Canada And Safe Water Essay

2197 words - 9 pages

Canada and Safe Water

Canada is an enormous country that has its cities and communities spread form one
sea to another. Many great distances often separate these areas, and sometimes force these
areas to develop their own identities out of isolation. Even sometimes communities are faced
with disasters that force certain identities on them. Such identities can often resemble the
national identity, but most of the time, they represent the community’s own views. The way
a community sees national issues says a great deal about their identity and the same goes for
the national side. The way community issues are dealt with through the community shows a
great sense of pride and determination to make the best out of one’s surroundings, and the
way those same community issues are dealt with nationally shows how much our country
cares for the well being of the people. All of these issues present today are mostly portrayed
through the eyes of the media and their coverages. Today, the media presents its opinions on
the issues and determines the importance through the amount of coverage. A good example
to portray this situation is through Walkerton, Ontario. Last year, it was home of the
outbreak of E.Coli water contamination, a more community issue that got the attention of
the whole province and the nation. Since this disaster, there has been attempts from the
surrounding communities and the nation to improve the water systems, especially in Ontario.
This major event was covered by both “The Globe and Mail” and “The Toronto Star”, and
represented two opinions on how to deal with the matter.

Walkerton Disaster
On Friday, 26 May 2000 a quiet little town in the rural heartland of Ontario was
struck with a water crisis. (“Toronto Star” 22 Dec.) It was described as Canada’s worst
outbreak of E.Coli contamination, where cattle manure contaminated the farming
community’s water. (“Globe and Mail”, 24 Jan.) An outbreak of E.Coli contaminated
water that killed seven people and made hundreds of people suffer from the symptoms.
(In-depth: Inside Walkerton)
The disaster could have been prevented, according to the local medical officer of
health. (“Toronto Star” 22 Dec.) Apparently the Walkerton Utilities Commission knew
about the problem with the water several days before they told the public about it. (In-depth:
Inside Walkerton)
It didn’t take long for this disaster to become political. On 29 May, 2000 Ontario
Environment Minister Dan Newman called a news conference to say that changes will be
made to ensure that the province’s water supply is safe. Mr. Newman, at the Ontario
legislature, said, “If there is something positive that can ever come out of an event like this,
it is that changes be made to ensure that it doesn’t ever happen again”. (In-depth: Inside
Walkerton) Also, Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman announced that the province would
toughen legislation on factory farms. (“Globe and...

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