Canadian Consulting Engineer

CIB invests in new shíshálh Nation Government District-owned wastewater treatment plant

November 5, 2022
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

The $6.4-million investment will provide economic, environmental, and employment benefits to shíshálh Nation.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and the shíshálh Nation Government District (sNGD) announced financial close on an agreement, which will see the CIB lend $6.4 million to support a new Port Stalashen Wastewater Treatment Plant through its Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative.

The plant will be located on shíshálh Nation lands near Sechelt, B.C., and will play a role in enabling economic growth, protecting the coastal environment, and safeguarding public health through improving the outfall. The investment will serve the shíshálh Nation, which represents a population of more than 1,500 members, and lessees on shíshálh Nation Lands (Tsawcome) No. 1.

“The current wastewater treatment plant, owned and operated by sNGD for the past 26 years, has reached its end of life and requires replacement,” CIB officials said in a Nov. 2 news release. “This new replacement plant and improved outfall will serve 91 connected residential units and support the conversion and connection of 88 buildings, which currently rely on septic wastewater systems. The additional capacity this plant provides makes it possible for the shíshálh Nation to develop and connect future high-density residential housing developments. It also has additional capacity to tie in nearby future developments within the District of Sechelt.”

The investment in new wastewater treatment will greatly reduce impacts to the ocean environment by significantly improving the quality of effluent which will meet more stringent modern wastewater standards far into the future, CIB added.

sNGD will own the new plant and be responsible for procurement, project management and operations of the new facility. This project will also provide employment and training opportunities for First Nations community members working on the project.

“According to the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, the infrastructure deficit across First Nations in Canada has been estimated to be between $25 billion and $30 billion,” CIB said. “By tapping into CIB financing, the shíshálh Nation will access affordable capital to accelerate and future-proof their community’s infrastructure needs.”


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