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Governments provide funding for airport and wastewater treatment in Wabush

On hand for the infrastructure announcement were (from left) Wabush Mayor Ron Barron, MHA Graham Letto, Lab City Mayor Wayne Button and MP Yvonne Jones.
On hand for the infrastructure announcement were (from left) Wabush Mayor Ron Barron, MHA Graham Letto, Lab City Mayor Wayne Button and MP Yvonne Jones. - Submitted

Member of Parliament for Labrador Yvonne Jones was in Lab West on Nov. 25 to announce funding for two projects in the area, upgrades to the airport and the beginning of a wastewater treatment plant for Wabush.

Jones announced approximately $13.9 million to renovate the air terminal building at the Wabush Airport.

The renovation work, which started in Nov., includes changes to the terminal's layout to improve travelers' experience. The interior of the building will be demolished and renovated in phases, during which time the airport will remain fully operational.

“We know how vital the Wabush airport is to the Labrador West region and we’re really happy the Government of Canada shares that support with us in this important infrastructure,” Jones said at the announcement. “In the last two years our total investment here has been close to $50 million in this facility, which is substantial. Anyone who thinks we’re going to close this airport or we’re going to decommercialize it in any way, well that ain’t on. We’re here for the long haul and that’s why we’re doing the investments we’re doing here today.”

The second project that was announced was approximately $900,000 towards a wastewater treatment plant for the Wabush Industrial Park.

MHA Graham Letto called the funding, which is $565,000 from the province and $322,000 from the feds, is a good start to a much-needed project

“Our government has made firm commitments and have worked with municipalities to help them grow, to assist them to build infrastructure to provide strong community services to the people we depend on,” he said. “With a total project value of about $1 million the funding will be used towards design of a wastewater treatment plant in the Wabush Industrial Park. Our government is prioritizing water and wastewater.”

Letto said infrastructure investments have been a major priority for the government; they drive industry, improve the economy, promote employment and give young people a reason to get involved in their communities and to raise their families there.

“More importantly, this is an environmental issue for too long,” Letto said at the announcement. “We hear it year after year, raw sewage going into Wabush Lake. That has to stop and this initiative today will be the starting point for the new wastewater treatment plant that will enable the Town of Wabush to properly treat the sewage coming out of the industrial park and we’re very proud to be a part of that. That project itself is probably going to be in the range of $13-14 million.”

Wabush Mayor Ron Barron commended the project and thanked the previous council for helping move this issue along.

“This is not something that just arose, it’s been something we’ve been dealing with for years,” he said. “Thank god previous council moved this forward enough that now in the next couple of years we’ll see this project completed.”

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