Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

March 19, 2009 14:13 ET

Canada's Economic Action Plan Delivers New Water Treatment Systems for Black Lake and Fond du Lac First Nations in Saskatchewan

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 19, 2009) - The Government of Canada is taking action to ensure members of the Black Lake and Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nations have access to safe and reliable water and wastewater facilities by supporting new wastewater treatment systems, thanks to Canada's Economic Action Plan (http://www.budget.gc.ca/2009/home-accueil-eng.asp).

"We are pleased to be working with First Nations in Saskatchewan to improve the quality of life of the people living in these communities," noted Rob Clarke, Member of Parliament for Desnethe-Missinippi Churchill River on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. "This vital investment will help ensure Black Lake First Nation has the infrastructure to address current and future requirements."

These projects are 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.

Projects in both the Black Lake First Nation and Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nation include the design and construction of a new sewage lagoons. Both are growing communities and these new wastewater facilities will accommodate increasing capacity needs.

"This is a long-term investment in critical infrastructure that will help ensure our community is sustainable for future generations," said Chief Donald Sayazie of the Black Lake First Nation.

"The land and the people of northern Saskatchewan are very much connected," said Chief Albert Mercredi of the Fond du Lac First Nation. "Modern infrastructure helps protect the health and safety of our members, as well as the environment in which we live."

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://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ap/fn/index-eng.asp

Contact Information

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