PORT PERRY, Ont.—The federal government is investing roughly $4.3 million to construct a new water treatment plant at the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, along with expanding the community’s piped distribution system and adding fire protection capacity, including a water storage facility.
The projects are expected to lift three long-term drinking water advisories in the First Nation community, near Port Perry, Ont.
Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation is contributing approximately $2.3 million toward the projects, and has secured an additional $4.6 million from the Small Communities Fund—an infrastructure program run jointly by the federal and provincial governments.
“Once our water treatment plant has been constructed, we will be able to end three long-term drinking water advisories in Scugog First Nation. I would like to give gratitude and thanks for the support that was provided,” said Chief Kelly LaRocca, Mississaugas of Scugog First Nation.
LaRocca continued, “It has been a long time coming and we have worked diligently to make this happen. Having a new water treatment plant will provide safe, clean drinking water in our members’ homes.”
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) says seven long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted in six Ontario First Nation communities between November 2015 and May 2017.
“This is an important step in honouring our commitment to eliminating long-term drinking water advisories in Ontario First Nations,” said Carolyn Bennett, minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
The federal organization also states that the government is working with First Nations to eliminate long-term drinking water advisories affecting public systems financially supported by INAC by March 2021, and to prevent new long-term advisories from happening.
$1.8 billion in federal money has been earmarked to improve on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure.