Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach raised the issue of ailing infrastructure in the Northwest in Parliament Oct. 4.
Prince Rupert’s water system, Terrace’s housing and waste-water infrastructure in Port Clements and Smithers were on the table for criticism by Bachrach.
As the municipality of Prince Rupert waits eagerly for federal funding to finally arrive, Bachrach claimed Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Sean Fraser was aware of the disastrous pipes situation on the North Coast.
“Federal funding is critical given the magnitude of the water infrastructure challenge Prince Rupert faces,” said Bachrach. “Based on my conversations with the minister, it seems he understands both the nature and urgency of the problem, which is promising. I’m going to keep pushing until the government confirms the funding is on its way.”
Bachrach said federal infrastructure application backlogs are also slowing down meaningful action on projects such as wastewater treatment in Smithers and Port Clements.
“In Smithers’ case, if Environment Canada is concerned about compliance, its officials should put pressure on the infrastructure minister to approve their new treatment plant,” he said. “The government has the ability to reduce the amount of pollution occurring, but we’re seeing frustrating delays in the funding process.”
Bachrach also raised Terrace’s housing issues warning that small communities, particularly northern ones, could be forgotten in the national Housing Accelerator Fund.