Mr. Speaker, Cape Town, South Africa is about to completely run out of water within the next several weeks. With 20% of the world's freshwater resources, we may not think in Canada that we would ever find ourselves in a similar situation, but this essential resource is under serious threat from both the effects of climate change and our irresponsible management of it.
In my region of southwestern Ontario, black shale, which can contain dangerous heavy metals like arsenic, has been tainting our well water. In Essex, extreme rainfall has been causing flooding across the community, and the growth of dangerous algal blooms on Lake Erie shut down Colchester Beach this past September.
Throughout Canada, pollution and toxic chemicals leach into our waterways, extreme weather overstresses our aging infrastructure, and drinking water quality varies from province to province, but is most appalling in indigenous communities.
Climate change will only make these current problems worse. We can no longer rely on our abundance of water resources as an excuse for our lack of action. Canada must become a better steward of this precious public resource.
Today, on World Water Day, we must recognize that Canadians deserve better.