Developing laws and regulations for First Nations drinking water and wastewater: engagement 2022 to 2023

Current status: Open

Engagement on proposed legislation to support safe, reliable drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in First Nations communities.

On this page

The need for a new law

First Nations communities do not have legally enforceable safe drinking water protections comparable to what's in place in provinces and territories.

First Nations

The Government of Canada's engagement approach includes:

First Nations governments and citizens must be able to shape this work and assess if it will meet their needs.

How to participate

First Nations and First Nations organizations can share their views on new First Nations drinking water and wastewater legislation, send questions or get more information about engagement opportunities by contacting us.

When and where

Engagement is ongoing. Sessions are scheduled on-demand and subject to the availability of participants.

Engagement can take place virtually or in-person, depending on a First Nation's preference.

What we heard

The 2013 Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act allowed for the development of federal regulations to support First Nations' access to clean, reliable drinking water and effective treatment of wastewater. First Nations shared several concerns with the 2013 Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act, including:

The Government of Canada repealed the 2013 Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act on June 23, 2022. Aligned with the Safe Drinking Water Class Action Settlement Agreement, the Government of Canada is committed to making all reasonable efforts to develop and introduce proposed new First Nations drinking water and wastewater legislation, in consultation with First Nations. The deadline was December 31, 2022.

Acknowledging that the timeline was challenging , discussions are ongoing. The Settlement Agreement provides an opportunity for meaningful change aimed at addressing and preventing First Nations water infrastructure gaps and building a sustainable foundation for future generations.

Indigenous Services Canada continues to work closely with First Nations and First Nations organizations to develop and introduce new proposed First Nations drinking water and wastewater legislation as soon as possible.

Throughout ongoing engagement, First Nations continue to highlight the following key priorities:

Contact us

Email: proprepnh2o-cleanfnh2o@sac-isc.gc.ca
Phone: 1-800-567-9604
Mail:
Indigenous Services Canada
Legislation, Engagement and Regulations
Community Infrastructure Branch
10 rue Wellington
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H4

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