The federal government has committed $17.66 million to clean up persistent contaminants in Victoria’s Laurel Point Park and harbour.
Transport Canada announced the contractor for the project Saturday morning, QM/JJM Contracting JV. Workers will dig up 35,000 cubic metres of contaminated soil at the park and backfill the area with clean soil and re-turf the park.
“The Government of Canada takes its responsibility to clean up federal contaminated sites like Victoria’s Middle Harbour seriously. Today’s announcement demonstrates action and illustrates our ongoing commitment to protecting Canada’s marine environment and for residents,” said Minister of Transport Marc Garneau in a statement.
A paint factory used to be located in the area the park now occupies, between 1906 and 1975. Industrial activities left persistent contaminants in the soil which pose a threat to marine life.
Although, Transport Canada says the pollutants do not pose a risk to residents and park users.
The cleanup is the final phase of the agency’s comprehensive Middle Harbour Remediation Project, that aims to preserve the harbour and remove persistent contaminants from the ecosystem.
The first phase successfully remediated contaminated underwater sediments in Victoria’s Harbour and work on the final phase will begin next month and is expected to end by late next year.
“This project will preserve Laurel Point Park as a feeding ground for wildlife, a place for locals to relax, and an attraction for tourists that will benefit generations to come,” said Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government Joyce Murray in a statement.
Transport Canada is partnering with the City of Victoria on Phase Two of the project to remediate the contaminated soil on both City and federal property.