Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Walkerton today to announce that a Liberal government would continue to support water safety across the province by investing $30 million over the next 10 years in the Walkerton Clean Water Centre.
The $30 million ongoing funding for the Walkerton Clean Water Centre is included in the 2014 Ontario Budget’s $130 billion envelope for infrastructure investments. The Liberals will re-introduce the Budget if re-elected onJune 12.
The Premier was also in Walkerton to pay her respects to the victims and their families on the 14th anniversary of the contaminated drinking water tragedy, where she talked about the importance of investing in public services.
The Liberal government has made significant investments to ensure a similar tragedy would never happen again. To help protect community drinking water, the Liberal government has invested more than $200 million. Hundreds of drinking water inspections are conducted every year, and the Walkerton Clean Water Centre has trained over 43,000 new and existing water professionals province-wide since it opened.
In May of 2000, Walkerton’s water supply became contaminated with E.Coli. Seven people died and another 2,500 became ill. The 2002 report by Justice Dennis O'Connor into the tragedy showed that the most serious case of water contamination in Canadian history could have been prevented. Justice O’Connor pointed to cutbacks by the government of the day as a contributor to the tragedy. Some families in Walkerton continue to be affected by long-term health issues as a result of the tragedy.
“The Walkerton tragedy is something no Ontario community should ever experience. People expect their government to help them and their families. People expect their government to protect them. Simply put: government matters. That is why we will continue to invest in our communities and public services, to help prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.”
— Premier Kathleen Wynne
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