The Havelock Special Projects Committee held a meeting in Earl Grey Thursday, January 28. The meeting was attended by over 200 area residents. The title for their meeting was “Potash: Let’s Take the Time to Get It Right”.
The committee presented an informative and open discussion on a number of key issues surrounding the development of the proposed Yancoal Potash Mine in the Southey/Earl Grey area. The objective of the meeting was to present a view point alternative to that of the developer for the community to consider.
PC Party Leader, Rick Swenson, who is the PC candidate for the Last Mountain – Touchwood constituency in the next provincial election attended the meeting and joined many others in asking questions of some of the presenters.
Swenson said “It is obvious that issues around the location of the mine, traffic to the mine site, location of pipelines, railroads and other major conveyances to the mine have not been properly identified as yet by the developer. There are many active landowners who live in the project area, which is a vibrant agricultural community. The community has concerns about impacts to the Hatfield Valley Aquifer, mine salts blowing onto surrounding agricultural land and residents’ ability to co-exist and carry out their business and way of life near the mine. These concerns have not yet been adequately addressed by Yancoal from the community’s perspective.
Swenson continued “Therefore, the PC party is calling on the provincial government and the Ministry of the Environment to postpone the public review period for the environmental impact assessment until after the April 4 election and also that the comment period be extended from 30 days to 60 days. The minister responsible has the ability to do this and should definitely do so because the employees of the provincial government go into neutral during the election period and therefore would not be able, in our view, to provide the necessary services to concerned residents in the proposed area.”
“It is absolutely essential that all of the people at the meeting in Earl Grey on Thursday and many others who could not attend have ample opportunity to comment on this development that could be in their lives and the lives of their families for 50 to 100 years.”
Swenson concluded “An extra few days is the prudent thing to do.”
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