Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

November 26, 2009 13:32 ET

Improvements to Drinking Water Treatment Facility Completed at Unamen Shipu First Nation (La Romaine), in Quebec

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2009) - The Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, the Honourable Christian Paradis, on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, and the Chief of the Unamen Shipu Montagnais Band Council, Mr. George Bacon, announced today that improvements to the drinking water treatment facilities in Unamen Shipu (La Romaine) are complete. This project was made possible with an $8.7 million investment as part of the First Nations Water Management Strategy as well as the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan.

 

The project included the expansion of the drinking water treatment facilities, as well as the installation of a new treatment system. The work was done between October 2008 and September 2009. The project was implemented thanks to the collaborative efforts of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the Unamen Shipu First Nation.

"This project addresses one of our government's top priorities, which is to improve the management of drinking water systems in Canada's First Nation communities," said Minister Paradis. "Thanks to this investment, the community will be in an even better position to meet its future needs."

"Access to quality water is essential for the health and safety of the members of a community", said the Chief of the Unamen Shipu Montagnais Band Council, Mr. George Bacon. "Thanks to a new treatment system and a new plant, our community will be able to rely on safe drinking water infrastructure for our population in the long term. In addition, this project provided job opportunities and training in Unamen Shipu, which now has three trained and accredited water treatment facility operators, all from the community."

The Government of Canada has made remarkable progress in improving the quality of drinking water on reserves across the country. For example, the number of systems at risk has been reduced by two-thirds. In 2006, there were 193 high-risk systems in First Nation communities, including the Unamen Shipu community. That number is now 48. There were also 21 priority communities -- communities with a high-risk system for which a water quality warning had been issued. Today, there are only four communities on this list.

Through the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan, the Government of Canada is taking strong measures to improve water quality in First Nation communities everywhere across the country.

This release is also available on the Internet at www.inac.gc.ca

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michelle Yao
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    819-997-0002
    or
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    819-953-1160