Randy Delorey, Minister of Health and Wellness and Antigonish MLA (right), Sean Fraser, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and MP for Central Nova (middle), and Owen McCarron, Warden for the Municipality of the County of Antigonish (left), chat with Christine Blair, Mayor of the Municipality of the County of Colchester following Friday’s announcement the Government of Canada is investing over $1.2 million towards three wastewater projects under the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.

ANTIGONISH: Ensuring families have access to modern reliable services that improve their quality of life, protect the environment and position communities for growth, the federal government has invested $1.2 million to support improvements to water and wastewater infrastructure in the municipalities of Antigonish, Colchester and Richmond.

Sean Fraser, MP for Central Nova and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, made the announcement on July 26 at Antigonish County’s municipal building alongside Antigonish MLA and Minister of Health and Wellness Randy Delorey, and Antigonish Warden Owen McCarron.

Fraser explained the projects in Antigonish County came from the leadership of councillors Donnie MacDonald and Bill MacFarlane.

“A couple of years ago, Donnie brought residents into my office to explain in North Grant what it’s like to be living with low-quality water and the problems they have day-to-day,” Fraser told reporters following the announcement. “In Bill’s case, in addition of helping a significant number of residents, he pointed to the economic development case if you have access to clean, reliable and high-pressure water through municipal infrastructure.”

The water system expansion project in Antigonish will extend the waterlines by 2.5 kilometres in North Grant, and from Church Street to Beech Hill and will receive $437,988 federally, $364,954 provincially, and $292,029 municipally.

McCarron said the North Grant water project will serve 17 residents to start but services a large area and the water looping project from Church to Beech Hill will allow for better pressure, and will allow them, if they do have a break, to feed from another area so they don’t have as much disruption.

“These are areas that have poor water quality, generally in a lot of cases, a shortage of water,” he said. “When you look at dollars, it even goes beyond what it saved; some of those projects would almost be too large to take on by ourselves.”

The Arichat water treatment plant upgrades project in Richmond will install a new chemical injection system, modernizing instrumentation, repair filters, upgrading equipment and controls, and will receive $100,000 federally, $83,325 provincially, and $66,675 municipally.

“One of the things in the 21-century that residents in most communities expect is access to clean water, and a reliable sewer system,” Fraser indicated. “This is the cost of admission for business in a lot of communities as well. If they don’t have access to municipally owned and run water system, they’re going to look elsewhere to set up their business and put people to work.”

Once complete, these projects will modernize water and wastewater infrastructure in the municipalities of Antigonish and Richmond, improving efficiency of services and limiting maintenance and operating costs, while creating healthier, sustainable communities.

Fraser highlighted these projects will greatly improve the quality of life for residents, providing them with access to clean drinking water and a healthier environment for generations to come.

“We’re making communities stronger, healthier and more welcome to business.”