Do something

I saw this horrifying item by Jody Porter a CBC Thunder Bay reporter, on the CBC News website. “About 200 people were evacuated from Neskantaga earlier this week,” Ms Porter reports, “after the water plant was shut down after an unknown substance was found in the reservoir. That left the community of 300 people without any running water at all. It has been more than 25 years since the First Nation had tap water that is safe to drink.More than 25 years! Twenty-five years ago Jean Chrétien was prime minister ~ Brian Mulroney (and, very briefly, Kim Campbell) preceded him and Paul Martin and Stephen Harper followed him. But “for more than 25 years” ~ through the governments of four or five prime ministers ~ the people, the Canadian people of the Neskantaga First Nation have not had clean drinking water.

Justin Trudeau has been prime minister for five of those twenty-five years and that matters because, in October 2015, he promised to “to end boil-water advisories on First Nations reserves within five years.” In 2019 he repeated that promise:

Well, 2021 is just two months away. Does anyone believe Prime Minister Trudeau can or will keep his promise? Does anyone believe he even cares?

I don’t know how to solve this long-standing problem, but …

The Canadian Army has a water purification system that produces “2,400 litres per hour under the most severe conditions,” and “will fit into a 20-foot ISO container for worldwide handling,” and “is a fully integrated self-contained system with its own diesel power generator.” It looks like this …

Water Every Where | Canadian Military Engineers

… and there are Canadian made civilian pattern versions of the system that can produce lesser or grater amounts of water. Ordinary Canadians ~ soldiers ~ can be trained to install, operate and maintain the systems and they have done so around the world and they have, in turn, trained third word people to operate them. I have no idea what they cost; I don’t care; they work.

I am 100% certain that we don’t have enough soldiers or enough systems to install them in every First Nations community that needs them but there is no earthly reason why Justin Trudeau could not call General Jon Vance and say, “General, get some of your soldiers and one of those Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Units on one your aircraft and get it to Neskantaga in Northwestern Ontario ~ you may have to use your big Chinook helicopters to do it …

PICTURES: Canada receives first F-model Chinook | News | Flight Global

… and get it up and running and teach the locals how to operate and maintain it. You can have it back when we get a civilian version installed.

Then the prime minister, IF he gives a damn about First Nations or his promises, can call in a tiger team of ministers and say: “I want a fully funded plan within 90 days to get Canadian made water purification systems and waste management systems

on as many sites as needed within two years. You can use Canadian made small modular nuclear reactors to provide safe, reliable power for them and for the communities, too. The companies can, initially, run all the systems while they train locals for the job … the Army can help in a pinch, to get things rolling, but it’s not their job.

It must be politically and morally unacceptable that there are Canadians who go years without clean water even as we pat ourselves on the collective national back for providing clean water to Ethiopia, Somalia, East Timor, Haiti, and Croatia.

Let’s get off our butts and do something … right now, during the pandemic. Let’s get hundreds of Canadians working on a project FOR their fellow Canadians … NOW!

But … does even one of my readers believe that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cares about anything except covering up his own malfeasance? Does anyone, anyone at all, have any confidence in Justin Trudeau’s promises or in his willingness or capability to do something?

Published by Ted Campbell

Old, retired Canadian soldier, Conservative ~ socially moderate, but a fiscal hawk. A husband, father and grandfather. Published material is posted under the "Fair Dealing" provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act for the purposes of research, private study and education.

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5 Comments

  1. Brilliant, Ted. I am a retired Sapper Colonel a have been saying something similar for years. It is a lack of focus and the inability to be imaginative. As a short term, temporary solution, your proposal makes sense.

  2. Hello Ted, how simple is that, and would solve such a Hugh problem. Good luck 🙌🏻🥰🌎🥰🙌🏻

    1. I’m sure it’s not as simple as I might wish, but I’m also sure something like that is achievable. It’s mainly an engineering challenge ~ Canada has lots of excellent engineers. There are also opportunities for First Nations to help themselves and each other.

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