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17th March 2016
Shawnigan Lake stands with all communities of BC saying “don't put BC's water at risk”

World Water Day Rally in Langley.

The Shawnigan community will be in attendance at Mary Polak's Langley Constituency office #102-20611 Fraser Highway on March 22 from noon to 1:30.

The Residents of Shawnigan Lake have been fighting a BC Ministry of the Environment permit that allows the dumping of contaminated soil in an active quarry that is situated in the designated community watershed. 12,000 people in the area depend on this watershed to provide clean, safe drinking water. Despite the opposition of the entire community, the Cowichan Valley Regional District, the Capital Regional District, the Vancouver Island Regional Health Authority, the Cowichan Tribes First Nations, the Malahat First Nations, and the City of Victoria, the Ministry of Environment issued the permit to a small company, while acknowledging that the contaminated landfill site does pose a potential risk to Shawnigan residents’ drinking water.

This situation has implications for all communities in BC, as gravel pits across BC could apply to become a fill sites for contaminated soil.

On World Water Day, Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor will stand up in the House of Commons to speak about the need to protect drinking water and our community watersheds. This ties in with the David Suzuki Foundation's Blue Dot Movement, which is calling on provincial and federal decision-makers to pass Environmental Bills of Rights, which would protect the air, soil, and water that we all depend upon.

W5 aired a story on this issue on Saturday, March 20, 2016, and since then other BC communities from Kitimat to the Fraser Valley have joined Shawnigan Lake in hopes we will all be heard and protect communities water sources.

Shawnigan Lake Area Director Sonia Furstenau calls on both levels governments to be proactive in their protection of drinking water. “These communities want provincial and federal governments to take stronger action, and to protect the ecosystems that we all need for a healthy and prosperous future. 110 nations around the world have taken the steps to protect their citizens' right to clean water. It's time that Canada did so as well. If this permit is allowed to stand, it could affect many more BC communities. This permit, and our community’s fight to protect our water, are precedent setting for all of BC.”

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