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Ontario's new safe water legislation

Ontario Premier Ernie Eves announced the Safe Drinking Water Act on October 29, 2002. The new legislation is based...


Ontario Premier Ernie Eves announced the Safe Drinking Water Act on October 29, 2002. The new legislation is based on the recommendations of an inquiry after the Walkerton water tragedy. The first of its kind in Canada, the proposed Act would force all operators of water systems to be licensed and testing laboratories to be accredited.

In the Part Two Report of the Walkerton Inquiry, Commissioner Dennis O’Connor recommended that the Ontario government enact a Safe Drinking Water Act to deal with matters related to the treatment and distribution of drinking water, and to gather in one place all former legislation and regulations. The proposed Act would provide legislative authority to implement 50 of the 93 recommendations made in Commissioner O’Connor’s Part Two Report.

Critics of the proposed Act say that it is constrained by conflicts of interest that prevent it from strictly regulating systems that are largely publicly owned, operated and financed. Of particular concern are the actual enforcement of the regulations and the lack of serious adverse consequences for those who don’t comply.

For more information or to comment on the proposed Safe Drinking Water Act, visit the Environmental Registry Notice for the Proposed Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002 at: http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envregistry/019012ea.htm (EBR Registry Number: AA02E0002)

Written comments can be submitted through this posting until November 28, 2002.

For further information, contact Heather Capannelli
at 416-314-6739


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