A Sudbury man’s campaign to raise awareness and funds for Ontario Indigenous communities without access to clean drinking water came to an end on Saturday with some political assistance.
Jordan Cheff was joined at Nepahwin Lake Saturday morning by approximately one dozen of his supporters, along with Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes, Sudbury MPP Jamie West and Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas.
“I’m cold but I’m really glad that I did it,” said West, who joined Cheff by taking a dip in the frigid waters where most of the lake had already frozen over. “It was just a wonderful experience and the reality is that after this I’m going to drive home and I’m going to have a warm shower and that really is something we take for granted.”
The Sudbury man braved the waters for roughly a minute while others were quicker out of the lake as they made their exit out onto the beach.
“I am excited that we succeeded in raising awareness in getting more people to find out about the serious issue that everyone deserves clean water and access to clean water here in Canada,’ said Cheff after the plunge.
“I definitely believe that more people are aware of this issue and people in Toronto, shout out to them, they’re doing a dip today for this cause. They’re in a group called Cold Water Swim in Canada or Ontario, one of the two, and they’re doing a dip in honour of this,” he added.
Cheff said they’ve succeeded in their goal. He was raising funds for not-for-profit Water First who is helping to train water operators.
He’s already got plans on returning next year to continue his efforts.