The Buctouche First Nation in eastern New Brunswick is opening a new water treatment plant that will provide safe and clean drinking water to the community’s 75 residents.

“Our community has been affected on a number of occasions by water quality issues, [we are] very pleased that these long-awaited upgrades to our system are completed and will enable us to provide our community members with safe, clean drinking water,” stated Buctouche First Nation Chief Ann Mary Simon.

Bernard Valcourt, minister of aboriginal affairs and northern development, congratulated community members on the completed water system upgrades.

“First Nations, like all Canadians, should have access to safe, clean drinking water, and thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in this project, the residents of Buctouche First Nation will be better served with clean, safe drinking water,” he said.

The federal government invested $2.3 million over four years into the project, including a feasibility study, the design and installation of a water transmission line, construction of a booster station, a new pump house, and a water storage tank.

In June 2013, Canada released The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act, which aims to provide safe on-reserve drinking water and wastewater treatment by developing much needed regulations. The federal government is working with First Nations groups across the country to develop regulations and standards on a region-by-region basis.

– Kristen Curtis

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