First Nation communities to improve water infrastructure

    OTTAWA: Two local First Nations communities will benefit from a federal investment supporting infrastructure improvements and community-driven economic development projects that will help build healthier, more sustainable communities.

    Funding provided to We’koqma’q First Nation will now allow them to upgrade the community’s water infrastructure and allow for the expansion of their Steelhead Trout Farm.

    Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) provided $2 million for the community’s water system upgrades which includes 1,300-metres of water main replacement and the design and construction of a second well.

    Through the Community Opportunity Readiness Program, We’koqma’q is also receiving $426,000 for the expansion of the Steelhead Trout Farm by providing dozens of full-time jobs, on-the-job training for community members, and increased revenue for the community-led business.

    “We’koqma’q First Nation’s Steelhead Trout Farm expansion and upgrades to their water system will deliver economic benefits and clean and safe drinking water for community members,” Minister of Indigenous Affairs Seamus O’Regan said. “We’re proud to partner with communities and make the investments that will help grow the local economy, and improve quality of life.”

    We’koqma’q First Nation Chief Rod Googoo said they’re pleased and appreciative of the funding received from ISC for the upgrades to their water system and the expansion of their trout farm.

    “These community projects would not be possible without the support of the federal government,” Googoo explained. “We thank Minister O’Regan for visiting our community today to see first-hand the projects that have created so many jobs and increased our own-source revenues.”

    Funding was also provided to Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation for the construction of a new well that will provide a new main water supply to the community.

    “Community-driven projects contribute to growth, create jobs and build economic opportunities,” O’Regan said. “A truly prosperous Canada needs a strong Indigenous-built and Indigenous-led economy. Our government is proud to invest in projects like this and is committed to economic success for First Nations communities.”

    The investment by ISC in the tune of $430,000 will include the installation of a well pump, construction of a new pump house, installation of 375-metres of water main, mechanical and electrical works, and associated site work.

    Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation Chief PJ Prosper highlighted the project will improve the water infrastructure in Paqtnkek and improve the water quality on reserve.

    “Construction is underway on our new well, which will soon become the main water supply for the community,” Prosper explianed. “Everyone deserves access to safe, clean drinking water.”

    The federal government is on track to have all long-term drinking water advisories on reserve in Canada lifted by 2021, in fact there are no long-term drinking advisories on public systems on reserves in Atlantic Canada.