Court approves deal requiring Canada to spend billions to safeguard First Nations' drinking water

·1 min read
Cowessess First Nation and Child Welfare

(Reuters) - The Canadian government would need to commit at least C$6 billion ($4.68 billion) for safe drinking water infrastructure for First Nations and pay C$1.5 billion in compensation for individuals deprived of clean drinking water as part of a settlement agreement approved by a Canadian court on Wednesday.

The agreement resolves a class action lawsuit initiated two years ago on behalf of First Nations communities that had a drinking water advisory for at least one year since 1995.

Ottawa would also need to set up a C$400 million fund and create an advisory committee on safe drinking water for First Nations communities.

The federal government and the indigenous groups had agreed to the deal in July, and the court approval now formalizes it.

($1 = 1.2824 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry)

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