Canada and Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte announce funding to improve access to safe drinking water for the community 

News release

December 17, 2020 — Ottawa,  traditional Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada

While most Canadians have access to clean and reliable drinking water, many First Nations communities still face pressing water issues. The Government of Canada has made a commitment to clean drinking water for First Nations on reserves, and we will continue to support and work in partnership with First Nations on long-term and sustainable solutions so that communities will continue to have access to safe drinking water for generations to come.

Today, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced funding to support the last phase of the community's multi-phase project to improve access to safe drinking water for the community. Together, the Government of Canada and the First Nation are contributing a total $18.2 million for this project. This project will ultimately lift five long-term drinking water advisories in the community.

MBQ awarded the construction contract to Gordon Barr Limited, which is set to begin work the week of December 21, 2020. The project includes extending the water mains from both the community's and Deseronto's water treatment plant, which will connect 86 existing homes and several of the community's semi-public buildings.

Construction is expected to be complete by fall 2021, due to delays created by COVID-19 and will support the lifting of five long-term drinking water advisories.

We remain steadfast in our work to end all long-term drinking water advisories. The more-than-$3.5 billion committed to water and wastewater since 2016 has funded more than 600 water and wastewater projects. Infrastructure has been repaired, expanded, or replaced, training has been strengthened across the country, and additional funding for operations and maintenance is being allocated to communities. 


"We will continue to work in partnership with the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and support their work towards lifting long-term water advisories and building sustainable water infrastructure.  Together, we are working to expand water service to ensure residents have access to safe and clean drinking water for generations to come, and to address the five long-term drinking water advisories."

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services 

"Access to safe drinking water is precious and necessary for sustaining life. So, I'm very glad to hear that the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) are poised to lift the five long-term drinking water advisories which have been in place in their community. It's good to know that the federal government and First Nation contributions of $18.2 million will ensure that this essential infrastructure can carry clean, nourishing water to even more people in our region."

Neil R. Ellis
Member of Parliament for the Bay of Quinte 

"On behalf of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) and the Tyendinaga Mohawk Council (TMC), I very much appreciate and welcome the funding contribution from the federal government authorizing the work for the phase 3 water distribution project to proceed. The approved funding will facilitate the installation of approximately 8 kilometers of 300mm watermain distribution and related appurtenances to service five areas in the community, decommission an antiquated pump house servicing homes in the Airport Road area, and lift five long-term drinking water advisories that have been long outstanding in our community. In addition, by completing the Phase 3 project it will allow MBQ to move forward with our watermain phasing project, adding an additional 20 kilometers of future watermain distribution allowing the extension of water services to other un-serviced parts of the community. The funding support from the federal government allows us to undertake an accelerated potable water distribution servicing program to ensure our community has access to a safe, potable and reliable water supply."

Chief R. Donald Maracle
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte First Nation 

Quick facts

  • Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte is located approximately 10 kilometres east of Belleville and west of Deseronto, with year-round road access.

  • ISC and the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte have worked together on a multi-phased approach to expand water service to the community and address the five long-term drinking water advisories. 

  • Under phase 1, ISC provided funding to construct a new water treatment system that provides potable water to 863 homes. 

  • For phase 2, which is nearing completion, ISC invested funding to install approximately 7.5 kilometres of water main to the Shannonville area and to construct an elevated water storage tower. 

  • ISC also supported the Deseronto Water Treatment Plant Upgrade project to increase the community's capacity for more connections to clean drinking water and address the growing needs of the community. 

  • Phase 3 builds on work from phases 1, 2 and the Deseronto Project for a combined total departmental investment of approximately $58.6 million. 

  • ISC and the First Nation are cost-sharing the phase 3 project with ISC contributing $16.8 million and the First Nation contributing $1.4 million, for a total estimated project cost of $18.2 million. 

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Adrienne Vaupshas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

Stay connected

Join the conversation about Indigenous peoples in Canada:

Twitter: @GCIndigenous
Facebook: @GCIndigenous
Instagram: @gcindigenous

Facebook: @GCIndigenousHealth

Twitter: @Min_IndServ 

Page details

Date modified: