I’m a big advocate of tap water ‘ as long as it’s relatively cold I’ll drink it. To stay hydrated throughout the day I fill up a reusable water bottle (and add a little ice) in order to be more environmentally friendly. Plus, as a Canadian, I’ve luckily never had to worry much about the quality of water I’m drinking. But should I? The latest report from Ecojustice has given the federal government an ‘F’ for failing to ensure all Canadians have access to safe drinking water.
The environmental organization’s third report, Waterproof 3, evaluated water polices, programs and legislation across the country, and assigned the provinces, territories and federal government a grade based on how well they’re protecting drinking water. Ontario scored the highest ‘ an ‘A’, followed by Nova Scotia with an ‘A-‘. Other provinces picked up grades ranging from ‘B+’ to ‘C-‘, while the three territories received grades ranging from ‘C’ to ‘D’.
According to the report, the federal government’s failure is due to little improvement in the quality of water for First Nations communities, drastic budget cuts and the fact that some drinking water improvement funds are available only to municipalities that engage in public-private partnerships. Water protection was particularly lacking in industry-heavy areas where the risk of contamination is high.
This is the first time the report has expanded beyond treatment and monitoring to look at the protection of drinking water sources. But it’s findings found only seven of 13 provinces and territories have implemented source-water protection plans. Ontario, however, was praised in the report for implementing the country’s "most ambitious source-water protection program," with strong treatment, testing, operator training and public reporting standards.
Are you concerned about the safety of Canada’s water supply?