KENORA – Bob Nault, Member of Parliament (Kenora riding), released the following statement regarding the resumption to the construction of Neskantaga First Nation water treatment facility which will end Canada’s longest boil water advisory:
“I am very pleased to see that construction has resumed to complete Neskantaga First Nation’s water treatment facility,” stated Nault. “For 24 years residents worried about the water they had to drink and that is totally unacceptable. None the less, although this project was delayed, we are now on track, and a few months away which represents a historic turning point for the residents of Neskantaga First Nation.”
Following termination of the contract between the FN and the contractor, a new action plan was put in place by the Federal Government. The tender for the outstanding work was recently awarded and construction is now underway. The new contractor is currently working on the treatment unit room and the expected date for completion of the new facility is October 2019.
The treatment system at the existing plant is being replaced to meet modern guideline requirements. Structural upgrades are also being performed on the existing facility to accommodate the space requirements for the upgrades. The original construction contract was awarded in July 2017 and due to a dispute between the contractor and Neskantaga First Nation, construction was temporarily halted.
“I believe that all Canadians would find it intolerable not to have clean and safe drinking water – they simply wouldn’t tolerate it and for almost a quarter of a century, Neskantaga First Nation residents and their children were left to deal with this on their own,” concluded Nault. “So, while this is fantastic news, as a Member of Parliament, I have to say it’s about time and long overdue.”
This project is part of Canada’s long-term strategy to eliminate long-term drinking water advisories by March 2021, and to prevent new long-term advisories from happening. Over $1.8 billion over five years has been allocated to significantly improve on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure.
- 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 the training of water system operators, 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.
- Backgrounder: Improving Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in First Nation Communities
- Progress towards eliminating long-term drinking water advisories in First Nation communities
- 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