May 3, 2004

Former minister assigned to help Six Nations resolve water quality problems

OTTAWA, ONT-Federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Andy Mitchell has appointed former Minister Doug Frith as his special representative tasked with improving water quality on the Six Nations reserve in Ontario's Grand River. In this role, Frith will work with the Six Nations community to develop a remedial action plan which will ensure that safe drinking water is provided to its residents. The second stage of the plan will develop medium- and long-term solutions to the water quality problems. Expert help will be provided by engineers and others to determine cost-effective measures to address the concerns of the Six Nations community. Mitchell and Six Nations Grand Chief Roberta Jamieson, have been working together to address the well water situation since it arose at the beginning of April. A recent independent study indicated that there were serious public health and safety concerns in the community related to water contamination. The two officials have taken steps to ensure ready access by the community to safe water since the situation arose. Their prime goal at this point is to find the source of the contamination as soon as possible.
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