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Singh and Trudeau duke it out over housing and DWA on campaign trail

While starting a new week of campaigning in north Ontario, Jagmeet Singh began by attacking the Prime Minister on empty promises, something he alleged throughout the English debate.

In a stop in Sioux Lookout, about 230 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, Singh says the Liberal leader has "not tackled the housing crisis and under Trudeau’s watch home prices and other costs for Canadian families have continued to increase." While there, he also criticized the Liberals' progress on emission levels. Sioux Lookout has a significant indigenous population.

Singh said, "for a government, it’s not what you say that matters, it’s what you do."

The NDP leader will then proceed to the Treaty 9 signatory Neskantaga First Nation, which has had a boil water advisory issued more than 25 years ago.

Although Trudeau promised in 2015 to lift all drinking water advisories by this March, his government has since acknowledged it would not meet that goal.

The 300 community members rely on the community’s Reverse osmosis (RO) machine for water wherein individual households have to haul sleds several times a week to and from the local hotel to use the machine. They also depend on shipments of bottled water. The water advisory is the longest in Canadian history.

Although then-Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett visited Neskantaga several years back to announce that the federal government would "invest approximately $8.8 million to help upgrade the community's water treatment system, including an addition to the existing water plant with new treatment technology and additional reservoir storage capacity to meet the community's long-term needs," the end to the problem doesn't appear to be in sight.

In October 2020, the reserve had to be evacuated after a faulty pump caused high levels of hydrocarbons to enter the water supply.

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