Canada and British Columbia invest in upgrades to the water filtration system for the Greater Vernon community

News release

Vernon, British Columbia, August 12, 2021—The governments of Canada and British Columbia continue to invest in local infrastructure during this unprecedented time to meet the needs of communities across the province, enhance people’s quality of life, and support economic recovery from COVID-19.

Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Harwinder Sandhu, the Member of British Columbia’s Legislative Assembly for Vernon-Monashee, on behalf of the Honourable Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs, announced funding to upgrade the water filtration system for the Greater Vernon area.

The project will see the construction of a new water filtration facility at the Mission Hill water treatment plant. This facility will help improve water quality and increase access to clean drinking water in the community. The project includes a new water filtration system, a new building for labs and control rooms, upgrades to waste-stream handling, related piping and equipment, and, electrical, mechanical and control systems.

The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are investing close to $30 million in this project through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s Green Infrastructure Stream. Canada is contributing more than $16.3 million, B.C.’s contribution is more than $13.6 million, and the Regional District of North Okanagan is investing over $10.9 million. Federal and provincial funding is conditional on fulfilling all requirements related to consultation with Indigenous groups and environmental assessment requirements

Quotes

“Today’s announcement of over $16.3 million from the federal government will support the Greater Vernon Area’s goals to upgrade its water filtration system and provide reliable services to local residents. In partnership with B.C., we continue to invest in critical infrastructure, building greener, healthier and more resilient communities, and supporting local economies at a time when it is needed most. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Clean drinking water is one of the most important priorities for any community. I’m glad to see all levels of government working together to ensure that the Greater Vernon Area will have access to clean water and be able to limit boil water advisories, supporting people’s health and wellbeing.”

Harwinder, Sandhu, Member of British Columbia’s Legislative Assembly for Vernon-Monashee, on behalf of the Honourable Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs

“We are extremely thankful for this support. This filtration plant is especially crucial in light of the major challenges facing our water supply. We have already seen climate change impacts, such as the high algae levels in the fall of 2020 and the increasing frequency of floods that bring sediment plumes to our intake. The Boil Water Notice from the historic 2017 flood resulted in economic losses of over $2 million, just in terms of the drinking water needs of our residents and businesses, on top of the major health risk to our most vulnerable citizens. There are many factors beyond our control that make filtration a necessity for safe drinking water.”

Kevin Acton, Chair of the Regional District of North Okanagan Board of Directors

Quick facts

  • Through the Investing in Canada plan, the federal government 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.

  • Throughout B.C., the Government of Canada has invested more than $4.4 billion in over 580 infrastructure projects since 2015 under the Investing in Canada plan.

  • The Province is investing $3.6 billion over a 10-year period under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program for British Columbia’s infrastructure initiatives.

Associated links

Contacts

Emelyana Titarenko
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
873-355-9576
Emelyana.Titarenko@infc.gc.ca

Lauren Mulholland
Media Relations
B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs
250-208-0410
Lauren.Mulholland@gov.bc.ca

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