CWWA Advocacy – January 2017
One of the main reasons the CWWA exists is to represent the water and wastewater utility sector and to be your voice at the federal level. We certainly have been taking on that role, but apparently we’ve been very weak about telling anyone what we’re doing. The members survey we conducted last fall asked you what you knew of our efforts ...and the scores were very low for awareness of our advocacy efforts. So, we are going to try to provide a more regular update here in the e-Bulletin.
We produced a position paper on infrastructure renewal that we shared with all our members in the fall. This position paper then formed the basis of our submission and brief to Infrastructure Canada and the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. We can report that our submission was well-received as very positive comments were returned. We now await the final announcements of how Phase 2 of the infrastructure plan will roll out. We will do our best to get you information as soon as possible on how to access those funds. We expect the federal government to run webinars/education sessions and we will share that information with you or coordinate something on our own.
Community Capacity Building:
We have been communicating with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) on how it will roll out the Community Capacity Building funds as part of the federal Infrastructure Plan. The FCM is developing significant programs to build the strength of municipalities and we will be sure to share this information with you and work with the FCM in promoting these programs
Canadian Lead Position:
While it isn’t the same issue in Canada, the situation in Flint, Michigan, certainly has us all talking. As the U.S. Government addresses the issue of lead in water systems and services, our partners at the AWWA are announcing their new position on lead. CWWA has initiated an effort with our partners at the Canadian Water Network, academia and the Canadian Affairs Committee of AWWA to develop one shared position on lead for our industry in Canada. We expect to identify the issues, share the newest knowledge with our members and agree on a road forward to eliminating lead as a concern at all.
Executive Director Robert Haller (left) and Director of Government Relations Adrian Toth (right) support Climate Change Chair Hiran Sandanayake in appearance before the OECD.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Canada is reviewing its priorities and efforts. As part of this review, they are conducting consultation sessions with several key economic industries. CWWA was invited to speak to the review panel on behalf of the water and wastewater industry. CWWA sent a delegation led by the chair of our Climate Change Technical Committee. We were given great opportunity to participate in the discussion and we look forward to hearing the Review’s final report.