Thank you for raising the issue. You're right that it's not without its challenges. In fact, many Canadians find it incomprehensible and obviously unacceptable that Canadians can't turn on their taps and drink water. This is one of the most important promises we've made. The Prime Minister said that all long-term drinking water advisories in public systems on reserve would be lifted by March 2021. People don't always understand why that can't happen tomorrow, but in fact, these are sometimes very remote communities. Until the money in budget 2016, there wasn't long-term funding. Some of these communities require a year or two to plan and design a very specific water system that's going to take into consideration the geography and environment where it takes place.
Thankfully, we have the long-term funding and a unique plan to address every single one of the long-term drinking water advisories. I have spreadsheets that I study on a regular basis, that the department follows up on in real time, tracking how far along things are, whether we're going to meet the target dates that have been set.
Oftentimes there are surprising things that are challenges along the way. Some of it is around the actual physical infrastructure, but sometimes it's getting agreements with local municipalities to attach up to water systems. Sometimes it's agreements between neighbouring nations that have to take place. When you look underneath at what the challenges are, I think you'd be surprised, but we are fully determined to address every single one of those. Some of it is around the training and retention of water operators, and making sure that there's also an operation and maintenance plan in place so that you don't fix systems and then find them once again lapsing into a drinking water advisory.
I feel very confident, and it's something that I track very closely. Of course, we have officials who are working on this on a daily basis to make sure that we meet those targets.