Thursday, April 7, 2016

MLA Rice introduces private members bill on water testing for Schools

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice continued with her campaign to move the province to provide better water testing in the province's schools, introducing a Private Member's Bill with the title of Bill M215, Safe Water for Schools Act 2016.

The MLA first called attention to the issue of contaminated water found in Prince Rupert and Kitimat, where elevated levels of lead were found in the water at some schools.

From that overview, she then outlined some of the medical issues related to lead in water and the impact on children, addressing the issue as one that needs action on by the province.

As part of her proposed bill, Ms. Rice calls for the creation of a mandatory system of water testing and mitigation for the province's schools.

In her notes as part of the introduction to the bill, the MLA offered up the following observations on the issue.

It is impossible to know if lead in school drinking water is a problem without a systematic province-wide approach to testing. Rather than waiting for a concern to be discovered, the creation of a mandatory system of testing and mitigation would protect our young children while they are developing and are at the most vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead. 

This bill ensures that water in schools will be regularly tested for contamination. I move that this bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting after today.

The full account of her discussion points can be found from the Legislature Archive here starting at the 1010 point.

Her presentation to the Legislature can be reviewed below:

The introduction of the Bill was received by the Legislature and will be placed on orders of the day for the next sitting of the House next week.

It should be noted that private member's bills rarely make it to the finish line, however the introduction of the bill continues to keep the focus on the issue of water issues in drinking water at North Coast schools and  of those across the province.

Providing an opportunity for the province to address the issue in some form, whether through legislation or guidelines for the education system across BC.

Some of the MLA's past work on the issue can be found below.

March 10 -- MLA Rice tests the water at local social housing units, finds levels of lead as too high
March 8 -- North Coast MLA returns to theme of testing of water for Northwest
February 23 -- MLA calls for expanded testing of water in Northwest schools
February 19 -- NDP continues to make SD52 water concerns part of Legislature debate
February 18 -- MLA Rice raises School District lead levels issue in Legislature

Further information on the water issue in Prince Rupert schools can be found on our Education archive page.

More items from her work at the Legislature can be found on our archive page.

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