(Regina) Together with the City of Regina, File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council and with support from a broad range of government, academic, business and environmental organizations from across Saskatchewan, Economic Development Regina today formally declared Regina’s interest in becoming home to the new Canada Water Agency (CWA).

“Regina is and will continue to be a leader in water stewardship. The importance of water is ingrained in who we are, our way of life, and our livelihood,” Regina Mayor Sandra Masters said. “Regina has the history, partnerships, commitment and unique advantages to lead this generational opportunity, and I am pleased to extend a warm welcome to the Canada Water Agency.”

The CWA’s mandate is to work with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists and others to find the best ways to keep Canada’s water resources safe, clean and well-managed. Its work will be similar to that of the PFRA, a longtime mainstay across the Prairies, but with a national scope.

“As stewards to the land, we must recognize we are nothing without water,” File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council Tribal Chief & CEO, Edmund Bellegarde said. “Our sacred connection through water braids traditional knowledge found through the First Nations University of Canada and western science found at the University of Regina together that puts reconciliation into action, seeking lasting water solutions for all.”

“We welcome this opportunity to further the conversation on water stewardship but also the prospect of walking the path of reconciliation through collaborative work,” Bellegarde said.   

Regina’s bid for the CWA touches on five key themes:

  • Support for the Government of Canada’s environmental, Indigenous and economic agendas
  • A long tradition of water stewardship, from the First People on this land to the PFRA and well beyond
  • A ground-up partnership with Indigenous peoples
  • A robust academic foundation in water stewardship, including First Nations University of Canada and the University of Regina, the University of Saskatchewan and SaskPolytech
  • A welcoming, supportive community.

While it has not yet been included in the federal budget, the CWA is expected to provide as many as 100 full-time jobs for Regina residents. The Government of Canada has not yet identified a start date for the new agency.

“Our economic prosperity has always depended on water. Sectors such as agriculture and food have huge potential for Regina and well beyond – and they rely on sound water stewardship,” EDR President and CEO John Lee said. “Our collective understanding of water issues makes Regina the right choice for the CWA, and EDR is proud to bring the right people together to make our case.”