Thank you. Mr. Speaker, two years ago I was part of a delegation of representatives from the Town of Hay River and the Hay River Reserve that travelled to Yellowknife to meet with the then Minister of Social Services, the Hon. Jeannie Marie-Jewell. Mr. Speaker, the Minister, the representatives of the Town and the reserve and 1, as MLA for Deh Cho, worked together in a spirit of consultation and cooperation, and our efforts are now bearing fruit: The drug and alcohol treatment centre at the Hay River Reserve is now entering the construction phase.
Cabinet recently approved negotiation of the construction contract with the Hay River Dene Band's construction company, Tu Cho Gha Contracting Ltd. To date, Tu Cho Gha has already completed two small contracts for site clearing and preparation, for a total of about $20,000. A contract worth about $360,000 for the foundation and fill has just been awarded to Tu Cho Gha. Other contracts will be negotiated with the corporation for the construction of the building. Total cost of the project will be about three million dollars.
Planning and design of the project proceeded under the direction of the board with members from the communities of Fort Smith, Hay River, the Hay River Reserve and Fort Providence. The board was also assisted by the Dene Cultural Institute and elders from the four communities mentioned, as well as from Inuvik, Yellowknife and Fort Simpson. Roy Fabien, the former chief of the Hay River Reserve; current Chief Pat Martel; Joe Tambour, the drug and alcohol counsellor; representatives of the Town of Hay River; and I as MLA for Deh Cho, were involved from the very start of this project.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to the contributions of Eric Shirt, a drug and alcohol consultant who works for the board and is now living on the reserve. Eric was in many ways responsible for getting this project started. I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of the Department of Public Works. DPW staff were involved in this project from very early on. I would especially like to mention Barry Ward, the project officer. Barry, along with several board members, visited several treatment centres in northern Alberta to better understand the requirements of the facility