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Canada's Economic Action Plan delivers new water treatment plant for Dene Tha' First Nation in Alberta

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Ottawa, Ontario (April 7, 2009) - The Government of Canada is taking action to ensure members of Dene Tha' First Nation have access to safe, clean drinking water thanks to a new water treatment system provided under Canada's Economic Action

"This new water facility will meet the vital drinking water needs of residents of Dene Tha' First Nation," said Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Peace River on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. "Viable on-reserve water infrastructure is a priority for the Government of Canada."

This project is part of the $165 million for water and wastewater projects included in the $1.4 billion investment for Aboriginal peoples under the Economic Action Plan. The water treatment plant in Dene Tha' will replace the current water plant, meeting the needs of this growing community.

"On behalf of the Dene Tha' Nation, I am very pleased to hear that this project is moving forward," said Chief James Ahnassay. "Our community, residents of Chateh, will be pleased with this great news because a new water treatment system will help provide access to clean drinking water, which is a very important issue and a real concern for our members, particularly since we have dealt with a boil water advisory on the Hay Lakes reserve."

The Government of Canada is investing in projects that will provide lasting, sustainable benefits for First Nation communities. The government has made solid progress in improving water conditions on reserves across the country. For example, the number of high risk systems has been reduced by two-thirds. In 2006, there were 193 high risk systems. Today, this number has been reduced to 58. There were also 21 priority communities identified in 2006, meaning they had both a high-risk system and a drinking water advisory. Today, only four communities remain on that list.

The government is also taking decisive action to improve water conditions through the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan.

Costs of projects announced today will be identified following the competitive tendering process.

First Nations profiles are available on the Internet.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Minister's Office
Nina Chiarelli
Canada Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
(819) 997-0002