Oliver Langdon, Opposition Municipal Affairs Critic and MHA for the District
of Fortune Bay-Cape La Hune, says he is disappointed to hear that close to
100 communities throughout the province still have Trihalomethane (THM)
levels above Canadian standards.
Langdon says THM levels and water boil orders were a major problem that
faced the previous government. As a result, a chlorination program was
established to help upgrade, replace or build water infrastructure in rural
communities. Many rural communities throughout the province have aging
systems that add too much or too little chlorine to the water. This practice
can create elevated levels of bacteria or THMs in the water system.
"I was disappointed to hear that close to 100 communities in this
province are still struggling with poor water quality," said Mr. Langdon.
"When I was minister, we established a program aimed at improving
chlorination systems throughout the province. It is my understanding that
this program has been cancelled by the current government and I question
whether there is a direct correlation between the increasing number of
communities with poor drinking water, and the lack of investment by this
government in upgrading water infrastructure.
"I have recently learned of affected communities that have made
application to government for upgrades to their existing water
infrastructure, but have been turned down. Most of these communities are in
rural parts of the province and cannot afford to make the necessary
improvements on their own.
"It speaks volumes when the provincial government cancels a program that
enables small rural communities to improve their water quality, especially
when the minister of finance continuously states that we have a surplus and
our financial situation has improved significantly over the past few years.
Government must be willing to make an investment that provides a basic
necessity such as clean drinking water to the residents of this province.
"I call upon government to reinstate a program to help communities
improve their aging water infrastructure. Without this investment, I fear
this problem will get worse instead of better."