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Harper Government Congratulates Wasauksing First Nation on the Opening of its New Drinking Water Treatment System

Ref. #2-3723

Ottawa, Ontario (October 18, 2012) – Greg Rickford, Member of Parliament for Kenora and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today congratulated Wasauksing First Nation on the completion of its new drinking water treatment system.

“Our Government continues to make progress on providing safe and clean drinking water in First Nation communities,” said Mr. Rickford. “By working closely with the First Nation to complete this project, the Harper Government affirms its commitment to support and develop strong and healthy First Nation communities.”

“A lot of time and effort has been put into this project, and in the end we are servicing many more houses than originally anticipated,” said Wasauksing First Nation Chief Robert Tabobandung. “This new slow-sand water treatment plant is not only providing more opportunities for full-time employment, but also safe, clean drinking water for our current and future generations. We would like to say Miigwetch to the Government of Canada for working in partnership with Wasauksing First Nation on this important infrastructure project.”

The Harper Government contributed more than $16.6 million towards the design and construction of Wasauksing First Nation’s new drinking water treatment system.

The new drinking water treatment system is comprised of a new water intake and low-lift pumping station, a water treatment plant featuring slow-sand filtration, an elevated water reservoir and heated storage to house the First Nation’s new water delivery truck. The system services 114 homes as well as the Elders’ complex and the administration complex, which includes the community’s daycare, school and health centre. In addition to providing safe and clean drinking water, the new distribution system includes hydrants for added fire protection within the community.

This project created 15 temporary jobs for community members and three full-time permanent positions – two water treatment plant operators and one water delivery driver.

The Harper Government has taken concrete steps to address water and wastewater issues on reserve to ensure that First Nation communities have access to safe drinking water. Between 2006 and 2014, the Government will have invested approximately $3 billion to support First Nation communities in managing their water and wastewater infrastructure and in related public-health activities.

Wasauksing First Nation is a Chippewa (Ojibway) community located on Parry Island in Georgian Bay, three kilometres southwest of Parry Sound, Ontario. The First Nation has approximately 1,174 members, 375 of whom live on reserve.

For more information, please contact:

Minister’s Office
Jan O’Driscoll
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable John Duncan

Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada