Better drinking water and wastewater systems coming to multiple BC communities 

News release

West Vancouver, British Columbia, August 27, 2019—The governments of Canada and British Columbia are investing in modern reliable water services to build healthy sustainable communities where families can thrive today and for years to come. 

Today, Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and Sheila Malcolmson, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Nanaimo, on behalf of the Honourable Selina Robinson, B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced funding for 15 projects to improve drinking water and wastewater services for residents across British Columbia.  

Six projects will help protect the health of residents by improving access to safe and reliable drinking water in small communities, including First Nations communities, in some cases resolving current drinking water advisories and reducing the likelihood of future ones.

Nine projects will support new and upgraded wastewater systems to meet regulatory standards, modernize services and support growing communities. By reducing pollutants and improving overall environmental performance, the new and upgraded systems will also help protect waterways and ecosystems for future generations.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $100 million in these projects through the Green Infrastructure Stream – Environmental Quality program of the Investing in Canada plan and the Small Communities Fund of the New Building Canada Fund. The Government of British Columbia is contributing nearly $80 million and the municipalities are contributing more than $60 million to these projects.

Quotes

“Modern efficient water infrastructure is essential to ensuring Canadians’ health and well-being. These essential projects are key to ensuring that all BC residents have access to safe and reliable drinking water, whether they live in a large city or a remote community. These projects also reflect our commitment to protecting our ecosystems and fostering sustainable economic growth that will ensure our children and grandchildren can enjoy British Columbia’s beautiful waterways and coastlines for years to come.”

Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Through this landmark investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, we are helping to deliver the services people count on, while helping to keep our communities and environment healthy. The Province is working in partnership with the federal government to invest in critical infrastructure for communities in a way that works for the people that live in these communities while building a healthy, green future for all British Columbians.”

Sheila Malcolmson, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Nanaimo, on behalf of the Honourable Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

“Black Tusk Village was established by the Province to house residents forced to relocate because their community was built in a geo-hazard area. Replacement of the aging wastewater treatment facility is a priority for this community and this funding supports a project that provides a sustainable solution with long-term economic, social and environmental benefits. We are grateful for this support from the federal and provincial governments; without it, a project of this scope would be too cost prohibitive to undertake.”

Tony Rainbow, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Board Chair and Electoral Area D Director

“This investment into wastewater treatment in Tofino—the largest infrastructure investment in the municipality’s history—enables us to truly meet our responsibilities as citizens of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, an incredible region that provides the foundation of our local economies and healthy communities. It simply could not have happened without partnership among all levels of government and our joint commitment to respect and protect British Columbia’s beautiful natural environment.”

Josie Osborne, Mayor of Tofino

Quick facts

  • In 2018, the Canadian and British Columbian governments committed up to $243 million towards an initial intake of the Green Infrastructure-Environmental Quality program to support cost-sharing of infrastructure projects in communities across the province.

  • Under the Environmental Quality program, federal and provincial funding covers up to 73.33% of eligible project costs, and up to 90% for off-reserve Indigenous projects; the remaining funding is the responsibility of the community.

  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

  • $26.9 billion of this funding is supporting green infrastructure projects, including $5 billion available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

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Contacts

Ann-Clara Vaillancourt
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
613-697-3778
ann-clara.vaillancourt@canada.ca

Pamela D’souza
Communications Manager
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
250-896-3755
pamela.dsouza@gov.bc.ca

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Email: infc.media.infc@canada.ca
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