For Immediate Release
December 21, 2020

With a projected cost of $172 million, the largest infrastructure project the City has ever undertaken is attracting interest from prospective project partners from down the street and across the globe.

“We expected robust interest in this project,” said His Worship Irvine Ferris, Mayor of the City of Portage la Prairie, “but the quality of prospective proponents has exceeded expectations.”

Four submissions were received by the Nov. 17, 2020 deadline in response to the City’s request for qualification, which was issued Aug. 27. Many of the firms in the partnerships are national or international, with offices across Canada, including Winnipeg, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver.

“Earning interest from proponents of this calibre at this early stage is vital to ensuring the project is done well,” said Mayor Ferris. “Our priority is ensuring the project is completed on time, on budget and meets all the environmental requirements.”

A major upgrade to the Water Pollution Control Facility is required to meet new provincial and federal water quality standards. The upgrade must reduce nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) discharged from the facility to the Assiniboine River. It is part of a province-wide effort to reduce harmful algae blooms on Lake Winnipeg that contaminate beaches, reduce water quality, damage Manitoba’s important fishing and tourism industries, and pose a potential threat to human and animal health.

“Beyond meeting the required nutrient reduction standards, we will ensure the upgrades also result in other benefits to our community — including eliminating odour emissions, strengthening local economic activity during construction, supporting local trades, enhancing technical expertise during operation and implementing improved sustainable environmental practices in support of the agricultural sector,” the mayor added.  “These upgrades will further enhance the City’s commitment to regional agriculture and business and create new jobs and maintain existing ones.”

Additional environmental benefits of the upgrade include reducing the need for chemicals, increasing energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and beneficial byproduct re-use.

Funding for the project is being provided through the Investing in Canada Plan. The Manitoba government will provide more than $61 million. The Government of Canada and the City of Portage la Prairie are providing more than $60 million and $51 million, respectively. The next stage will invite three pre-qualified proponents; Plenary/PCL Environmental Infrastructure; Portage Water Solutions (Sacyr/SNC Lavalin/Ledcor); and EPCOR Water Resource Partners to submit comprehensive project proposals by late 2021. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and be substantially completed by December 31, 2024.

For more information about the project visit

For media requests, contact the City of Portage la Prairie Communications Coordinator at or (204) 239-8334.