The governments of Canada and Manitoba announced more than $31.6M in funding for four infrastructure projects in the Berens River area.

More than $20.4 million in joint federal and provincial funding will be allocated to two projects to repair and rebuild primary and secondary roads in the Berens River area. Most of the road network will be rehabilitated, including approximately 20 kilometres of on-reserve roads and 13 kilometres of provincial roads. These investments will improve road quality and driver safety and facilitate the delivery of goods and services.

“These investments in road improvements for the Berens River First Nation will increase safety on the roads and ensure a reliable network for the residents who rely on it every day. In addition, funding for the construction of an energy efficient multiplex facility and for upgrades to the water treatment plant will help improve the health of the residents of the community. Today’s announcement is an example of what we can accomplish together for rural communities in Manitoba,” said Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan, Minister for CanNor and MP for Saint-Boniface-Saint-Vital.

Berens River First Nation will also benefit from more than $5.6 million in federal funding to construct an arena/multiplex in the community. The new infrastructure, designed to be energy-efficient, will house a 37,200 square feet hockey rink and 5,500 square feet of multi-purpose space. It will offer community members a place to gather, be active and play sports.

“As our community continues to grow, it is crucial to have critical infrastructure in place to be able to gather as a community for recreational, social and cultural opportunities, have access to potable drinking water and ensure vital road infrastructure is reliable and safe, allows us to stay connected, and supports our local economy. These important projects will ensure the longevity of Berens River First Nation and will foster a vibrant and thriving community for years to come. Thank you to the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba for your partnership and support,” said Chief Norman McKay, Berens River First Nation.

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A federal investment of more than $5.5 million will also go towards upgrading the Berens River First Nation water treatment plant. The infrastructure upgrades include the extension of the electrical system, mechanical equipment and reservoir and the replacement of the water intake. These upgrades will increase access to potable water and accommodate the long-term growth of the community

The Government of Canada is investing over $26.7 million in these four projects. The Government of Manitoba is contributing more than $4.9 million towards the restoration of provincial roads, and Berens River First Nation is contributing over $7.2 million.

“Modern public infrastructure is critical to the building of vibrant and healthy communities. Our Manitoba government understands the need to invest in infrastructure improvements that ensure safe roads, quality drinking water and facilities for recreational and cultural opportunities. We are proud to support these projects that will strengthen Berens River First Nation and improve the quality of life for its residents well into the future.” said Reg Helwer, Manitoba Minister of Labour, Consumer Protection and Government Services.

Featured image: (Berens River First Nation/Ashlee Bear)

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