For immediate release: September 14, 2016

Statement from Environmental Defence’s Ashley Wallis on governments’ more than $1.1 billion investment in water and wastewater infrastructure

Toronto, ON – We applaud the federal and Ontario governments on the announcement of an agreement which will see more than $1.1 billion of funding available under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. This investment is long overdue and will be essential as communities adapt and improve resilience in the face of climate change.

However, in addition to today’s announcement, more still needs to be done to ensure that our water resources are protected and that everyone has access to safe and clean drinking water. We hope to see significant investments in First Nations’ drinking water, as two-thirds of all First Nations communities in Canada have had at least one drinking water advisory during the past ten years.

Also, additional funds need to be invested in the health of the Great Lakes, which are facing numerous threats including invasive species, plastics pollution, and toxic algal blooms. Over the last year, Ontario passed The Great Lakes Protection Act, and Canada, Ontario and the U.S. have begun setting nutrient reduction targets to address toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie, but there remains a significant lack of funding to protect and restore this source of drinking water for nearly 8.5 million Canadians.

To learn more about how putting a price on plastic pollution could help generate funds to protect and restore the Great Lakes, read Environmental Defence’s report Turning the Plastic Tide: How to Protect the Great Lakes and Fight Plastic Pollution at environmentaldefence.ca/turntheplastictide.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

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For more information or interview requests, please contact:

Jen Mayville, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 228; 905-330-0172 (cell); jmayville@environmentaldefence.ca