Northern View Community organization asks for external review of water boil notice response
North Coast Review Clean Water Advocates set to make presentation to City Council
Reflections on 2018-19
To learn more about what the downgrading of the 6-week Boil Water Notice to a Water Quality Advisory means for city residents, visit the City of Prince Rupert website. Continue to follow water quality recommendations provided by Northern Health and other public health agencies.
With a Water Quality Advisory in place now, and the recent extended Boil Water Notice, the city government should:
- Recognize the human right to accessible drinking water – even when there is a Water Quality Advisory or Boil Water Notice in place.
- Put in place measures to provide access to drinking water for those who are advised to boil water during the Water Quality Advisory and who cannot afford to buy water and do not have the means to boil it.
- Conduct an independent investigation and listen directly to those denied access to clean water into the ongoing Water Quality Advisory and Boil Water Notice. Provide transparency and direct communication with residents.
- Be prepared for another Boil Water Notice or Water Quality Advisory, especially during the public water infrastructure rebuild project.
Human Right to Clean Water
Canada formally recognizes access to drinking water as a human right. This right is formally recognized by Canada as a signatory country to the United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which includes General Comment 15 stating that “the human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses.”
Governments in Canada are already committed to respecting, protecting, and fulfilling the right to accessible drinking water for all people in Canada. In an urban place like Prince Rupert, the job of fulfilling this human right has been delegated from other levels of government to the municipality, with regulatory oversight provided by provincial health authorities and funding from city taxes, user fees, and provincial and federal capital grants.
Human rights reflect the values of respect, dignity, and equality. Everyone has a right to drinking water. Government should ensure that this right is fulfilled, when when a Clean Water Advisory or Boil Water Notice is in effect.