CHIPPEWAS OF GEORGINA ISLAND, ON, Aug. 15, 2017 /CNW/ - Everyone in Canada should have access to clean and safe drinking water. Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, along with Chief Donna Big Canoe of Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, announced new investments that will that will help ensure reliable drinking water for the First Nation.
The Government of Canada will invest approximately $2.6 million to upgrade and expand the First Nation's water treatment plant. This contribution from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada builds on investments made through the Small Communities Fund, a joint initiative between Infrastructure Canada and the Ontario Government. The project will ensure the community's 208 residents will have access to clean, safe drinking water. The upgrades are expected to be complete by March 2019.
Once complete, this project will lift the drinking water advisory at Georgina Island. Further, the Government's long-term strategy has a specific focus on "high risk" systems, and includes funding for infrastructure and capacity building to prevent short-term DWAs from becoming long-term DWAs.
"Our government is committed to providing safe, clean and reliable drinking water. It is an honour to be here at Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation to make this announcement with Chief Big Canoe. Investing in projects like this demonstrates our dedication to ending long-term drinking water advisories for First Nations communities in Ontario."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
"I am glad Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada is partnering with us and committing to the rest of the funds needed to ensure that members of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation can look forward to clean, safe and reliable drinking water. This is a basic necessity for our members that is why the First Nation secured over half the funds required from other resources a year ago to get this project."
Chief Donna Big Canoe
Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation
- As part of a long-term strategy, the Government of Canada is working with First Nations on sustainable approaches to eliminate long-term drinking water advisories by March 2021 and to prevent new long-term advisories from happening.
- Budget 2016 provides $1.8 billion over five years to significantly improve on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure, ensure proper facility operation, maintenance, and support training of water system operations, in addition to $141.7 million over five years to improve drinking water monitoring and testing on reserve.
- Committing investments over five years allows for long-term planning to improve on-reserve water and wastewater systems.
- The Small Communities Fund contributed $2.79 million to support improved water infrastructure for the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada's contribution of up to $2.6 million will flow to the community in 2018-2019.
- Drinking Water Advisories in First Nation Communities
- Infographic: 3 steps for resolving drinking water issues in First Nation communities
- Lifecycle Process for an Infrastructure project
- Statement from Minister Bennett: Government of Canada Steadfast in Commitment to End Long-Term Drinking Water Advisories On Reserve
- Budget 2016: A Better Future for Indigenous Peoples
- Budget 2017
- Investing in Canada: The $186 Billion Long-Term Infrastructure Plan
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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
For further information: For more information, media may contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; INAC Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160