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Harper Government Invests in Water Treatment Facility for Toquaht Nation in British Columbia

UCLUELET, BC, July 20, 2013 – On behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, James Lunney, Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Alberni, today joined citizens of the Toquaht Nation to celebrate the opening of the new water treatment facility located in Toquaht Nation’s community of Macoah.

“Our Government is committed to working in partnership with First Nations to ensure that communities have access to safe, clean drinking,” said James Lunney, MP for Nanaimo-Alberni. “By working closely with the Toquaht Nation to complete this project, we are taking action to support and develop strong and healthy First Nation communities.”

The Government of Canada invested $2.1 million in this project in total, $1.5 million of which was funded through the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan and departmental infrastructure funding. The water system upgrade includes a slow sand filtration and chlorination system. This project also allowed for the training and hiring of three Toquaht citizens to maintain the water treatment facility and distribution system.

“Water, an important staple of life that is taken for granted by so many, has come back to our community,” said Ha’wilth (Chief) Anne Mack. “We can provide this basic need to our citizens once again, and make plans to expand our community and economic opportunities. We have decided to call this important facility ƛuułsituʔap in the Nuu-chah-nulth language, which translated means ‘keeping the water clean.’ This water treatment facility will provide an ongoing source of clean water to sustain and support healthy generations of Toquaht people long into the future.”

Between 2006 and 2014, the Government of Canada will have invested approximately $3 billion to support First Nation communities in managing their water and wastewater infrastructure and in related public-health activities.

The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act – which will enable safe on reserve drinking water and wastewater treatment by developing much needed regulatory
Safeguards – received Royal Assent in June. The Government of Canada will now work with First Nations to develop regulations and standards on a region-by-region basis.

The Toquaht Nation is a First Nation located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. To learn more about Toquaht Nation, view the community profile.

For more information, please contact:

Minister’s Office
Andrea Richer
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable John Duncan

Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
Development Canada