Groundbreaking Ceremony to celebrate the start of construction for the Six Nations of the Grand River

Speaking Notes
for
Member of Parliament Phil McColeman (Brant)
on behalf of

The Honourable Chuck Strahl, PC, MP Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

for the

Groundbreaking Ceremony to celebrate the start of construction for the Six Nations of the Grand River

Ohsweken Six Nations, Ontario
April 16, 2010


Check against delivery

Good afternoon. I am delighted to be here today with Chief Montour on Six Nations territory, on behalf of my colleague the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians.

This is a very exciting day in the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation.

We are here to celebrate the beginning of construction of your community's new water treatment plant.

I am especially happy to take part in this important event because I worked in close partnership with the Band Council and the Chief to make this project happen.

Just over a year ago, I was here with Chief Montour to announce that our Government and the Six Nations were working together to plan a facility that would ensure stable, sustainable access to clean drinking water for your community.

And now here we are – ready to start construction on this important facility!

This new water treatment plant is a tangible example of our government's commitment to invest in infrastructure projects that are making a positive impact on First Nations communities.

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, over $18 million is going towards the total $26 million cost of this project. These funds will go towards a new water supply and treatment plant that has been specifically designed to service your First Nation's growing population.

This project is part of the $189 million for water and wastewater projects included in the Economic Action Plan. This investment is supporting the construction of water and waste water projects which are benefitting 44,000 First Nation members across the country.

This government is also taking decisive action to improve water conditions through the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan, which sets out an efficient approach to ensuring the water and wastewater needs of First Nations are met.

One of the early actions of our government after we came to office was to launch the Water Action Plan in 2006, because water and wastewater conditions on-reserve were unacceptable. As a result of this Plan, we have seen more than half of high-risk systems removed from the high-risk list.

We want First Nations to have increased confidence in the quality of their drinking water, and we are committed to working in partnership with First Nations day-by-day to complete the work required on this important priority.

The investment in the Six Nations water treatment plant clearly demonstrates our commitment to working with partners to make a difference for First Nations across our country.

By working together, we can make good things happen.

Thank you.