CHIPPEWAS OF GEORGINA ISLAND, ON, AUG 15, 2017 -- Today, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, along with Chief Donna Big Canoe of Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, announced new investments that will that will help ensure reliable drinking water for the First Nation.
"Our government is committed to providing safe, clean and reliable drinking water," Carolyn Bennett, minister of indigenous and northern affairs said. "It is an honor to be here at Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation to make this announcement with Chief Big Canoe. Investing in projects like this demonstrates our dedication to ending long-term drinking water advisories for First Nations communities in Ontario."
The Government of Canada will invest approximately $2.6 million to upgrade and expand the First Nation's water treatment plant. This contribution from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada builds on investments made through the Small Communities Fund, a joint initiative between Infrastructure Canada and the Ontario Government. The project will ensure the community's 208 residents will have access to clean, safe drinking water. The upgrades are expected to be complete by March 2019.
"I am glad Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada is partnering with us and committing to the rest of the funds needed to ensure that members of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation can look forward to clean, safe and reliable drinking water," Chief Donna Big Canoe, Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation. "This is a basic necessity for our members that is why the First Nation secured over half the funds required from other resources a year ago to get this project."
Once complete, this project will lift the drinking water advisory at Georgina Island. Further, the Government's long-term strategy has a specific focus on "high risk" systems, and includes funding for infrastructure and capacity building to prevent short-term DWAs from becoming long-term DWAs.