Harper Government Makes Additional Investment to Improve Water and Wastewater Services in Island Lake First Nations

Ref. #2-3797

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA (May 9, 2013) – The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today provided an update on the progress to the improvements in water and wastewater services in Manitoba’s four Island Lake First Nations.

“I am proud of our Government’s commitment to ensuring that the four Island Lake communities have access to safe, clean drinking water,” said Minister Valcourt. “Work on the plumbing retrofits to the first 100 houses will be completed late this spring, allowing us to move on to the next phase of this important project to improve living conditions for the residents of the Island Lake communities. This is an excellent example of what we can achieve when all parties are working together toward a common goal.”

The Government of Canada has invested $6.6 million in this phase of the project. This includes $4.2 million for the purchase and transportation of necessary materials over the winter roads and $2.4 million for construction costs in 2013. In addition, the four First Nations are contributing a combined total of $2.7 million towards labour costs to retrofit the houses. This will bring running water to an additional 218 homes in the four Island Lake communities, including Garden Hill, St. Theresa Point, Wasagamack and Red Sucker Lake First Nations.

“The impact is that some families will not have to go to the lake to fetch water, or to one of the water stand pipes in their communities to carry water back and forth. It means a healthier and cleaner environment, clean drinking water for the entire family,” said Chief Alex McDougall of Wasagamack First Nation. “I’d like to commend the efforts of the governments, both federal and provincial, on having the foresight to work with the Island Lake communities and identifying strategies to improve the quality of lives within the region. This has been a true effort to work together, and that relationship needs to continue to be nurtured.”

The investments provided under phase one were used for the purchase of six water trucks, seven sewage trucks, building materials and construction of eight truck garages, 100 water tanks, 100 sewage tanks, and material for retrofitting up to 100 homes in the four communities. Under phase two, materials for retrofits of the additional 218 homes in the four communities were delivered over the winter roads for the 2013-2014 construction season. Feasibility studies for future servicing plans for each community are currently being finalized.

“Our Government remains focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security,” concluded Minister Valcourt.

Between 2006-2007 and 2013-2014, the Government of Canada will have invested approximately $3 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure in First Nations.

For more information, please contact:

Minister’s Office
Andrea Richer
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

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