EDITOR'S NOTE: The following letter was written today to Scott Fraser NDP MLA . We are asking him to have the Environment and Land Use Commission place a moratorium on this logging. We will keep you updated when/if we receive a response.
Honourable Scott Fraser
MLA Mid Island-Pacific
Dear Mr Fraser,
It has come to our attention that Island Timberlands has given notice to the Union Bay Improvement District of their intention to conduct logging in the Langley Lake watershed during the 2018 harvesting
season. Langley Lake is the only water supply for the community of Union Bay.
To be blunt it is no longer acceptable to conduct industrial resource extraction in community drinking water systems.
Every community requires clean, safe drinking water in predictable quantity. Most people in North America obtain clean and safe drinking water from supply areas that they own, govern and protect. They manage them so that their citizens are safe and so that their quality of life is consistent with accepted norms in modern society. Like many on the East Coast of Vancouver Island this option is not available to the Union Bay Improvement District who neither own nor have the capacity to protect their watershed.
This is unfair to Union Bay residents who face real health impacts that neither they nor their elected representatives can address - not to mention future financial liability to fund treatment costs needed
to remedy damage industrial resource extraction causes to drinking water supply systems. An undisputed example of this can be found in the
water supply area for our neighbours to the North in Courtenay-Comox who are facing a bill of $165 million dollars to solve the turbidity problem caused by logging.
Langley Lake is a small and vulnerable system with nowhere near the resiliency of a larger watershed. It already faces supply challenges created by the removal of most of the surrounding vegetation. It
cannot afford to have its remaining natural boundaries further reduced.
Vancouver Island Water Watch coalition is asking the Environment and Land Use Committee of the legislature to impose an immediate temporary
injunction preventing any further industrial resource extraction activity within the Langley Lake watershed until legislative means to grant community control over water supply areas can be proposed and voted upon within the legislature.
Democratic control over something as fundamental as safe, clean, predictable drinking water is long overdue for citizens like those wholive in places like Union Bay.
We would appreciate a response to our concerns.
Chair – Vancouver Island Water Watch Coalition
Editor – www.vancouverislandwaterwatchcoalition.ca
Vancouver Island Water Watch Coalition Core Group
Leonard Krog – MLA - Nanaimo