Hajdu says ‘co developed’ First Nations water legislation to be tabled this fall

OTTAWA — Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu says she hopes to table a piece of legislation this fall that she says is the closest the federal government has come to co-developing law with First Nations.

The proposed bill would aim to begin addressing the protection of fresh water within First Nation communities, as well as water that flows into them.

She says that while working with the Assembly of First Nations and other stakeholders, she understood that people who live in communities want to have control over the rules and regulations that govern their water delivery.

Hajdu says the bill will be the first to be introduced under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but she isn’t sharing much detail about what it will include.

She says the bill will be an opportunity to show Canada that politicians and Indigenous Peoples can work productively together.

Hajdu says while the federal government set an ambitious target to end all boil water advisories in communities by 2021 and significant progress has been made, work on First Nations’ water supplies still continues.

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