Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

March 26, 2009 14:57 ET

Canada's Economic Action Plan Delivers New Lagoon for Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 26, 2009) - The Government of Canada is taking action to ensure members of Norway House Cree Nation have the ability to treat wastewater in an environmentally sustainable way by creating a new lagoon for this community. This water investment is thanks to Canada's Economic Action Plan (http://www.budget.gc.ca/2009/home-accueil-eng.asp).

"One of our Government's biggest priorities is to continue to safeguard water. Access to clean water is vital to the health and safety of every Canadian," said the Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. "This investment will help ensure that Norway House Cree Nation has the necessary resources to move forward."

This project is part of the $165 million for water and wastewater projects included in the $1.4 billion investment for Aboriginal peoples under the Economic Action Plan. This investment will give Norway House Cree Nation the resources they need to design and construct a new lagoon and associated works for their community.

"This new lagoon is responding to a very important need in our community," said Chief Marcel Balfour of Norway House Cree Nation. "In spring, due to the melting, the lagoon spills over which puts our water supply in jeopardy. This project will go a long way toward ensuring the safety of our people's water supply and protecting the environment. Also, this will assist in setting up the necessary infrastructure for some of our future planned projects, such as a new hospital to replace the old facility built in 1952 and a house for every family here."

The Government of Canada is investing in projects that will provide lasting, sustainable benefits for First Nation communities. The Government has made solid progress in improving water conditions on reserves across the country. For example, the number of high risk systems has been reduced by two-thirds. In 2006, there were 193 high risk systems. Today, this number has been reduced to 58. There were also 21 priority communities identified in 2006, meaning they had both a high-risk system and a drinking water advisory. Today, only four communities remain on that list.

The government is also taking decisive action to improve water conditions through the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan (http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ai/mr/nr/j-a2008/2-3019-eng.asp?p1=209557&p2=6293).

Costs of projects announced today will be identified following the competitive tendering process.

This news release is also available on the Internet at: www.inac-ainc.gc.ca

Backgrounders on water are available on the Internet at: www.inac-ainc.gc.ca

First Nations profiles are available on the Internet at: http://pse5-esd5.ainc-inac.gc.ca/fnp/Main/index.aspx?lang=eng

Contact Information

  • INAC
    Media Relations
    819-953-1160
    or
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Nina Chiarelli
    Press Secretary
    819-997-0002