The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) and Marc Miller, minister of Indigenous services, have announced funding to support the last phase of the community’s multi-phase project to improve access to safe drinking water for the community.

“On behalf of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) and the Tyendinaga Mohawk Council (TMC), I very much appreciate and welcome the funding contribution from the federal government authorizing the work for the phase 3 water distribution project to proceed,” said Chief R. Donald Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte First Nation.

Together, the Government of Canada and the First Nation are contributing a total $18.2 million for this project. This project will ultimately lift five long-term drinking water advisories in the community.

“We will continue to work in partnership with the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and support their work towards lifting long-term water advisories and building sustainable water infrastructure,” said Marc Miller, minister of Indigenous services. “Together, we are working to expand water service to ensure residents have access to safe and clean drinking water for generations to come, and to address the five long-term drinking water advisories.”

MBQ awarded the construction contract to Gordon Barr Limited, which is set to begin work the week of December 21, 2020. The project includes extending the water mains from both the community’s and Deseronto’s water treatment plant, which will connect 86 existing homes and several of the community’s semi-public buildings. Construction is expected to be complete by fall 2021, due to delays created by COVID-19.

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“The approved funding will facilitate the installation of approximately eight kilometers of 300-mm watermain distribution and related appurtenances to service five areas in the community, decommission an antiquated pump house servicing homes in the Airport Road area, and lift five long-term drinking water advisories that have been long outstanding in our community,” noted Chief R. Donald Maracle.

“In addition, by completing the Phase 3 project it will allow MBQ to move forward with our watermain phasing project, adding an additional 20-kilometres of future watermain distribution allowing the extension of water services to other un-serviced parts of the community,” added Chief R. Donald Maracle. “The funding support from the federal government allows us to undertake an accelerated potable water distribution servicing program to ensure our community has access to a safe, potable and reliable water supply.”

While most Canadians have access to clean and reliable drinking water, many First Nations communities still face pressing water issues. The Government of Canada has made a commitment to clean drinking water for First Nations on reserves. It has indicated that it will continue to support and work in partnership with First Nations on long-term and sustainable solutions so that communities will continue to have access to safe drinking water for generations to come.

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