January 13, 2022
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and New Year’s. This is early for us to be doing an update but some events have occurred that we thought you might be interested in.
The final report from Scatliff, Miller & Murray, the consultants who conducted the community and stakeholder engagement on behalf of the RM of St. Clements to ascertain public concerns regarding the proposed quarry pit south of Stead Road, is now available on the RM website at:
The report cites “significant local opposition” to the project due to risks associated with “potential adverse effects of the project on the natural and built environments, cumulative adverse effects from the existing and abandoned pits in the Gull Lake area, and the acknowledgement of Provincial officials to stakeholders and RM staff that the regulatory enforcement of active pits and the implementation of progressive rehabilitation measures of pits in Manitoba have fallen short and need improvement.”
The main recommendation of the report is that the “RM of St. Clements should collaborate with local and broader community stakeholders and residents as well as with Brokenhead Ojibway Nation and the RM of Alexander in advocating to the Province that a Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) be undertaken of aggregate operations in the Gull Lake area, including the RM’s potential project.”
Stakeholders such as the Gull Lake Ratepayers Association and Debwendon Inc. were invited to comment on the report to St. Clements Mayor and Council on December 14th. If you would like to see the presentations, please click on the link below. The consultants gave their report at about 5:27, the delegations start at 23:40 and Peggy is second and starts at 26:40 minutes in. Taylor comes right after Peggy, and then Darren Babiuk from Gull Lake.
Last week contact with a couple of the Councilors revealed that they were leaning toward voting to approve the project without a CIA. However, we have since heard that the RM will be contacting the Province to see if a CIA can be initiated. This is what we have been asking for and if it is a comprehensive and thorough process, we hope it will confirm our suspicions that gravel extraction in the Gull Lake area has had and continues to have significant negative impacts to not only the aesthetic value of Gull Lake and its residents, but also to the hydrological environment and the Brokenhead Wetlands.
We need more public awareness of this project. To provide you with more information on our concerns, attached are Peggy’s remarks to the RM of St. Clements http://DebwendonComments on Consultant Report for RM St Clements re proposed gravel pit_Dec 14 2021 plus an Opinion article http://Opinion on proposed Gull Lake Quarry for WFP that we have submitted to the Winnipeg Free Press and other local newspapers. If you have objections to the proposed project, please send a letter or email citing your opposition to the RM of St. Clements (emails below), the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development, Ralph Eichler, the Honourable Minister of Conservation and Climate, Sarah Guillemard, and the MLA for the area, Jeff Wharton, with a subject line: I Oppose the RM of St. Clements’ Proposed Gull Lake Quarry. Please cc firstname.lastname@example.org. Consider also sending a Letter to the Editor once the article is published in the WFP, or one of the regional newspapers such as the Selkirk Record.
Here are the email addresses to send your letters.
Ward 2 Councilor: email@example.com
Ward 2 Councilor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 2 Councilor: email@example.com
Minister of Agriculture & Resource Development: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of Conservation & Climate: email@example.com
Minister of Crown Services: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Engage Manitoba Survey on Gull Lake gravel pits. Integrated Planning Branch told us that over 300 people responded to the survey by the end of December, for which we are very grateful. IPB is reviewing the responses and will call a meeting with ourselves and other stakeholders soon. They also plan to follow up with Municipal Relations with regard to any involvement with the RM of St. Clements and the consultants’ recommendations.
Otherwise, we look forward to spring when we can enjoy the Trail and its wonders anew and also to a dedication of the new picnic shelter and shed. Until then keep safe and well.
Board of Directors, Debwendon Inc.