Access to safe drinking water is a right many of us take for granted. But contaminated water and a lack of adequate sanitation in Ontario’s First Nations communities jeopardize the health and well-being of thousands of indigenous people. 62 First Nations communities across the province are currently on boil water or do not consume advisories.
CUPE locals and members are not far from and are often a part of these communities. That’s why CUPE Ontario is working with labour and community allies to secure clean and safe public water services for all. The CUPE Ontario Indigenous Council’s campaign, Water Connects Us, urges the federal government to implement a national water policy that ensures Indigenous access to clean water and recognizes public drinking water and wastewater services as human rights.
Stewardship of our water resources is an intergenerational responsibility. We must resist efforts by multinational to privatize our water through public-private partnerships, contracting out, and extracting water to sell at a profit. CUPE Ontario has long worked with the Council of Canadians to curb these practices and to ban the use of bottled water in school boards and municipalities.
On World Water Day, we pledge to redouble our efforts to stop water privatization and to secure safe public water and wastewater services for Indigenous communities and for all Ontarians.
Visit cupe.on.ca/waterconnectus and take action today.