February 14th, 2014

Regarding the government’s acknowledgement of concerns about high capacity wells:

The Standing Committee on Agriculture, Environment, Energy and Forestry met yesterday for the first of several meetings to hear about this issue.  Their first guests were the Environment Minister and two of her staff, the division of Environment chief Jim Young, and the person in charge of Watershed and Subdivision Planning, Bruce Raymond, who it appears presented some of the powerpoint presentation he gave to the Federation of Agriculture a couple of weeks ago (and is found here:  Water Extraction Policy and Background  http://www.gov.pe.ca/environment/water-extraction  )

From Compass, last night, 4:15 into the program:
Minister Sherry says the agriculture industry needs to explain why they want the water.  (This seems obvious to most of us.)
She says her department would not lift the moratorium if they thought it would be detrimental to the quantity and quality of water, or if it would have negative impacts on aquatic habitats.  “Certainly we don’t have all the science in the area.”

A tip of the hat to Committee Chairperson Paula Biggar being interested in this issue and making time for it and the groups that want to address it.  The Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water, made up of representatives of many Island Groups, will be presenting at the next meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday, February 27th, 1:30PM, if you want to attend that day.

Minister Sherry has been responding to most e-mails sent to her by Islanders and groups with concerns on the subject with this exact response (bolding mine):
(To the writer:)
Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding water extraction and high capacity wells.

Islanders’ opinions on this issue are important and I appreciate your taking the time to contact me. PEI’s water resources are very valuable and I believe that we must protect them, ensuring that the environment is sustainable.

Government has not made a decision regarding high capacity wells for agricultural irrigation and any decision made will be science-based, ensuring the protection of our drinking and surface water resources and aquatic habitat.

Again, thank you for your letter of concern which, along with others, will be considered prior to government making any decision on this issue.
(Minster Sherry)

I am not quite sure I understand exactly what the bolded line means as far as what government is thinking at this point.

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