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February 13, 2012

World Plumbing Day garners support from Canadian senator

For Manitoba senator and former plumbing contractor Don Plett, World Plumbing Day is an event near and dear to his heart.

“Every person on this planet is affected by the availability of clean drinking water and basic sanitation,” said Plett, who delivered a statement in the Senate last year recognizing the March 11 event.

Established in 2010, by the World Plumbing Council, World Plumbing Day is dedicated to helping the general public better understand the role the plumbing industry plays in protecting public health and safety. Plumbing organizations across Canada are joining forces with the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada and the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH).

The associations are planning a number of activities to promote the event.

Plett, who grew up in the town of Landmark, Manitoba “at the longitudinal centre of Canada” and who headed family-owned Landmark Mechanical Ltd. for 20 years, didn’t think twice about lending a hand after being approached by CIPH president Ralph Suppa.

“I was thrilled to do so,” he said, noting that the Senate each and every year recognizes worthy organizations, groups and causes by specifically dedicating a day to them.

Plett plans on pitching in again this year.

“I have been talking to Ralph (Suppa) about finding a way of having World Plumbing Day recognized in Parliament as well,” he said.

Worldwide, it is estimated that preventable diseases related to water and sanitation claim the lives of about 3.1 million people a year.

In Canada, there have been long-standing water-related issues on some First Nations reserves, Plett said.

“During my days as a plumbing contractor, I spent much of my career working in northern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario,” he said. “I’ve seen first-hand some of the problems that are out there.”

Suppa, whose institute represents manufacturers and distributors of plumbing and related products, said the CIPH is honoured that Plett has seen fit to help elevate within government circles a recognition of the important role that plumbers play in safeguarding the health of nations.

Plett was appointed to the Senate in August 2009.

He is a former president of the Conservative Party of Canada and currently sits on several Senate committees.

Plett is one of the speakers at the institute’s upcoming annual business conference in June in Quebec.

“It is not that often that a relationship is built with a key senator, who has a plumbing background and is very familiar with the Canadian plumbing and heating industry,” Suppa said.

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