Political parties respond on water issues

In May, 2018, the Ontario Municipal Water Association sent emails to all four main political parties in the upcoming provincial election.  We asked them to answer several questions related to their party’s policies regarding water and infrastructure, in order to better educate our members for the election.

Of the four parties, the Green Party, the Liberals and the NDP acknowledged our request. The Progressive Conservatives did not. However, only the Green Party and NDP responded with answers. Their replies are linked to PDF files, below.

Here is what the OMWA asked:

  1. Does your party have a policy for water management in Ontario, and if so can you please provide a copy of your statement to share with our members.
  2. Does your party policy include provisions for:
    • Stormwater management?
    • Backflow prevention?
    • Managing Lead levels in drinking water?
    • Microplastics in water and the environment?
    • Climate change mitigation?
    • Controlling Inflow & Infiltration to reduce wastewater spills & bypassing?
    • First Nations’ water issues?
  3. Does your party have plans for helping Ontario municipal water suppliers sustainably maintain and improve their water infrastructure? If so, please provide your policy statements to share with our members.

Answers as provided follow.

You can read the Green Party response here (PDF file).

You can read the NDP response here (PDF file).

Should the other two parties respond before the election (Thursday, June 7), we will update this post with their answers.

Here’s what we included in each letter as an introduction to the OMWA:

Dear Ontario party leader:

We have assembled some questions about Ontario’s water and infrastructure we hope you will be able to answer. We will share your responses with our members and post them online for others to read.

Our water is not just another commodity, but rather a precious communal resource that demands the highest standards of stewardship through its entire life cycle. We recognize that protecting drinking water quality is integrally tied to effective stormwater and wastewater treatment and conveyance infrastructure and modern practices. As the united voice of publicly owned water systems in the province, the Ontario Municipal Water Association is dedicated to protecting the safety, reliability and quality of drinking water for all Ontario residents. OMWA promotes the following basic principles for the operation of Ontario’s public drinking water systems:

  • Maintaining public ownership and control of drinking water, a critical and essential municipal service;
  • Full financial transparency (full-cost accounting, no cross-subsidization);
  • Direct public accountability (financial separation, dedicated revenues);
  • Capturing natural efficiencies (integration of various public utilities);
  • Meaningful public input (before any change in water authority governance).

Our guiding principles are explained in greater detail on our website at omwa.org.

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