Canada's New Government invests $4.2 million in water treatment plant at Mashteuiatsh



    MASHTEUIATSH, QC, June 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Jim Prentice,
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor
for Métis and Non-Status Indians, and Gilbert Dominique, Chief of the
Mashteuiatsh Band Council, today inaugurated the new water treatment plant of
the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh.
    "Ensuring that First Nations communities have clean water is one of my
top priorities," said Minister Prentice. "The ultimate goal is to make sure
that First Nations residents enjoy the same protection afforded other
Canadians when it comes to drinking water."
    The majority of the funding for construction of the water treatment
facility was provided by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) which
provided $4.2 million for the project. The community has invested another
$1.2 million. As well, the community of Mashteuiatsh supervised the project
from start to finish, in collaboration of the Conseil tribal Mamuitun and
various specialists in the water supply/treatment sector.
    Mashteuiatsh's new drinking water plant produces water of a quality
complying with the standards under the Protocol for Safe Drinking Water in
First Nations Communities and the standards enacted under Quebec's Regulation
respecting the Quality of drinking water. These standards are met through a
combination of physicochemical treatment and effective granular filtration,
followed by disinfection of water using chlorine and ultraviolet radiation.
    Thanks to the new facility, it is anticipated that the community's water
consumption needs can be satisfied for the next 20 years. In addition to the
new purification equipment, work was completed expanding the underground
drinking water reservoir.
    On March 21, 2006, Minister Prentice announced a Plan of Action for water
quality on First Nations, which includes implementation of a Protocol for Safe
Drinking Water for First Nations Communities and mandatory training for all
water treatment plant operators, and a regime to ensure that all water systems
have the oversight of certified operators.
    Located at Lac-Saint-Jean, Mashteuiatsh is an Innu community with
4,783 registered members, including 2,022 who live on the reserve.

    This news release is also available on INAC's website at www.inac.gc.ca




For further information:

For further information: Minister's Office: Deirdra McCracken, Press
Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jim Prentice, (819) 997-0002; Media
Relations: Quebec Regional Office, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, (418)
648-4285


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