Everyone in Canada should have access to clean and safe drinking water. Sadly, many of Canada’s First Nations have been denied this fundamental human right. Inadequate funding over several decades has led to contaminated and undrinkable source water in over 297 First Nations across Canada. Unlike municipalities in Canada, where drinking water is protected by provincial legislation and enforceable drinking water standards, there is no binding federal standard that holds anyone accountable for the provision of clean and safe drinking water in First Nations. This leaves First Nations drinking water in a regulatory void, with unsafe drinking water that that the federal government is grappling to address.
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Unpacking Equity is a collaboration between the Public Policy and Governance Review and the Equity, Diversity and Public Policy Initiative at the School of Public Policy and Governance. This series aims to explain equity-related policy issues and break down complicated topics involving equity, diversity and inclusion. Policy professionals can gain a better understanding of these complex issues in order to incorporate an equity lens into their practice.