Water shutoff protests amid water delivery from Canada - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Water shutoff protests amid water delivery from Canada

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DETROIT (WJBK) - Our neighbors across the Detroit River are now getting involved in the Detroit water shutoff debate.

Protesters gathered at the Spirit of Detroit Thursday waiting for water to be delivered from Canada. They held petitions with more than 6 thousand signatures from across the country to stop water shutoffs to Detroit families struggling to pay their bills.

Their plan to hand over the petitions to City Council President Brenda Jones was halted, though.

"The elected officials that work for us are not available," says Maureen Taylor of the People's Water Board.

Despite the water department's 15-day freeze on shutoffs, folks rallying from the Michigan Rights Welfare office say -- that is a lie.

"Residents from all over the city [are] calling to say, 'My water was shut off today, yesterday,'" says Patricia Jones, leader for the Human Right to Water organization.

The water department tells Fox 2 they are continuing shutoffs but only for commercial and illegal usage. Those in the crowd Thursday say they don't believe it.

"Something is still completely awry. We keep telling the water department you're not doing enough, you're not listening to stories of the residents. Yet, again, the shutoffs continue," says Jones.

Taylor says the the city's water affordability plan was approved by City Council in 2005 and doesn't understand why it's being ignored. She's demanding action from the city.

Mayor Duggan's office says his hands are tied but hopes to gain control of the water department soon, expressing his frustration with how the collections and shutoff issue has been handled so far. He agrees that assistance programs should have been funded before shutoffs began but also believes people who can pay, should pay.

The 200 gallons of water from the Council of Canadians will be distributed to struggling families.
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