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Victoria, Mid-Island chapters at Jan. 6 gathering to defend Shawnigan Lake

Shawnigan lake: Standing Up

The Council of Canadians Victoria and Mid-Island chapters will be at Shawnigan Lake tomorrow.

Rabble.ca notes, “On Wednesday, January 6th between 9 am and 3 pm, the #SaveShawniganWater Community Action Group has arranged to provide aerial tours by helicopter from Shawnigan Village to the south end of Shawnigan Lake. Politicians and members of the media will be invited to see the SIA contaminated landfill site from above, as well as get an aerial view of both Sooke and Shawnigan Lakes. Flights will be leaving Shawnigan Village every 30 minutes. While this is all going on, a peaceful protest will run from 9:00AM – 3:00PM. …The #SaveShawniganWater Community Action Group will also be providing on-the-ground perimeter tours of the SIA site through the adjacent CVRD Park.”

Chapter activists Lynne Alton, John Carver, Ted Woynillowicz and Jessica Johnston plan to be there for this.

Area residents oppose South Island Aggregates dumping contaminated soil at a gravel pit near Shawnigan Lake given it puts at risk the drinking water for 12,000 people. The site will receive up to 100,000 tons of contaminated soil per year for fifty years. The site itself is located on top of an aquifer, beside a creek leading to the community’s drinking water.

The Council of Canadians supports local residents Shawnigan Residents’ Association, The Highlands Residents for Clean Water, Sierra Action, the provincial NDP, the B.C. Green Party and others who have been mobilizing to defend drinking water in the area. Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow says, “In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the human right to water and sanitation. As a result, there are now three obligations that governments must follow: the obligation to respect, protect and fulfill.” The obligation to protect means, for example, that local communities should be protected from their drinking water being polluted by the dumping of toxic soil in their watershed.

To see a 90-second video promoting tomorrow’s gathering, please click here.

For further updates, please see the Stop Contaminated Soil Dumping in Shawnigan Lake Facebook page.

Further reading
Shawnigan Lake residents take action to protect their drinking water from the dumping of contaminated soil (Dec. 3, 2015)
Victoria chapter seeks to protect Shawnigan Lake & Thetis Lake from toxic dumps (March 4, 2014)
Victoria chapter protests toxic soil being dumped by drinking water (May 14, 2015)
Victoria chapter participates in blockade to protect drinking water from toxic soil (June 16, 2015)