We’re one step closer to ensuring that all Canadians have access to clean, safe water.

Earlier this month we told you about a Liberal motion put forth in the House of Commons, calling on the Government of Canada to make access to clean, safe water for First Nations a national priority. The motion garnered the quick support of the federal government, and now we’re happy to report that the motion has passed.

The motion, introduced by interim leader Bob Rae, called on the Government of Canada to “address on an urgent basis the needs of those First Nations communities whose members have no access to clean, running water in their homes.”

The motion was debated for a few hours before being passed without a stand-up vote on Nov. 17, because party leaders agreed that First Nations’ access to water must be addressed immediately.

“I can assure the people at Ecojustice and all Canadians that we recognize the clear need for rigorous standards to uphold the quality of drinking water in First Nations communities,” Conservative MP David Wilks said during the debate.

The news comes on the heels of our third national drinking water report, Waterproof 3, which made waves across the country, when it gave the federal government an ‘F’ for — among other things — doing a poor job in ensuring that all Canadians, including First Nations, have access to clean, safe water.

Ecojustice supports this motion as a welcome step in the right direction at a time when national leadership on drinking water safety is urgently needed.

Now, we look for meaningful action to come out of this important commitment by our federal government. As of July 2011, there were 126 First Nations communities across Canada under a drinking water advisory, an increase from 106 communities in December 2008.