BC First Nations get $42.7M investment in water and wastewater projects
June 12, 2017 by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
SEMIAHMOO, BC– On June 9, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, was in Semiahmoo First Nation to announce $42.7 million in targeted funding through Budget 2016 to support 33 First Nation water and wastewater projects in British Columbia, including four that address long-term drinking water advisories. The projects funded are at the feasibility, design or construction stage. When commissioned, the new systems will provide quality water to First Nation communities with the same access to the level of services enjoyed by all Canadians.
Of these 33 projects, four will address long-term drinking water advisories. In addition, an investment of $338,000 is going toward the design of a new water distribution and wastewater sewer system in Semiahmoo First Nation which will address the long-term drinking water advisory in that community.
“Ending long term-water advisories on reserves is a key priority for our government. Since November 2015, we have lifted seven long-term drinking water advisories in British Columbia, and today’s announcement reaffirms our commitment to ensure that First Nation communities can turn their taps on to clean drinking water. We will get this done in partnership with First Nations. The will is there, the capacity is growing, and people are truly committed to finding long-term solutions.” said Bennett.
- The Semiahmoo First Nation is located just north of the Canada – U.S. border.
- As of June 1, 2017, Semiahmoo is one of seven BC First Nations with long-term Drinking Water Advisories affecting federally-funded systems. Other communities include Bonaparte, Stellat’en First Nation, T’it’q’et, Tl’azt’en Nation, Wet’suwet’en, and Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government. The Government of Canada is also working with these First Nations to address their advisories.
- Since November 2015, Government of Canada investments have supported the removal of seven long-term drinking water advisories in BC First Nations including drinking water advisories for the communities of Toosey and Siska which were recently lifted.
- Budget 2016 is providing $1.8 billion over five years to significantly improve on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure, ensure proper facility operation, maintenance, and support the training of water system operators, in addition to $141.7 million over five years to improve drinking water monitoring and testing on reserve.
SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada