Five drinking water advisories lifted in Bay of Quinte First Nation 

By Marc Lalonde

 Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Mohawks of Bay of Quinte First Nation will be able to enjoy clean drinking water after five long-term drinking-water advisories were lifted in that community thanks to a state-of-the-art water-filtration plant that has come online, federal authorities announced last week.

Federal and Nation investments in the community’s new water-treatment plant totalling about $58 million since 2014 paid off in a big way recently, Mohawks of Bay of Quinte Chief R. Donald Maracle said.

“The completed Phase III $19.5-million Waterline Project provides support for our residents to have full access to a dependable and safe drinking water supply,” he said. “Improving access ensures the health, safety, security and economic well-being of our community, which is so vital to our residents.”

The advisories had been in effect since 2008 on five water systems in the community. They were lifted after the community extended its water distribution system, connected the buildings to the system and dismantled the existing systems.

“We are extremely pleased on the progress made in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada. We look forward to future waterline projects slated for 2023. We are grateful to our MBQ infrastructure team and all contractors who worked diligently throughout the

COVID-19 pandemic to successfully complete this vital project,” Maracle added.

The new connections to the water-distribution system provides clean, safe drinking water to approximately 280 homes, 20 semi-public buildings and 756 community members. Water flowing to these buildings through the distribution system meets all current federal and provincial drinking water requirements.

One boil-water advisory will continue for the community’s Public Works Garage, which will be resolved through future water-distribution funding agreements.

In 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on the promise to eliminate all drinking-water advisories in First Nations communities by the end of 2020. At present, 34 long-term water advisories remain in 29 Indigenous communities from coast to coast.

Federal Indigenous Services minister Patty Hajdu said the government hopes to continue lifting water advisories, and that this one is partly due to the determination of the community’s leadership.

“The federal government remains committed to ensuring all First Nations communities have access to clean drinking water. The recent lifting of five long-term drinking water advisories in Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Chief Maracle and the many teams that made this happen,” she said.

“We will continue to support First Nations in building and repairing infrastructure based on their priorities to help build healthier and more prosperous communities.”

Marc Lalonde  is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the  IORI:WASE. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

 

 

 

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