The $4,565,949 for the improvements will be cost shared by the federal government’s New Building Canada Plan, the province and the Town of New Glasgow.
Central Nova MP Peter MacKay, who is also the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, was on hand to make the announcement, along with Randy Delorey, the provincial Minister of Environment and Minister of Gaelic Affairs, and Mayor Barrie MacMillan.
The project involves enhancing the filtration system by adding a third filter, and moving
water disinfection chemical storage closer to the main treatment plant. This will reduce costs and interruptions to transmitting the chemicals to the plant during the winter in the case of frozen pipes.
Town engineer Earl MacKenzie said the improvements are being made to meet provincial regulations. “There’s no deficiencies at the plant from a water quality point of view,” he said, adding that construction would likely begin next spring or summer.
Once complete, the project will result in a safer, more reliable supply of potable water for residents and industries in the region. The treatment plant provides water to residents of New Glasgow, the County of Pictou through a master water agreement, and to the Town of Westville Water Utility, and the water produced at the Forbes Lake facility supports important regional assets, including the Aberdeen Regional Hospital, the Pictou County Wellness Centre, the two regional high schools, the Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility and major businesses such as NS Power and DSTN in Trenton.
“This outstanding investment in our Forbes Lake Water Treatment Facility by both the federal and provincial governments is a leadership investment in the future of Pictou County,” said MacMillan. “The Town of New Glasgow Water Facility meets and exceeds national water standards and this expansion ensures this exceptional quality will continue for many years.”
Delorey mentioned that the water treatment facility was considered state-of-the-art
when it was opened in 2000.
“The provincial government's contribution to the water treatment plant in New Glasgow provides a tremendous boost to ensuring this key piece of infrastructure continues to service the community. This funding shows our commitment to strong communities and we will continue to work collaboratively with our federal and municipal colleagues,” he said.
Few things are as important as water, said MacKay, noting that he was likely making his last announcement on behalf of the federal government in the town’s council chambers since he’s not reoffering in the next election.
“This will make a difference that benefits everyone,” he said. “Infrastructure fuels the Canadian economy. Local hands, local jobs, local shovels are a key component to foster prosperity in our community.”
He said improving the quality of life of Canadians and ensuring communities have the necessary infrastructure to grow and be places where people want to raise families, is a priority for the federal government.
“With the New Building Canada Fund, our government’s support for public infrastructure has never been stronger and we are contributing to our long-term prosperity. We are pleased to work with the Government of Nova Scotia to approve projects under the New Building Canada Fund. Investing in the Forbes Lake Water Treatment Facility project will ensure that infrastructure funding continues to flow as we focus on creating jobs, promoting growth, and building strong, prosperous communities across Nova Scotia and across Canada.”
The New Building Canada Plan is the largest and longest federal infrastructure plan in Canada’s history, with the unprecedented commitment providing $53 billion to support provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure between 2014 and 2024. Over this 10-year period, Nova Scotia will benefit from approximately $1 billion in dedicated federal funding, including almost $426 million under the New Building Canada Fund.
The federal and provincial governments have each committed to provide up to a maximum of $1,521,983 in funding for the Forbes Lake project.