(Provincial Release - also available on their website)
PRINCE RUPERT -- The Province is providing $65 million to the City of Prince Rupert to replace crucial sections of its aging water-distribution system to ensure reliable water service for the community.
The importance of reliable drinking-water delivery cannot be overstated. We saw first-hand the critical need for this funding last December when the city issued a state of emergency due to water-distribution concerns," said Premier David Eby. "Crews worked tirelessly to keep potable water flowing to homes during the holiday season, and I want to thank them for their efforts. Together we are working to support the people of Prince Rupert, replacing aging infrastructure and ensuring that this valuable resource is available now and in the future."
Prince Rupert's water-distribution system is undergoing an increasing number of water-main and service-line failures, including the major line break on Dec. 15, 2022, which threatened the water supply for the community, which is home to Canada's third-largest port.
"We know that old infrastructure can cause both public-safety and economic issues within communities," said Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs. "Working together, this funding will help support the health and safety of the community, and ensure people have access to the services they rely on."
Prince Rupert's water-distribution system delivers drinkable water to approximately 14,000 people and is a crucial community service, supporting the continued sustainability of the Port of Prince Rupert. The port and B.C.'s northern trade corridor provides vital trade capacity and resiliency for provincial and national supply chains. The Port of Prince Rupert ships more than $50 billion worth of exports and imports every year, and provides economic and employment benefits in Prince Rupert and throughout B.C.
This funding, through the provincial Critical Community Infrastructure fund, is in addition to the $1-billion Growing Communities Fund, which was provided to all 188 B.C. municipalities and regional districts to support their unique infrastructure and amenities needs.
Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast –
“The health of my community is paramount. This investment will ensure up-to-date water-distribution services that are integral to the well-being of Prince Rupert's people. Our government is committed to supporting communities to create opportunities for them to build the public infrastructure they urgently need.”
Herb Pond, mayor of Prince Rupert –
“Our community is thrilled to see this level of commitment from the Province. Securing our water-supply infrastructure is essential to securing one of Canada’s busiest trade corridors. The Premier, our MLA and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs have all been incredibly supportive. They know our issues and are committed to help. Today’s announcement allows us to tackle the most critical areas of water infrastructure and secure our supply for decades to come.”
Shaun Stevenson, president and chief executive officer, Prince Rupert Port Authority –
“The B.C. government’s investment demonstrates their understanding of the need for an urgent solution that will ensure a strong, sustainable port has a strong, sustainable community that can support its growth. The Port of Prince Rupert relies on healthy municipal infrastructure to support the needs of its local workforce and maintain a livable community that can anchor our role as an essential trade gateway for B.C. and Canada.”
For information about the Growing Communities Fund, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/28220
For information about the provincial surplus, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/27862