The provincial government announced an approximate $100 million investment into eight municipal projects on Friday in rural Manitoba to ensure safe, secure drinking water and environmentally sound wastewater management. This includes an expansion to the Portage la Prairie water treatment plant.

Municipal Relations Minister Eileen Clarke made the announcement at City Hall in Portage where Mayors, Reeves, MLAs and more, showed their support for each project.

"Without wastewater you cannot build communities and you see the likes of Portage la Prairie, Morden, and Winkler, where they're at their capacity, and where do you go from there?" says Clarke. "So, for our government to provide this level of funding for them to move forward. it's just a really joyous occasion."

Mayor of Portage Sharilyn Knox says this infrastructure is crucial for the City of Possibilities.

"Water and wastewater is very important to this city and critical to our continued growth and attraction of investment here. So this announcement and partnership with the province will just allow us to continue to attract world class wet industry to our region and to Manitoba."

MLA for Portage Ian Wishart kicked off the ceremony by welcoming many to the area, saying this was an announcement that would benefit everyone.

"The whole series of announcements is great for Manitoba in general, but for Portage in particular, this is sort of the missing piece of the puzzle we need to continue moving forward on our value-added processing developments, if you want to call it that, that we've had here," says Wishart. "It's been a mark of our success the last 10-12 years. This will just keep us moving down the road, and I think, all Portagers should be happy with this, and all Manitobans are going to benefit."

President of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities Kam Blight says he was happy to see the announcement happen, and it's something they've been waiting for.

"Well, this is something that's long overdue and something that the municipalities and the Association of Manitoba Municipalities has been lobbying for, for quite some time, and we certainly appreciate the Province of Manitoba hearing our concerns, and stepping up, and coming forward," says Blight. "There's a lot of opportunity for economic growth across this great province, and this will help to promote that and enable that for these communities to continue to grow."

He adds it'll help support the rapid residential growth we're seeing across the entire province.

The other seven projects include:

  • wastewater treatment plant expansion in City of Morden
  • water treatment plant expansion in City of Brandon
  • wastewater system expansion in the City of Winkler and the RM of Stanley
  • water treatment plant in Letellier in partnership with the Pembina Valley Water Cooperative
  • water treament plant expansion in the RM of Springfield
  • rural water pipelines in the RM of St. Francois-Xavier
  • water and sewer renewals in the Town of Powerview-Pine Falls

The minister noted the total cost of the jointly funded rural municipal water and wastewater projects in rural Manitoba has yet to be confirmed, subject to further discussion with municipalities, and is conditional upon municipal approval to proceed with the projects.

You can read the release from the province here.