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Prince Rupert gets $65M for water system upgrade

The northwestern B.C. city suffered a water main break on Dec. 15 that threatened the water supply for the whole city.
Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess is seen in Prince Rupert. The northern B.C. port city received $65 million in funding to support upgrades to its water system on Friday.

On Friday the B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs announced $65 million in funding to replace crucial sections of Prince Rupert’s aging water system.

The city of roughly 14,000 people has been suffering an increasing number of water main and service line failures, including a major break on Dec. 15 which threatened the water supply for the entire community.

"Securing our water-supply infrastructure is essential to securing one of Canada's busiest trade corridors,” Prince Rupert Mayor Herb Pond said. “The premier, our MLA and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs have all been incredibly supportive. They know our issues and are committed to help. Today's announcement allows us to tackle the most critical areas of water infrastructure and secure our supply for decades to come."

The northwest B.C city is home to Canada’s third largest port and key part of the country’s transportation infrastructure. More than $50 billion worth of goods are imported and exported annually through the port.

"The B.C. government's investment demonstrates their understanding of the need for an urgent solution that will ensure a strong, sustainable port has a strong, sustainable community that can support its growth,” Prince Rupert Port Authority president and CEO Shaun Stevenson said. “The Port of Prince Rupert relies on healthy municipal infrastructure to support the needs of its local workforce and maintain a livable community that can anchor our role as an essential trade gateway for B.C. and Canada."

Funding was provided through the Critical Community Infrastructure fund.