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Ottawa, Ontario –(March 19, 2009) – The Government of Canada is taking action to ensure members of the Wagmatcook First Nation have effective wastewater facilities by supporting the construction of new sewage treatment systems, thanks to Canada’s Economic Action Plan (http://www.budget.gc.ca/2009/home-accueil-eng.asp).”Wagmatcook is a growing community and these investments will help meet its vital wastewater needs and ensure the community is healthy and continues to thrive,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Gateway on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. “We are working to ensure First Nation community water and wastewater needs are met. The health and safety of all First Nation communities is a priority for our Government.”
These projects are part of the $165 million for water and wastewater projects included in the $1.4 billion investment for Aboriginal peoples under the Economic Action Plan. The project includes the construction of a new extended activated sludge system to replace the existing stabilization pond serving the north side of the reserve.
“Wagmatcook First Nation is pleased with the federal government’s announcement to invest in the completion of waste water systems to provide modern services to community residents,” said Chief Lester Peck. “On behalf of my community and the Band Council, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to the Government of Canada for providing the capital funds to complete our targeted waste water infrastructure projects. These funds will greatly assist our community development and improve health and safety conditions for our band members.”
The Government of Canada is investing in projects that will provide lasting, sustainable benefits for First Nation communities. The government has made solid progress in improving water conditions on reserves across the country. For example, the number of high risk systems has been reduced by two-thirds. In 2006, there were 193 high risk systems. Today, this number has been reduced to 58. There were also 21 priority communities identified in 2006, meaning they had both a high-risk system and a drinking water advisory. Today, only four communities remain on that list.
The government is also taking decisive action to improve water conditions through the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan (http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ai/mr/nr/j-a2008/2-3019-eng.asp?p1=209557&p2=6293).
Costs of projects announced today will be identified following the competitive tendering process.
This news release is also available on the Internet at: www.inac-ainc.gc.ca
Backgrounders on water are available on the Internet at: www.inac-ainc.gc.ca
First Nations profiles are available on the Internet at: http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ap/fn/index-eng.asp
For more information, please contact
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
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