 30 percent less than what is needed for capital expenditures. Although bodies of water have the capacity to break down some substances, those capacities are easily overcome by the quantities of waste generated by our modern lifestyles. You are welcome to republish this Policy Options article online and in print periodicals. Dr. Pamela Palmater is a Mi’kmaw lawyer from Eel River Bar First Nation. Water Pollution in Canada Essay examples -- Environmental Pollution Ess Of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba, 53 are plagued by mould in addition to housing shortages. Returning lands, waters and resources to First Nations, as well as addressing outstanding treaty obligations, would go a long way to ensuring that First Nations have sustainable governments. 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