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NEWS: Wakefield aquifer threat untaps wellspring of concern

The Low Down – ‘the only paper serving only the Gatineau Hills since 1973’ – reports this week that, “Of all the issues shooting up from the planned A5 (highway) extension, the Wakefiield spring is the one that seems to be striking a nerve with residents.”

“The big fear among the close to 200 or so attendees (at a Quebec Ministry of Transport information session in late-May) was that the aquifer will be damaged when the highway is built.”

“Several questions at the meeting touched on (the municipality of) La Peche having a study on hand, but La Peche Director-general Charles Ricard said in his 20 plus years of experience, he had no knowledge of such a study.”

As noted in a previous campaign blog, Jean-Francois Roy, an engineer associated with Cima+ and Tecsult Inc., told concerned residents at this session that hydrology studies are underway to investigate any impact on Wakefield’s water supply, but no date for the completion of the study was given.

“(Villagers) at the meeting asked for assurances the highway would not be built until the hydrology studies and the federal environmental impact study are completed. Roy assured them that the highway cannot be built until provincial and federal officials authorize everything, and nothing can be authorized until the studies are completed.”

Construction is set to resume on the highway expansion in Spring 2011.

The local newspaper has previously noted, “The letter-writing campaign to various levels of government has already begun.”

The Council of Canadians encourages people from across Canada to contact the area’s MP Lawrence Cannon to secure the needed guarantees that the aquifer and the spring will not be endangered. He can be reached at Cannon.L@parl.gc.ca.

To read more about this issue, please go to http://lowdownonline.com/2010/05/wakefield-quebec-residents-learn-no-more-consultations-for-a-5-extension/ and http://lowdownonline.com/2010/05/remember-the-killer-highway/.

This week’s article by Trevor Greenway should be available on-line soon.

Our earlier campaign blog ‘NEWS: Does the Highway 5 extension threaten the Wakefield spring?’, which is also noted in this week’s Low Down news article, can be read at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=3716.