New water treatment and distribution system opens in Pacheedaht First Nation, British Columbia

The Government of Canada invested $3.7 million to complete the Pacheedaht water treatment and distribution system.

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PORT RENFREW, BC, OCTOBER 26, 2016 -- Canada is committed to ensuring all Canadians, including First Nations communities, have access to clean, safe and reliable drinking water.

Recently, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, was in Pacheedaht First Nation in British Columbia to congratulate the community on the grand opening of its new water treatment and distribution system. The Pacheedaht First Nation is located adjacent to Port Renfrew on the west coast of Vancouver Island inBritish Columbia.

The new system provides clean, plentiful drinking water to the First Nation and eliminates the need for bottled water arising from frequent drinking water advisories in the community. Since November 2015, 15 pre-existing long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted through the work done in partnership with First Nation communities and regional partners.

"Investing in water systems like the one at Pacheedaht First Nation represents one more step the Government of Canada has taken as it renews its nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations," Bennett said. "This successful project is representative of the Government of Canada's commitment to end long-term drinking water advisories in First Nation communities across the country within five years."

The Government of Canada invested $3.7 million to complete the Pacheedaht water treatment and distribution system. Budget 2016 invests an historic $1.8 billion over five years to support clean drinking water and the treatment of wastewater in First Nation communities. Budget 2016 also includes over $141 million in new funding for water monitoring and testing.

"The improvements to our water system are the foundation for a healthy community," Chief Jeff Jones, Pacheedaht First Nation said. "The Pacheedaht people are grateful for the abundance and quality of water that is now enjoyed. We now can move forward knowing that the days of water shortages in the summer months, poor water quality, and unsafe conditions are now in the past."

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