November 16, 2015 – QP VIDEO – John Horgan questions Clark gov’t over contaminated soil dump in Shawnigan Lake Watershed

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Last August the B.C. government gave a permit to South Island Aggregates, a 50-year permit, to receive over 100,000 tonnes annually of toxic, contaminated soils just above the drinking water supply for 12,000 British Columbians. Throughout the debate around this issue, through judicial review, through appeals to the appeal board, the government has steadfastly maintained that they were protecting the interests of the people of Shawnigan Lake, that they were protecting the water within Shawnigan Lake and that there was nothing to worry about. Sadly, the worst fears of the residents of Shawnigan Lake were realized on Friday, when the Ministry of Health, through the the appeal board, the government has steadfastly maintained that they were protecting the interests of the people of Shawnigan Lake, they were protecting the water within Shawnigan Lake, and there was nothing to worry about.

Sadly, the worst fears of the residents of Shawnigan Lake were realized on Friday when the Ministry of Health, through the Island health authority, issued a “do not use” water advisory for those living and taking water on the south end of Shawnigan Lake.

My question is to the Minister of Environment. After years of being approached by residents, whether they be elected representatives, regular citizens or former Liberal candidates, the response has always been: “Do not worry. We’re here to protect you.” Until it rains. As you well know, we live in a rainforest. The first rain in the 50-year permit led to a no-use advisory for the people in the region.

Can the minister now do the right thing, stop the movement of contaminated soils into the Shawnigan watershed and do it today?