Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced more than $1.5 billion in additional investments to help meet the government’s commitment to ensure clean drinking water in First Nations communities.
These additional funds include:
- $616.3 million over six years, and $114.1 million per year ongoing thereafter to increase support for operations and maintenance of water and wastewater infrastructure on reserves.
This funding will enable First Nations communities to better sustain, over the long-term, the approximately 1,200 water and wastewater systems on reserves-reducing the opportunities for long-term drinking water advisories to reoccur.
First Nations will have the resources to ensure that water operator support and capacity issues can be better addressed; improve or maintain water-related infrastructure condition ratings by completing required maintenance and repairs before issues arise, costing significantly less money over the long-term; and ensure longer lifecycles for water infrastructure.
- $309.8 million to continue work to lift all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves.
This funding will enhance work already underway to address outstanding long-term drinking water advisories, and mitigate delays, including those experienced recently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Measures to accelerate projects will be considered on a case-by-base basis, and may include supporting communities to identify, train and support the certification of local operators; funding air transport of materials and equipment to remote sites; and supporting COVID-19-related precautions, including the quick construction or delivery of suitable accommodations to enable the construction of infrastructure to resume in communities while workers isolate.
- $553.4 million to continue funding water and wastewater infrastructure on reserves
These new investments will support the continuation of Indigenous Services Canada’s water and wastewater program, with continued funding for water and wastewater infrastructure on reserves that is critical to addressing vulnerable systems and helping to prevent future water advisories.
These investments will also enhance services provided through technical support organizations, such as the Circuit Rider Training Program and centralized water and wastewater hubs in Ontario.