Shoal Lake Opens Water Treatment Facility, Ending 24-Year-Long Boil Water Advisory
For the first time in 24 years, residents of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation can finally drink clean water from their taps as a new water treatment and distribution facility has been opened.
The grand opening of their new water plant took place yesterday and was met with joy and happiness from the community.
“It’s a new day for them. This was not only the inauguration of a state of the art $33 million facility but also the culmination of a quarter of a century of being on a Long Term Water Advisory, which is unacceptable in a place like Canada,” said Minister of Indigenous Services, Marc Miller.
“They fought hard for this. This is really foremost a victory for the people of Shoal Lake, when it’s been 24 years there’s a whole generation that has grown up under a Long Term Water Advisory, so that has impacts and these impacts have been felt through the community.”
Marc Miller joined Shoal Lake 40 Chief Vernon Redsky and Kenora Liberal candidate David Bruno in a ceremony held within the community to celebrate the historic day.
When asked why it took 24 years to give Shoal Lake 40 clean drinking water, Miller said there was no excuse.
“We’re Canada, we’re one of the best countries in the world, yet there are communities that have been on boil water advisories for far too long.”
A water treatment facility became a reality in 2015, when a $30 million commitment was made by the federal, provincial and municipal governments to build an all-access road into Shoal Lake 40, dubbed “Freedom Road.” After it’s completion in 2019, the community kick-started the campaign to bring in the resources and supplies needed to build the facility.