Today, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and Chief R. Donald Maracle celebrated ongoing improvements to their water infrastructure that will improve residents’ access to safe drinking water and safeguard the community from the effects of drought caused by climate change. The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, along with Mike Bossio, Member of Parliament for Hastings-Lennox and Addington, on behalf of the Honourable François Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities joined the celebrations.
The First Nation, Infrastructure Canada and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) worked together to expand water service to the eastern Ontario community. Ongoing improvements to the community’s water and wastewater infrastructure include:
- Adding nearly 23 kilometres of water distribution pipes to reach the majority of the community’s 750 homes and businesses. Once complete this expansion will improve access to safe drinking water and reduce the effects of drought on the community. Infrastructure Canada is investing more than $30 million in this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF).
- Connecting 146 homes directly to the community’s main water treatment system. ISC is investing $14.5 million towards the project which is expected to be complete by summer 2020. This project is part of a phased approach that will improve access to safe drinking water and contribute to the lifting of five long-term drinking water advisories in the community. The project is part of the Government of Canada project to end all long-term drinking water advisories on public drinking water systems on reserves.
“Extreme weather events are becoming increasingly common in Canadian towns, cities and First Nations communities. It is time to take concrete steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change to ensure a safe, prosperous future for our families, our businesses and the environment. This project will mitigate impacts of future droughts in the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Territory, protecting the community, and the essential services they rely on. By investing in infrastructure that protects communities now, we are ensuring that Canadians can thrive and prosper for generations to come.”
Mike Bossio, Member of Parliament for Hastings-Lennox and Addington, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“It is so important for our Government that we are a partner in addressing your priorities. This vital investment will bring us one step closer to eliminating all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves across Canada by March 2021.”
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services
“The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte is pleased Indigenous Services Canada has provided $14.5 million to construct 8 kms of water mains and an elevated storage reservoir extending water services along York Road to the village of Shannonville. This portion of the reserve will be serviced from the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte water treatment plant that was constructed in 2015 with financial assistance of $26.7 million from Indigenous Services Canada. The additional funding from the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) commits $30 million in federal funding to construct water main infrastructure on un-serviced roads to homes that have experienced dry wells during drought conditions. The construction of these water mains will ensure that our members have a reliable supply of safe drinking water, a longstanding and important goal of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. We very much appreciate the financial contributions of Infrastructure Canada and Indigenous Services Canada to enable the community to achieve this important goal.”
R. Donald Maracle, Chief of the Mohawks Bay of Quinte
The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte is located along the northern shores of the Bay of Quinte, south of Highway 401, approximately 20 km east of Belleville. The reserve has a population of more than 2,500. The Indigenous Services project will contribute toward the lifting of five long-term drinking water advisories in the community, which is the objective of the phase 3 water servicing project. Phase 3 will consist of more water main extensions and cistern installations for the semi-public buildings. Phase 3 is currently in the feasibility study stage.
The Infrastructure Canada project will provide more than 2,500 residents in the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Territory access to safe drinking water while reducing the number of people affected by drought by 83%.
Infrastructure Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a $2-billion, 10-year program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts.
DMAF is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, which is providing more than $180 billion over 12 years for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and rural and northern communities.
Investing in green infrastructure that helps communities cope with the intensifying effects of climate change is an integral part of Canada’s transition to a more resilient, low-carbon economy, which is among the commitments made under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
Drinking water advisories are preventive measures used to protect the public from drinking water that is potentially unsafe, or from drinking water that is confirmed to be unsafe based on water quality testing. They are issued both in First Nation communities and off-reserve by municipal, provincial or territorial governments in communities across Canada. A drinking water advisory becomes long-term when it has been in place for more than a year.