Feds announce $338,000 to help Semiahmoo First Nation improve water

Minister says $42.7 million will benefit 33 First Nation communities in B.C.

Semiahmoo First Nation is one of 33 communities the federal government will help with funding for water infrastructure, according to an announcement Friday.

Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, in an event at Semiahmoo Park, said $338,000 will go toward the design of a new water-distribution and wastewater sewer system for Semiahmoo First Nation.

Bennett said of projects in B.C. to receive a share of $42.7 million, four address long-term drinking water advisories.

The Semiahmoo First Nation has been on a boil-water advisory since 2005.

The projects funded are at the feasibility, design or construction stage.

Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell confirmed to Peace Arch News that the design work is a first step toward connecting to Surrey through a new servicing agreement, replacing the current connection with White Rock, which he understands is still due to terminate in February of 2018.

“We are currently at 99 per cent of the redesign and we are working with our neighbouring municipalities,” he said.

He said that concluding the design work is a necessary step toward securing funding for the actual connection work, but that SFN is anticipating a “sizable commitment” to this funding on a regional level.

He also thanked INAC for assisting with discussions with the City of Surrey.

Bennett said that the federal contribution to SFN’s water infrastructure is unusual among First Nations projects requiring federal help, in that it involves hooking up to a municipal service, rather than a well.

“But hooking up to a municipal service allows for fire hydrants and the potential for new subdivision, and allows for a comprehensive plan for the vision of that community,” she said.

SFN councillor Joanne Charles, in presenting Bennett with a ceremonial blanket to honour the “historic” occasion, noted this is the first time that a minister from INAC (or its predecessors) has paid a visit to the First Nation.

Other B.C. First Nations currently dealing with long-term water advisories are Bonaparte, Stellat’en First Nation, T’it’q’et, Tl’azten Nation, Wet’suwet’en and the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government.

More to come…

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Proposed White Rock development a ‘nightmare’ for Elm Street neighbours

Density, traffic, loss of views among chief concerns of residents

Story of ‘A Mother’s Journey to Adoption’ told in book by first-time Surrey author

In the 1990s, Raj Arneja and husband Gurpreet adopted two children in India

Heritage rail to remain closed for both July and August

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society may open Cloverdale Station in September

Surrey council to consider a $150 FOI fee for attendance requests at city facilities

This is expected to come before council during tonight’s council meeting, on Monday July 13.

White Rock names second deputy fire chief

Ken Molland started with White Rock Fire Rescue in 1992

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Most Read

l -->