Thursday, March 10, 2016

MLA Rice tests the water at local social housing units, finds levels of lead as too high

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice once again brought the issue of water issues in the Northwest to the Legislature, speaking during the Wednesday afternoon Question Period the MLA continued to ask Health Minister Terry Lake if the province had plans to expand the testing program to other schools, with Ms. Rice now asking that a testing include the review of the water in public buildings such as public housing.

To bring home her message to the Legislature, the MLA outlined the results of tests that she has conducted at three social housing units in Prince Rupert and while she did not identify the location of the buildings, she did reveal that the results of the tests that she initiated found that lead concentration levels were too high.

“I was outraged to learn that the Christy Clark government is purposefully neglecting the health of people in my community, ... That’s why I initiated these tests. The fact that one of them came back positive is really worrying as that social housing building is home to many families with children. Even low levels of lead are harmful to children and pregnant mothers. The Christy Clark government needs to take these test results seriously and start testing all of the drinking water in public buildings, particularly where children frequent, in the North West.”

In a media release from Wednesday, the MLA provided further background on her concerns recounting how the early signs of potential problems were ignored, calling attention to a 2014 study from Kitimat that indicated there lead concentrate issues at a school in that community, the conclusion of the work called for the need of routine monitoring of drinking water in schools.

The details of that study can be found here.

As well, her information statement reviews some of her previous efforts to have the province move forward with an enhanced testing program for the Northwest.

You can review her presentation to the Legislature from the Draft Minutes of the Wednesday session available here, Ms. Rice's comments arrive at the 14:40 mark.

The Video of her Question Period contribution can be reviewed below.

For more items related to the MLA's work in Victoria see our legislature Archive page here.

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