The US is already using some of Canada’s most water-intensive technologies and now it is asking other countries to follow suit.
In a letter sent Tuesday to the American embassy in Ottawa, the Canadian government said it is “unacceptable” that a US government-owned company was asking Canadian residents to pay for water that was used by US hospitals.
“The US Department of Veterans Affairs and the US Department (Department of) Interior have both publicly stated that they do not allow Canadian residents of the United States to water supply their facilities with water,” the letter said.
“We understand that the Canadian Government has a significant water resource that the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries rely on for drinking water.”
The letter also urged the US government to “immediately reverse this discriminatory practice” and said Canada has already provided the water to hospitals in the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.
The letter said the United Nations has called on the US to ensure that Canadian residents have access to drinking water, and to ensure the treatment of any water that is used by the country’s hospitals.
Canada’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said it “is not in the business of charging Canadian residents for water from other countries.”
“Canada is a leader in water-based sanitation, which is why we have a long history of using water from water-rich areas,” spokeswoman Jenne Murphy said in an email.
“Our water system is well-known around the world, and we take water as it is provided.”
The US Department Of Veterans Affairs has been under a US federal investigation since September of this year over its handling of the treatment plant scandal at a veterans hospital in Virginia.
The VA was also criticized in March for allegedly allowing a veteran to drink water from a treatment plant that had been contaminated with lead.
The US Senate’s top Democrat on the Veterans Affairs Committee, Sen. Claire McCaskill, called on President Donald Trump to take action.
“This is a huge, serious issue,” McCaskillo said in a statement.
The Trump administration has not commented on the letter, but White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said last week that the administration is “open to working with the VA to find a way to provide drinking water for veterans and their families.””
I am confident that the VA will take immediate steps to ensure our veterans have access and treatment as quickly as possible.”
The Trump administration has not commented on the letter, but White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said last week that the administration is “open to working with the VA to find a way to provide drinking water for veterans and their families.”