Tofino Receives Wastewater Funding

Posted: August 27, 2019

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For Immediate Release
August 27, 2019

Tofino Receives Funding for Wastewater project

Project made possible thanks to Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program

TOFINO B.C. – The District of Tofino is very pleased to announce it has been awarded $40,264,769 from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Environmental Quality Stream (ICIP-EQ) for secondary wastewater treatment and systems upgrades. This funding, the largest infrastructure investment in the municipality’s history, comes from the Government of Canada in the amount of $21,953,600 and the Province of British Columbia in the amount of $18,301,169 and represents 73.3% of the estimated eligible project costs. The project will make improvements to Tofino’s existing wastewater collection system and will also result in the construction of a new, modern wastewater treatment plant.

Protection of the ocean environment is incredibly important to residents and visitors to the region, and Tofino has long sought to improve its practice of discharging untreated wastewater to Duffin Passage in Clayoquot Sound. In 2015, Tofino committed to meeting federal wastewater effluent guidelines and to developing a modern, reliable wastewater system. The municipality re-examined planning work that had already been undertaken and, in 2017, with the assistance of a local advisory committee of residents, stakeholders, and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation representatives, Tofino completed a new Liquid Waste Management Plan. This work was followed by the design of a wastewater treatment plant, and improved wastewater collection system and outfall.

In addition to dealing with wastewater from Tofino homes and businesses, the wastewater system will treat domestic sewage collected from the Tla-o-qui-aht communities of Esowista and Ty-histanis. Treatment of wastewater from Opitsaht and portions of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is also likely.

When completed, the wastewater treatment plant will be a very important step in improving water quality in the Clayoquot Sound, protecting public health and conserving the marine environment. In particular, it is hoped that once the wastewater treatment plant is operating, the long-standing restrictions on shellfish harvesting near Tofino and Opistsaht will begin to ease.

The District of Tofino extends its gratitude to the many individuals, stakeholders, and to Tla-oqui-aht First Nation representatives who have supported and assisted in the achievement of this significant and long-awaited goal, and in particular thanks the Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia for its investment in the environment, our local economies and the health of the region’s communities.

Saya Masso, Lands and Resources Director for Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

“Tla-o-qui-aht is very happy to see that the Region has been awarded this funding.  This project is perfectly in line with Tla-o-qui-aht land use and marine objectives; and it has been a long standing desire to see this project implemented.  This project is a critical step to achieving healthier marine areas, and enhancing the economic diversity of the Region.”

Mayor Josie Osborne, District of Tofino

“This historic investment into Tofino’s infrastructure could only happen with partnerships between all levels of government, and we are very fortunate to benefit from a funding environment that provides almost three-quarters of the capital costs of this project. The Tofino wastewater treatment project exemplifies how investment in infrastructure not only enhances the quality of life for the region’s residents, but also supports local economies and enables us to meet our obligations as citizens of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.”

Lilly Woodbury, Chapter Manager, Surfrider Pacific Rim

“Surfrider Pacific Rim congratulates the District of Tofino for receiving funding that will assist in three-quarters of the estimated cost of the new Waste Water Treatment Plant. Clean water is one of the central focuses of the global Surfrider Foundation network, as all people should have equitable access to clean marine environments that support healthy recreation, local economies, and thriving ecosystems. This award is going to play an integral part in achieving this focus by improving the water quality of Clayoquot Sound, enhancing the vitality of this region for all residents, visitors, and the myriad of species that we share this astounding place with. Surfrider Pacific Rim is dedicated to supporting and working with the District of Tofino to continue to lower the amount of pollution in local waters and on beaches, and looks forward to supporting the next phases of this project."

Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Modern efficient water infrastructure is essential to ensuring Canadians’ health and well-being. These essential projects are key to ensuring that all BC residents have access to safe and reliable drinking water, whether they live in a large city or a remote community. These projects also reflect our commitment to protecting our ecosystems and fostering sustainable economic growth that will ensure our children and grandchildren can enjoy British Columbia’s beautiful waterways and coastlines for years to come.”

Sheila Malcolmson, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Nanaimo, on behalf of the Honourable Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

“Through this landmark investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, we are helping to deliver the services people count on, while helping to keep our communities and environment healthy. The Province is working in partnership with the federal government to invest in critical infrastructure for communities in a way that works for the people that live in these communities while building a healthy, green future for all British Columbians.”

Tofino’s Liquid Waste Management Plan:

Investing in Canada Plan Project Map:

Federal infrastructure investments in British Columbia:

Investing in Canada: Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan:

Government of British Columbia’s Infrastructure program:

Josie Osborne, Mayor
District of Tofino
(250) 725-3229

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