Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

BUILDING COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE – Yukon MP Larry Bagnell (right) discusses the projects at this morning’s news conference while Community Services Minister John Streicker looks on.

Governments announce infrastructure funding

More than $16.5 million in federal and territorial funds will go to improvements to the water and waste water pipes in Dawson City,

By Stephanie Waddell on September 10, 2018

More than $16.5 million in federal and territorial funds will go to improvements to the water and waste water pipes in Dawson City, the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun’s water treatment plant, and installing a solar power system at Moosehide.

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell and Community Services Minister John Streicker announced the funding this morning during a press conference at the Yukon Government Main Administration Building in Whitehorse.

They highlighted the $12.4 million that will come from the federal Small Communities Fund, with the remaining to come from the territorial government.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates Canada’s commitment to working closely with Yukon to meet the unique needs of small communities,” Bagnell said.

“Along with our partners, we are proud to invest in green infrastructure projects like the ones announced today that will help maintain sustainable communities and clean waterways – leading to a better quality of life for those living working in the territory.”

Ottawa will put $11.7 million into the second phase of upgrades to underground pipe replacement of the water and waste water system in Dawson.

The territory, meanwhile, will kick in the remaining $3.9 million for the work.

Responding to questions from the media, Streicker specified the work in Dawson is not to the wastewater treatment plant, which has experienced major problems since it was opened in 2012.

Rather, the money is for the underground infrastructure, which is aging and beginning to sag, thus impacting water flow.

He pointed out efforts are underway to look at the issues at the wastewater plant and work on a solution.

He noted the first phase of the project “was in full swing this summer,” with a number of streets dug up to do the work. Phase 2 will see that continue into 2019.

“It’s work that needs to be done,” Streicker said. He and Bagnell emphasized throughout the announcement the importance of safe, clean water.

Another important project impacting water in the territory is the controls upgrade to the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun water treatment plant, which will allow for more efficient operations. A total of $300,000 will come for the federal Small Communities Fund for the work, with the territory contributing $100,000.

Finally, the project at Moosehide will result in less diesel use at the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in’s village site north of Dawson with the installation of 12 kilowatts of solar modules and energy storage there.

Reducing reliance on diesel will help bring down energy costs, Streicker pointed out.

He and Bagnell stressed the projects were set out as priorities by the communities, noting it’s important that the communities involved set the priorities for the funding.

In a statement, Dawson Mayor Wayne Potoroka, Chief Simon Mervyn of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Chief Roberta Joseph noted the importance of the projects to their communities.

“Maintaining water and sewer infrastructure is a key municipal responsibility and an important part of building a sustainable community,” Potoroka said.

Mervyn noted the investment is important to the First Nation’s core infrastructure.

“Access to safe clean drinking water is critical to the well-being of our citizens,” he said.

Joseph noted the importance of reducing environmental impacts for the First Nation.

“We are pleased to partner with other levels of government in bringing a clean, sustainable energy source to Moosehide, and thank everyone who played a role in bringing 21st-century technology to our century-old gathering place,” she said.

Comments (5)

Up 0 Down 0

drum on Sep 14, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Time to start looking for votes for 2019. It will not be mine. The Liberals in Ottawa are destroying this country.

Up 4 Down 0

Groucho d'North on Sep 13, 2018 at 9:51 am

The rule of four-year political terms is in years 1 & 2 you do all the nasty business that may upset the electorate in some manner. In years 3 & 4, you buy goodwill with the tax-payers own money in an attempt to get re-elected. So the question is: Can the Yukon electorate be bought?

Up 3 Down 0

Jake on Sep 11, 2018 at 12:57 pm

Good news Brian! Just hope all the projects with the highest priority get funded. Not political of course.

Up 4 Down 0

Brian on Sep 11, 2018 at 9:09 am

We're getting upgraded water and sewer lines and lagoon repairs. Haines Junction is seeing its share. Plus some other infrastructure upgrades like the roads

Up 11 Down 7

Jake on Sep 10, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Good on Dawson, and good on Larry. But what does that influx make the total funding so far this year to the Klondike? Not being pessimistic, or maybe I am, but seems like the Premier is laying it a little thick in his riding. Interesting to know how other communities are making out with their infrastructure applications.

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