Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

April 07, 2009 15:34 ET

Canada's Economic Action Plan Delivers on Wastewater Treatment System for Whitefish Lake First Nation in Alberta

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 7, 2009) - The Government of Canada is taking action to ensure members of Whitefish Lake First Nation have access to safe and reliable wastewater facilities by supporting upgrades to the current wastewater treatment system. This infrastructure project is a component of Canada's Economic Action Plan (http://www.budget.gc.ca/2009/home-accueil-eng.asp).

"Our Government understands that reliable water and wastewater facilities are fundamental to the health and safety of First Nations communities," said Brian Jean, Member of Parliament for Fort McMurray-Athabasca, 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 ensure Whitefish Lake First Nation has the necessary infrastructure to support its residents."

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. The upgrades to the current wastewater treatment system will ensure health and safety standards are reached for this growing community.

"My Council and I welcome the new federal funding that will resolve our outstanding waste water management issues," said Chief James Jackson Jr., of Whitefish Lake First Nation No. 128. "This is the culmination of many years of diligent joint discussion between the Chief and Council and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada."

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