This week, the governments of Canada, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon have announced investments in water infrastructure for the territories.
Federal, provincial, and municipal representatives announced joint funding for the completion of a six-bay water and sewer truck garage in Behchokǫ̀, Northwest Territories, improvements to the Dawson, Yukon’s water and wastewater infrastructure, and upgrades to the Na-Cho Nyäk Dun First Nation’s water treatment plant.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates Canada’s commitment to working closely with Yukon to meet the unique needs of small communities,” said Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon at the announcement of funding for Dawson and Na-Cho Nyäk Dun First Nation projects. “Along with our partners, we are proud to invest in green infrastructure projects like the ones announced today that will help maintain sustainable communities and clean waterways—leading to a better quality of life for those living and working in the Territory.”
Over $16 million through the Small Communities Fund will support three infrastructure projects, including for Dawson and Na-Cho Nyäk Dun. As well, the funding assisted with the installation of 12 kilowatts of solar modules and energy storage in Moosehide, which will reduce the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in’s reliance on diesel. Diesel fuel has been a noted contaminant of water resources in a number of First Nations communities across the country.
“Access to safe clean drinking water is critical to the wellbeing of our citizens. Today’s announcement represents an investment in one of our core infrastructure requirements and we thank the Government of Canada and the Yukon Government for their ongoing support,” said Chief Simon Mervyn, First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun.
In Behchokǫ̀, funding supported the addition of a six-bay garage next to an existing four-bay garage. The new structure will be used to properly secure and maintain the fleet of vehicles needed to distribute clean water and to ensure continued efficient wastewater management for the residents of Behchokǫ̀.
“Water and wastewater treatment infrastructure is essential to maintaining clean waterways and healthy communities,” said Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories. “Projects like the one we are celebrating today in Behchokǫ̀ are vital in safeguarding and building stronger communities for years to come.”
For the projects in Dawson, Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, the Government of Canada provided $12,245,000 through the Small Communities Fund and the Government of Yukon is provided up to $4,150,000.
In Behchokǫ̀, the Government of Canada contributed $1,159,000 for the six-bay garage project through the Small Communities Fund and the Community of Behchokǫ̀ contributed $386,334 for a total eligible cost of $1,545,334.