Feds providing $2.25M for design phase of Curve Lake First Nation water treatment plant project

The federal government is providing Curve Lake First Nation with more than $2.2 million to help with the design phase of a new surface water treatment plant and water distribution system.

Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef made the announcement on Friday, stating Ottawa is investing $2.256 million towards the design phase of a new water treatment system in the First Nation located 25 kilometres north of Peterborough.

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“Teachers and elders have taught me that water is sacred. It is life,” said Monsef. “Today, I am thankful for the collaborative partnership between Curve Lake and the government of Canada as we announce funding for the design phase of a water treatment system in the community. I commend Chief Emily Whetung, council, and all who came before them for their leadership and hard work.”

Whetung says she and the council are “extremely pleased” with the federal funding totalling $2,256,693 for the detailed design phase.

She said for nearly four decades the First Nation has conducted studies and tests and advocated for a clean water system in the community of 2,350 registered members (living on and off the First Nation). She said the community struggles with a lack of clean water, dry wells, frequent boil water advisories and systems too small for the growing community of 2,700 — members and non-members.

“This announcement represents the largest step forward for water security in our community in almost half a century,” stated Whetung.

“Our community cannot grow, build houses, become self-sufficient or develop our business community in any substantial way without access to clean and reliable water. Today, I am proud to have been a part of the hard and persistent work of our council and staff, which has led us to this very exciting step.

“We greatly appreciate the support from Indigenous Services Canada and look forward to working with their team through the design phase and making the Curve Lake water treatment plant a reality.”

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Whetung said the funding will be released over a two-year period and will be used for detailed design work, engaging a value engineering firm and a professional quantity surveyor. She noted it’s not guaranteed a plant will be constructed since it comes with a price tag of more than $48 million.

“But designing it will give us a better idea of what the costs are going to be, She said.

“So I hope you can all take a deep breath and celebrate this weekend that we are certainly taking the next step in bringing clean water to our community.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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