Sipekne’katik First Nation’s Hwy 102 development to benefit from facility
SHUBENACADIE: The importance of what a new wastewater treatment plant would mean for the community of Shubenacadie wasn’t lost on Councillor Pam MacInnis.
Under cool, overcast conditions it was clear from the look on the outgoing Shubenacadie councillor’s face that the official announcement in just moments was going to open the door of possibilities to the community and breath some fresh energy into it.
The new facility, which has a cost pegged at almost $6 million, will also benefit the Highway 102 development being planned by the Sipekne’katik First Nation, something that was emphasized on during the announcement by Kings-Hants MP Kody Blois.
MacInnis said MEH council has been extremely passionate about creating a thriving community.
“It’s a big day for the residents of Shubenacadie,” said MacInnis as she joked she couldn’t see as her eyes filled with tears of happiness. “It’s not my glasses. There’s a bit of a haze.”
She said it’s been a top priority for many residents, as she thanked them for their patience and support on the journey to the announcement on this day.
“Until it’s built, there’s no capacity whatsoever,” she said.
The new plant, which will be located on Burgess Road, means residents and MEH can begin to think of what they want Shubenacadie to look like.
“It means our community can grow, attract new people, new businesses, and it may mean spots for our seniors to stay,” she said. “It means partnering with our Sipekne’katik neighbours, and I would like to thank Chief Sack for the support of this project.
“It means that we will have a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility in our community and one that is really good for the environment. That’s good for everyone.”
She thanked her fellow councillors who knew how important this project was to her.
“It’s really been a challenge to face a large project that’s good for the community and bring everyone on board and do it in a successful manner, and staff did that,” said MacInnis.
Blois was making the announcement on behalf of the Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
“This project is a testament to your service and your hard work Councillor MacInnis,” said Blois. “I think it’s a great legacy that you’re leaving here.
“It’s a great day for East Hants.”
He said right now is an exciting time for East Hants and the municipality with the Lantz Interchange work well underway and developments in the works for major subdivisions from Armco and Clayton Developments.
“It’s a constant reminder that we need infrastructure to support growing communities,” he said. “I’m proud to be part of a government that has been focused on that since 2015.”
Blois said Shubenacadie has a close part of his heart as it’s where he played ball. He grew up in Lantz and Belnan and now calls Lantz home.
“It’s a community that has deep historic roots as well,” said Blois, “but when you talk to people in the community of course there’s a challenge. Without proper wastewater and infrastructure, it’s hard for communities to grow.
“We knew this was a top priority coming into this parliamentary session, and today I’m announcing the federal government is contributing $1.9 million through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.”
He said the upgrades and construction of a new wastewater facility, expected to begin in the Spring and take three years, will benefit Shubenacadie and surrounding communities.
“It will allow this community to grow, it will allow for more development in Shubenacadie,” said Blois. “While Chief Mike Sack is not here with us, what I think is also important is this new facility will help Sipekne’katik. They are looking to build and making things happen around Highway 102 and this infrastructure will allow that to happen.
“I think it’s an important partnership on the way to Reconciliation.”
MLA Margaret Miller said it was about time for a new wastewater facility in the community as she announced the province is contributing $1.5 million towards the project. CAO Kim Ramsay said the municipality is putting forward $1.2 million for the build.
“It was one of those things brought to me and was discussed at the municipal level and then when Kody came and became the MP,” she said. “We met with Councillor MacInnis and she stressed this is what Shubie needed.
“I have to agree this is exactly what Shubenacadie needs. That’s why it was highlighted as a priority for the province to support this infrastructure funding.”
The project aims to improve the quality of the community’s water system and sewer disposal system. In addition to the plant upgrades, both the water and wastewater main lines leading up to the plant location on Burgess Road will be replaced.
“Reliable infrastructure is the foundation for building strong, sustainable communities,” said Miller. “The new wastewater treatment facility in Shubenacadie will improve the efficiency of the wastewater system, help protect the environment and ensure the prosperity and growth of Shubenacadie.”
Warden Jim Smith said replacing the wastewater treatment plant, built in the late 1960s, is a key strategic priority for the Municipality of East Hants and is key to ongoing environmental stewardship and the growth of our region.
“Shubenacadie residents have been waiting for this infrastructure investment and we’re pleased to partner with the provincial and federal governments to make it a reality,” said Smith.
Miller said an announcement like this opens the door for developers to know they can build here.
“It tells them that this is a community that can thrive, that can do well,” said Miller. “It’s still small town N.S., it’s not Elmsdale or Enfield, this is small town Nova Scotia.
“Now it has the opportunity for people to build and settle here and expand the area.”