The federal government is contributing $253 million to help build a secondary sewage treatment plant for Greater Victoria.

The funding, which was announced Monday morning, will cover about one third of the $780-million cost of building a wastewater treatment plant in Esquimalt along with a second biosolids plant at the Hartland Landfill, which will convert solid waste into energy.

Denise Blackwell, the chair of the committee overseeing the project, says the announcement is the culmination of six years of planning.

"It's wonderful to be here today to actually talk about funding that will get shovels in the ground and will provide jobs for the citizens of this region," she said.

Barry Penner said, who was the environment minister in 2006 when he ordered Victoria to stop dumping raw sewage into the ocean, said the region's sewage was the subject of criticism and ridicule  from politicians in Washington and around the globe.

"I've heard from people in the Middle East that say they don't hear much about Canada very often, but one of the things they routinely hear about is that one of our capital cities dumps 40 billion litres of raw sewage into the ocean," he said.

New Democrat Victoria MP Denise Savoie released a statement shortly after the announcement Monday, applauding the funding announcement.


Conservative MP James Moore, seen in this file photo, is expected to make the announcement Monday. (CBC)

"I’ve worked on this for many years on behalf of the region, including during my time on the CRD's Liquid Waste Management committee," Savoie said.

"I made it clear from the beginning that if the federal government was going to require the CRD to upgrade the existing sewage infrastructure, they would have to put money on the table."

Construction of the wastewater plant could begin by the end of this year and is expected to generate 10,000 person years of employment.

The province has also pledged to contribute up to $248 million for the project.