PRINCE RUPERT, BC, Sept. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today announced significant improvements to water and wastewater treatment systems in five First Nation communities in British Columbia.
"Access to safe drinking water and the effective treatment of wastewater for First Nation communities, and to all Canadians, continues to be a priority for our government," said Minister Valcourt. "These investments will help ensure the conditions for healthier and more self-sufficient communities with an improvement in quality of life."
"I'd like to thank the Government of Canada for funding upgrades to our wastewater system," said Chief Harold Leighton of the Metlakatla First Nation. "This project is important for our community as it will be beneficial for the local environment and shell fish harvesting."
The Harper Government is investing in wastewater system improvements at Metlakatla First Nation and water system improvements at Esk'etemc First Nation, Little Shuswap First Nation, Splats'in First Nation, and Toosey First Nation. These investments are in addition to funding contributions made since 2012 for system projects in BC First Nation communities, which resulted in investments for 20 water and wastewater projects in British Columbia from 2012 to 2014. As well as improving essential water and wastewater systems in these communities, these projects will create opportunities for Aboriginal business and trades employment and support economic and community development.
The Harper Government is investing in water and wastewater infrastructure in First Nation communities through programs such as the Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program, First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan and Canada's Economic Action Plan.
Between 2006 and 2014, the Harper Government will have invested approximately $3 billion to support First Nation communities across Canada in managing their water and wastewater infrastructure and related public health activities.
The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act - which will enable safe on-reserve drinking water and wastewater treatment by developing much needed regulatory safeguards - received Royal Assent in June. The Harper Government will now work with First Nations to develop regulations and standards on a region-by-region basis.
SOURCE: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information:
Backgrounder: Harper Government Investment in First Nation Water and Wastewater Systems in British Columbia
This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
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