NDP private member’s motion promotes safe drinking water

Christopher Mitchelmore, the NDP MHA for The Straits-White Bay North, says the province needs a new Safe Drinking Water Strategy, and he has introduced a private member’s motion into the House of Assembly that says just that.

Wednesday is Private Member’s Day in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly; Mitchelmore’s motion will be debated tomorrow.

With more than 160 communities in the province under Boil Water Advisories, more than 150 dealing with potentially harmful levels of triholomethanes, and many municipalities unable to cover the cost of supplying safe drinking water, Mitchelmore says it is urgent that government develop a new Safe Drinking Water Strategy.

He says it is time to review capital and operating grants so that communities have access to both the equipment and people needed to build, operate and maintain drinking water facilities.

Mitchelmore’s motion also calls for more research into, and development of, water treatment systems appropriate for the province’s environment.

The motion also calls for a plain-language education program that explains such items as the need for regular testing of private wells, how to reduce exposure to THMs, and what to do if you are under a boil water advisory.

“Safe drinking water is the most basic human need,” said Mitchelmore. “Our current provincial water strategy is not meeting the needs of people. We need to make sure that water safety is a higher priority.

“I am hopeful that all members of the House of Assembly will recognize the importance of this motion, and vote to support it.”

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