OTTAWA — Indigenous people who have experienced drinking water advisories that lasted at least one year between November 1995 – June 2021 are now eligible to file a claim in a settlement from a class action lawsuit.
Impacted First Nations have up to December 2, 2022, to file acceptance. The deadline for individuals to submit a claim is March 7, 2023.
The $8 billion settlement includes:
- $1.8 billion in compensation to individuals and Impacted First Nations
- an additional $50 million allocated for eligible individuals who suffered Specified Injuries due to a drinking water advisory that lasted at least one year between November 20, 1995, and June 20, 2021
- $6 billion to support construction, upgrading, operation, and maintenance of water infrastructure in First Nations communities
- a renewed commitment to Canada’s Action Plan for the lifting of all long-term drinking water advisories
- planned modernization of Canada’s First Nations drinking water legislation
- the creation of a First Nations Advisory Committee on Safe Drinking Water
- support for First Nations to develop their own safe drinking water by-laws and initiatives
- Individuals are included in the Settlement if they were alive on November 20, 2017, are members of a First Nation (band), and lived for over a year on an Impacted First Nation during a long-term drinking water advisory that lasted at least one year between November 20, 1995, and June 20, 2021. Actual compensation amounts will vary, based on the nature of the advisory, the length of residency and the remoteness of the First Nations Lands on which they lived and the date of birth of the individual.
Individual Class Members can be part of their Band Council Confirmation list (a list of those members who lived on an Impacted First Nation) or complete their own Claim Form. Individual Claim Forms will take precedence over claims submitted through Band Council.
Individuals who have suffered Specified Injuries because of the drinking water advisories may be eligible for additional compensation. Individual Class Members applying for Specified Injuries must submit a Claim Form.
The Settlement also includes First Nations minor children, persons under disability and Deceased Individual Class Members who passed away on or after November 20, 2017.
The Individual and Representative Claim Forms are available at www.firstnationsdrinkingwater.ca and can be completed entirely online. The Claim Form can also be downloaded and printed out from www.firstnationsdrinkingwater.ca requested from the Administrator at 1-833-252-4220. For questions about the claims process or the Claim Form, contact the Administrator at 1-833-252-4220.
Impacted First Nations have until December 2, 2022, to confirm their acceptance by submitting a Band Council Acceptance Resolution for inclusion in the Settlement after which they will receive $500,000. After the claims period closes, these First Nations will receive an additional amount equal to 50% of the amounts paid to eligible individuals who resided in their First Nation community.
A number of supports are available to individuals and Impacted First Nations:
The Administrator handles claim applications and payments. They can help with the claims process, including help with filling in the Claim Form and can be reached at 1-833-252-4220.
Class Counsel can provide advice and support with claims for specified injuries compensation or legal questions about the Settlement at no cost. They can be reached at 1-833-265-7589 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mental health and wellness counselling and crisis support is available to Individual and First Nations Class Members 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Hope for Wellness Hotline at 1-855-242-3310 or online at www.hopeforwellness.ca. Counselling is available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut, on request.