Mr. Speaker, it was after the election of 2011, in July, when we realized that there had been this devastating report on the state of water and waste water across Canada, which was ready in April but was not released by the government until after the election.
When we looked at the status, where two-thirds to three-quarters of first nations had water systems that were at moderate to high risk, we were very upset. Therefore, we proposed the motion in the House, which received unanimous consent, to do whatever it takes to get first nations the quality of drinking water to which they are entitled.
It was very clear in the report that it would take $4.7 billion over the next ten years and $1.2 billion immediately. We have seen nothing coming from the government except cuts to the average expenditure on water and waste water across many years, and $330 million in last year's budget. It just goes absolutely nowhere to meet the needs of first nations.
There are so many communities that I visited during the H1N1 pandemic that were without any running water. We cannot ask people to wash their hands if there is no running water. It is totally inexcusable that in a place like Wasagamack, only 20% of homes have running water and that this is third world Canada.