WINNIPEG - The federal government says drinking water advisories in two Manitoba communities have been lifted.
The short-term warnings at Pauingassi Anishinaabe First Nation and Little Grand Rapids Anishinaabe First Nation had been in effect since July, when wildfires triggered the evacuation of multiple communities across northeastern Manitoba where the fires burned nearly 2 million acres of land.
Manitoba Hydro says fire caused damage to 35 structures and 91 utility poles sending power to the two First Nations alone. After months of evacuations, over 1,500 people from the region came home this month following the restoration of electrical service.
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the decision to lift the drinking water advisory is key to preventing more long-term boil water advisories. Indigenous Services Canada says it won’t end long-term advisories until an unspecified date in 2023 at the earliest, following a 2015 promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committing to the lifting of all long-term drinking water advisories by March this year.
The federal government says there are over 100 drinking water advisories in place at First Nations across the country at any given time. Daily tracker Water Today says six boil water or Do Not Consume advisories remain in place in Manitoba.