Water fountain back on in downtown Sudbury
SUDBURY -- What started off as a fight turned into a celebration Thursday as Greater Sudbury turned on the three-piece water fountain in Memorial Park.
Abbey Jackson created the Turn on the Tap campaign earlier this week, looking to generate community support and get the city's attention.
Jackson also planned a rally Thursday afternoon, but the tap was turned back minutes before the rally was to begin.
"I'm a little emotional, I'm just overwhelmed by the amount of support people gave us," said Jackson. "The way this city showed up for us to support us in what felt like a no brainer. But the fight, the fight to just have access to this basic human right."
The city released a statement to CTV on Thursday saying that, "The mayor has directed staff to have the water fountain in Memorial Park turned back on. Arrangements will be made to have the fountain regularly cleaned and disinfected in line with Public Health's guidelines for high-touch areas."
Victory for everyone
"This is the only source of free drinking water in downtown Sudbury so this is a victory for everyone down here," Jackson said.
Before the fountain was turned on, there was one water station available outside Sudbury Community Arena.
"I was told three weeks ago when the splash pad was turned on, so would the fountain and obviously that's not true," said homeless advocate and founder of Tomorrow's Hope Bob Johnston.
"The city's reason is because all fountains in the city are all shut down due to the health units safety, saying they need to be sanitized four times a day and so on and so on," said Johnston. "Well you know what, if that's the case why are we putting money on peoples lives? In a virus situation it makes no sense to me whatsoever."
Jackson said since the beginning of summer, the fountain has been out of use and she has been fighting for the past week to generate enough attention to influence the city's decision.