The remote community of Ahousaht

Gord Johns urges Ottawa to deal with Ahousaht’s water emergency

“This community can't wait another 24 hours for a sizeable amount of water."

Ahousaht has been without clean water since a water main break forced the remote First Nation into a state of emergency on Friday and Gord Johns is urging Ottawa to do something about it.

We need immediate action,” the NDP MP for Courtenay-Alberni told the Westerly News.

This community can’t wait another 24 hours for a sizeable amount of water and the resources necessary to take care of the displaced members. We need government action immediately.”

He said Ahousaht officials did an “incredible job” to organize evacuations of local elders and children to Tofino and Lone Cone but can’t do it all without some assistance.

A lot of people were counting on going home to Ahousaht and being with their family. This is a very important time of year for everybody in our communities during the holiday season but especially for remote communities where people take the time to travel far distances to be close to their community and we know how tight the Ahousaht community is,” he said.

We’re urging the government to do everything they can to get water to the Nation, to provide the resources for accommodation and meals for those members that have been displaced and, if necessary, to provide some of the experience and people that can help remedy the line break given the difficult challenges that this community’s facing.”

He noted the area where the break occurred is below sea-level making a quick-fix unlikely.

They’ve had a difficult time tackling the line-break because of the tides…They’re looking at other ways, maybe even using divers, to try to repair the line but it’s a big task,” he said. “We certainly don’t want to wait until Dec. 27, when the next low tide is, to fix this line. That’s past Christmas and that would mean a lot of members being displaced for a great amount of time.”

Johns said he contacted Canada’s Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennet’s office this morning to urge for immediate support.

We didn’t waste anytime. I was on the phone early this morning to contact Ottawa when Ottawa opened. We’re working the phones and making sure we’re getting action,” he said.

It’s a serious health concern to not have potable water…Where the government can come in is order the water and figure out who can pay for it later because the people in the Nation are actually dealing with the crisis at hand on the ground and we need them using all their resources to support their members.”

He added the region is stepping up to help out.

People have been driving all the way to the Coast to get water on boats and up to Ahousaht,” he said.

Any locals willing to help out by donating water are encouraged to contact Ahousaht deputy chief councillor Patti Charleson at or 250-670-9531.





Just Posted

VIDEO: Ucluelet engages at open house

“It’s great to have such a terrific turnout.”

VIDEO: Tofino gets blunt about marijuana legalization

“It’s great to see people engaged.”

UPDATED: Six-hour power outage coming to Ucluelet today

Alcohol not ruled out as a factor in Thursday morning car crash.

Tofino receives $500,000 for housing project

District hopes to add 50 new housing units.

Profits rain over community forest partners Ucluelet and Toquaht First Nation

“We’re excited to think about, along with our community, the many ways we can invest it and spend it.”

VIDEO: Ucluelet engages at open house

“It’s great to have such a terrific turnout.”

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

BREAKING: Cassie Sharpe adds world championship to Olympic gold

Mount Washington skier defends her crown in France, wins overall halfpipe title

Most Read