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Feds announce water treatment plant investment for Nibinamik First Nation

This project will eliminate the drinking water advisory that has affected the community since 2013.


The Federal Government has announced funding to advance the design and construction of a water treatment plant upgrade and water distribution expansion for Nibinamik First Nation located in Northern Ontario, approximately 500 km northwest of Thunder Bay

Once complete, this project will eliminate the drinking water advisory that has affected the community since 2013.

Following the design phase, construction is set to begin in spring 2020 with a projected completion date of spring 2021.

The water treatment plant will provide sustainable access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water to the community’s 360 residents. ISC has committed up to $6 million for the project.

“This funding will help provide clean, safe drinking water to our community—something that we haven’t had for so many years now,” said Chief Johnny Yellowhead, Nibinamik First Nation, in a media release. “What Nibinamik needs is a long-term, reliable solution to our infrastructure crisis. With this funding Canada is finally signalling that it sees the need to provide more than a band-aid approach and that is a very positive step forward.”

  • The number of long-term drinking water advisories on public drinking water systems on reserves decreased from 105 in November 2015 to 58 as of May 9, 2019.
  • Working in collaboration with First Nations, the Government of Canada has committed to ending all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves by March 2021.
  • Budget 2016 provided $1.8 billion over five years toward water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • Budget 2017 committed an additional $49.1 million over three years towards improving access to safe drinking water.
  • Budget 2018 provides an additional $172.6 million over three years to help accelerate progress on lifting drinking water advisories and to ensure more infrastructure projects can be completed prior to 2021. Budget 2018 also provides support for repairs to high risk water systems, recruitment, training and retention initiatives, and the establishment of innovative First Nations-led service delivery models.
  • Budget 2019 proposes to invest an additional $739 million over five years, beginning in 2019-2020, with $184.9 million per year ongoing. The investment will support ongoing efforts to eliminate and prevent long-term drinking water advisories – funding urgent repairs to vulnerable water systems and providing water operator training and support programs to First Nations communities so they can effectively operate and maintain their public drinking water systems.