VANCOUVER – The federal government has committed to backing a Liberal motion to ensure all First Nations communities have access to safe, clean drinking water.

The news comes just days after Ecojustice released its national drinking water report, Waterproof 3. Among other findings, the report highlighted the federal government’s failure to ensure First Nations communities across Canada have reliable access to safe drinking water – an issue that has been a long-standing priority and concern for many First Nations leaders.

“The government’s commitment to ensure all First Nations reserves have clean drinking water is a move in the right direction and all parties in the House deserve credit for stepping up on the issue,” said Randy Christensen, Ecojustice lawyer and author of Waterproof 3. “Access to clean, safe drinking water for all Canadians, including First Nations, must be a national priority.”

The motion, introduced by interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae, calls on the Government of Canada to “address on an urgent basis the needs of those First Nations communities whose members have no access to clean, running water in their homes; that action to address this disparity begin no later than spring 2012; and that the House further recognize that the absence of this basic requirement represents a continuing affront to our sense of justice and fairness as Canadians.”