18 February 2014
By: Shawnigan Residents Association (SRA)
Shawnigan Lake, BC: Today, the SRA has released a public service announcement (PSA) with award winning Documentary Filmmaker Paul Manly as part of their ongoing efforts to stop South Island Aggregates (SIA) aka Cobble Hill Holdings (CHH) from turning Shawnigan Lake into BC's toxic soil dump.
CHH has successfully applied for a permit to dump 5 Million Tons of contaminated soil on the slopes of Shawnigan Lake over a period of 50 years to the detriment of the environment, health, safety and security of 12,000 residents who rely on Shawnigan Lake as their primary drinking water source.
"We are overwhelmed at the outpouring of support that the SRA has received from our community and people across British Columbia on this issue. This is not just a Shawnigan issue. The Ministry of Environment allowing contained soil dumps in drinking watersheds is a concern for all British Colombians. When the will of big business trumps science and common sense we must stand up and do what we can to stop it." Calvin Cook, SRA Vice President.
The SRA along with the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and three private land owners are taking this fight to the BC Environmental Appeal Board arguing the permit is of high risk and must be set aside.
"It's a sad day when in the year 2014 citizens must raise funds to fight to protect drinking water which could have been avoided had the Minister of Environment done their job. That being said, the people of Shawnigan Lake are strong and we will continue to fight - we believe in drinkable, swimmable and livable water" remarks Cook.
Filmmaker Paul Manly, is also BC Yukon representative on the National board of the Council of Canadians, an organization with over 100,000 members that are deeply concerned about protecting Canada's water. "I was more than happy to help with production of this PSA. This contaminated soil dump will set a terrible precedent for community drinking watersheds all over BC," said Manly. If it can happen in Shawnigan, it can happen in Nanaimo or Nelson or Fort Nelson and every community in between. Raising awareness and standing in solidarity with communities under threat is key to protecting drinking water for future generations."
We encourage you to send us your 6 second clip on why you feel its important to protect Shawinigan's water to and we will post these clips along side our PSA.