Alberta First Nations sue Ottawa over safe drinking water

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CALGARY - Four Alberta First Nations are suing the federal government in an effort to resolve long-standing problems over safe drinking water on reserves.

The bands say Ottawa built substandard water treatment facilities on their reserves and didn't provide enough support to upgrade them when First Nations took over their operation.

A statement of claim alleges bad drinking water has resulted in poor health, failing communities and stunted economic growth.

In 2011, a federal report found that water systems were at high or medium risk of failure on almost three-quarters of reserves.

The Harper government says it has spent about $3 billion since 2006 on aboriginal water systems and has legislated tougher standards.

Aboriginals say those standards don't mean anything without the resources to implement them.

Organizations: Alberta First Nations

Geographic location: Ottawa, CALGARY

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