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Government of British Columbia to Approve Contaminated Soil Permit in Shawnigan Lake - Community Outraged

By Shawnigan Residents Association (SRA)
26 March 2013

Shawnigan Lake, BC – Despite an outpouring of community opposition, the BC Ministry of the Environment under the leadership of the Hon. Minister Terry Lake is set to approve a permit for South Island Aggregates (SIA) to dump 100,000 tons of contaminated soil within the Shawnigan Lake Watershed each year.

Thousands of residents rely on Shawnigan Lake for their drinking water not including the multiple wells that surround the SIA’s dumpsite. Independent scientific reports and warnings from the health authority and within government itself, has indicated a high risk for drinking water contamination.

At a community meeting held last night, residents continued to express grave concern regarding the SIA project and the future safety of their drinking water. In attendance were several community leaders including NDP Rob Fleming Opposition Critic of the Environment and candidates from all parties. Noticeably absent was Minster Lake and BC Ministry of the Environment staff.

“On World Water Day Minister Lake asked us to think about how to protect our water, our most precious natural resource… why then is his Ministry approving the SIA permit...what outrageous hypocrisy.” SRA Director Graham Ross-Smith.

Over 2,000 people have signed a SRA led petition demanding that government reverse the permit decision. Countless letters of opposition sent to the Minister and the Ministry of the Environment have fallen on deaf ears. Clearly, the BC Liberal’s ‘Family’s First’ agenda does not extend to the protection of safe drinking water for thousands of our families.

The SRA supports Area Direct Bruce Fraser’s formal request to the Premier for a commission of inquiry into the Government’s permit process and SIA’s dump site.

Contact:
To learn more please visit our website and sign the petition at: http://www.shawniganresidentsassociation.com/

Garry Horwood
President, Shawnigan Residents Association
c. 778.868.8204 e.

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