Reader asks, is the Reeve being one-sided?

Reeve Garth Bates has recently publically stated, “Unfortunately, some people aren’t willing to accept sound science.”

In my mind, this raises at least two questions, the first of which is “whose science?”

article continues below

The only information before council is the paid consultant’s report which was prepared on behalf of the Colony. The developer’s study acknowledges that the proposed ILO and living area will be built over three aquifers. Two are named as the Fulton Lake aquifer and the Empress aquifer.

The Reeve and council have been asked repeatedly what independent analysis has been conducted and, other than the Town of Canora 1999 Study put forth by Councilor Don Kraynick, none has been identified.

The Canora study, focused on the water supply for Canora and area, stated that “under no circumstances should construction of high risk industry (intensive livestock operations) be allowed over any portion of the water aquifer limits.”

This refers to the Fulton Lake aquifer, which is the water supply for Canora and the Canora water pipeline. The proposed ILO will be situated directly over the aquifer referred to in the report.

The Fulton Lake aquifer supplies water to Canora, Buchanan, Rama, Good Spirit Lake, Crystal Lake and many farms and residences. The Empress aquifer supplies water to Stenen and many surrounding farms and residences. The contamination of these aquifers would have huge ramifications for thousands of people.

Electors who are concerned with the apparent lack of attention to this issue by council, have located two further reports. The Yorkton Area Aquifers Report 2006 also states that to protect water quality an ILO should not be located over an aquifer.

The Assiniboine River Basin Well Study 2007, conducted by Sask Water Agency, in evaluating drinking water wells at risk, reported that the well field at the Village of Stenen and all other wells and well fields in the area are at high risk for contamination due to the permeable nature of the silty clay and gravel beneath the land surface. The Stenen wells are only 210 yards from the boundary of E ½ 33-33-04 W2, which is the proposed site for the ILO.

Considering all this, and the fact that the Reeve and council have presented no evidence (other than the Colony’s paid report) that it is safe to locate an ILO over an aquifer, my second question is “who is not accepting science?” 

This council needs to step back and better understand that its role is to protect all electors in this municipality.

Submitted on behalf of the Committee for Concerned Electors in the RM of Keys #303.