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EDITORIAL: Stop wasting money, just get us something to drink

External reviews take time and money, what Prince Rupert needs is outside funding for infrastructure
Pixabay photo

Say what you will, but the boil water fiasco has been and will get more expensive.

Unfortunately, boil water notices and advisories are still a thing across Canada.

While the Government of Canada struggles with providing its citizens — all of its citizens — with safe drinking water, it continues to send water purification teams to developing countries and disaster zones across the globe. A noble gesture to be certain, but headlines and soundbites continue to resonate that many communities in our supposed developed country, still do not have safe, clean water.

We have heard the frightful drinking water horror stories in a shockingly large number of First Nation communities. Despite the platitudes paid to this real emergency, only a fraction of the necessary actions have been taken.

Just more than a month ago, Prince Rupert was welcomed to this developing country dilemma.

Whatever the cause, whatever the reasoning, whatever the excuse, the sad fact that is in the 21st Century, Prince Rupert was thrown back to the 19th Century.

Tom Kertes, who is the spokesperson for the Community for Clean Water, is calling for an external review of the boil water debacle.

READ MORE: Organization requests external review of Prince Rupert’s boil water notice

Kertes said the City lacked “guardrails” and a back-up plan.

You think? In the end, there is only one reason Prince Rupert residents are spending time and big bucks to buy water and/or pay for the energy to heat the yellow water coming from a tap to wash their dishes, brush their teeth or, ugh, drink it because, well, one needs it to live.

That reason is money.

The average person works for the various levels of government until May or June each year to pay the taxes levied.

With all that money paid to municipal, provincial and federal governments to ensure such infrastructure — that’s the reason for taxes — our little city on an island can’t pay for it.

To this date, we drink water treated with a whack of chlorine, rather than being treated through a filtration system as our neighbour Port Ed, and our byproducts of said consumption flow untreated into the ocean.

And we are not alone. That is the scary thing.

Kertes wants an external review to review the obvious.

External reviews take time and money. Two things Rupert does not have. We call on the federal, provincial and municipal governments to use the money we gave them to provide this city with safe, clean, treated drinking water — that’s their No. 1 priority. Nothing else matters if you don’t have clean drinking water.

We’re tired of having to buy it ourselves — and pay a tax for it.

Yes, a bottle of water is taxed.

READ MORE: City of Prince Rupert cleared to end boil water notice

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