Tofino will be able to proceed with a $55 million wastewater treatment plant thanks to $40 million from the provincial and federal governments. (file photo)

$40 million to stop raw sewage from being pumped into Clayoquot Sound

Tofino receives federal and provincial grant for new sewage treatment plant

Victoria has received a lot of flak over the years for dumping its raw sewage into the ocean.

Meanwhile, Vancouver Island’s other favourite tourist destination has been doing the same thing with considerably less attention.

That’s about to change

The federal and provincial governments are kicking in more than $40 million to help build a wastewater treatment plant in Tofino. It is the largest infrastructure investment in Tofino’s history and will end the district’s longstanding practice of discharging untreated wastewater into Clayoquot Sound.

“I really want to mark the fact that this is a pivotal point in the many, many hours, days, months and years of planning to get to this point,” said Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne.

RELATED: Tofino pursues $40 million grant to stop dumping raw sewage

The new wastewater treatment and ultraviolet disinfection plant will service the District of Tofino, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Ottawa will invest $21.96 million, with the B.C. provincial government contributing $18.3M and the District of Tofino $14.96M for the estimated $55 million project.

It is expected to improve water quality in the Clayoquot Sound, protect public health and conserve the marine environment, states a press release issued by the district.

In particular, it is hoped that once the wastewater treatment plant is operating, the longstanding restrictions on shellfish harvesting near Tofino and Opistsaht will begin to ease.

Saya Masso, Land and resources director for Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, said Tla-o-qui-aht is very happy to see the region awarded this funding.

“This project falls 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,” said Masso.

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns said the green infrastructure investment is a major boost for the community.

“We need an unspoiled natural environment to support both traditional Indigenous practices and a healthy tourist economy which attracts thousands of visitors to our region every year. This has been accomplished with good planning, the vision of local leaders and federal and provincial governments working together. It is truly a big day for the future of Tofino and our UNESCO Biosphere Region,” said Johns.

RELATED: Capital region’s wastewater treatment facility projected to be $10 million over budget

Work is underway on a $765 million wastewater treatment project to prevent a similar discharge of raw sewage into the Strait fo Juan de Fuca by communities within Greater Victoria.

In 2015, communities were given a Dec. 31 2020 deadline to meet federal standards for wastewater treatment.

The joint federal, provincial and municipal funding came through the Green Infrastructure Stream – Environmental Quality program of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan and the Small Communities Fund of the New Building Canada Fund.



nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC governmentfederal governmentTofino,Wastewater treatment

Just Posted

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

Hearing begins into blind community’s complaint against BC Transit, City of Victoria

Complainant says bike lane infrastructure biased against blind pedestrians

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

One man in hospital with severe injuries after small fire in Victoria apartment building

Man was found by firefighters responding to multiple 911 calls about smoke on third floor

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

Police investigating string of break-ins at closed Saanich care home

Electronics, tools reported stolen from Mount Tolmie Hospital

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

37-year-old man missing from Cobble Hill area

He is described as a First Nations man, 5 foot 8 in height

Most Read