Port Renfrew’s Pacheedaht First Nation now has access to clean and safe drinking water, thanks to a new water treatment and distribution system.
The new system, unveiled on Sunday, provides a reliable source of drinking water to the band and eliminates the need for bottled water arising from frequent drinking water advisories in the community, said government spokesperson Sabrina Williams in a statement.
“Investing in water systems like the one (at the Pacheedaht First Nation) represents one more step the Government of Canada has taken to renew its nation-to-nation relationships with First Nations,” said Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett.
Pacheedaht First Nation Chief Jeff Jones expressed gratitude for the new facility, along with looking forward to its continued use in critical times of water needs.
“The improvements to our water system are the foundation for a healthy community,” Jones said.
“The Pacheedaht people are grateful for the abundance and quality that is now enjoyed. We now can move forward to knowing that the days of water shortages in the summer months, poor water quality and unsafe conditions are now in the past.”
The federal government invested $3.7 million to complete the Pacheedaht water treatment and distribution facility, which is part of a new $141 million fund that provides water monitoring and testing.
The 2016 federal budget also invests $1.8 billion over the course of five years to support clean drinking water and treatment of wastewater in First Nation communities, Williams said.