Upgrades protect Comox Valley public health, promotes First Nation’s growth

Press Release

April 14, 2023

COURTENAY – The Province is helping the Comox Valley Regional District build sewage infrastructure in rural areas to support the health of residents and the environment, as well as advance reconciliation with K’ómoks First Nation.

Currently, homes and businesses in the communities of Royston and Union Bay depend on on-site septic systems. Many of these systems are more than 25 years old and are at an increased risk of failure, which could create health risks and pose an environmental threat to Baynes Sound.

“We all know that safe and reliable infrastructure is critical to the health of our communities and environment. It also promotes new development and opportunities for economic growth,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “We are working together with the Comox Valley Regional District and the K’ómoks First Nation to improve wastewater infrastructure, protect the environment and health of residents, and support the future development of K’ómoks lands.”

The Province is providing $30 million for the Comox Valley Sewer Extension South Project, which will provide wastewater services to Union Bay and Royston through a new wastewater main that will connect to the existing regional treatment system.

“Three years ago, the sewage commission agreed to receive wastewater from these communities, opening the door for a truly regional approach to wastewater treatment in the Comox Valley,” said Jesse Ketler, chair, Comox Valley Regional District. “Treating wastewater from these communities at our treatment plant on Brent Road is the best solution for addressing the environmental threat to our waters, which includes the largest producing shellfishery in British Columbia.”

The new regional system will include service to the K’ómoks First Nation Treaty Settlement Lands south of Courtenay, where further development is planned. Should the treaty be ratified, development and economic growth of these lands will be an important part of reconciliation. The sewer extension project will also help ensure safe access to shellfish for the K’ómoks First Nation for food, social and ceremonial purposes, and support their aquaculture interests in Baynes Sound.

“The Province’s funding announcement today secures an important component of the K’ómoks Treaty negotiation and planning process,” said Chief Ken Price, elected chief councillor, K’ómoks First Nation. “The economic development of our Treaty Settlement Lands and resulting benefits for our members hinges on removing key barriers to development, such as bringing water and sewer service to these proposed parcels. As such, we are pleased with the progress we are making in this regard in partnership with the Province and Comox Valley Regional District.”

Project funding, through the provincial Critical Community Infrastructure Fund, is in addition to the Growing Communities Fund, which shared $1 billion with all 188 B.C. municipalities and regional districts to support unique infrastructure and amenity needs.


Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –

“This partnership is an example of what can be achieved through a strong working relationship with K’ómoks First Nation. A new regional sewer system to serve the proposed K’ómoks First Nation Treaty Settlement Lands will spur development and economic growth, which is an important part of reconciliation and one of the many benefits of a treaty.”

Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim –

“People depend on reliable and safe public infrastructure every day. The collaboration between Comox Valley Regional District and K’ómoks First Nation on the Sewer Extension South Project is an exceptional example of how regional partnership and collaboration lead to critical infrastructure that will protect the natural environment, enable new housing and open up economic opportunity – all in the spirit of reconciliation.”

Learn More:

For information about the Comox Valley Regional District Sewer Extension South Project, visit: https://www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/projects-initiatives/past-current-projects/sewer-extension-south-project

For information about the Growing Communities Fund, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/28220


Alanah Connie
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
250 880-4935

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect


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