Cavendish Farms Research Proposal Would Require 3 New High Capacity Wells

cavendish-farms-3077198_large

And here’s the full proposal.

In November of 2018, Robert Irving appeared before the Standing Committee on Communities, Land and the Environment. He had been asked to speak about his corporation’s land holdings but he really never did get around to that. There were other things on his mind. Once again he demanded that the moratorium on high capacity wells be lifted, to allow for a research project involving 3 watershed groups and UPEI and government researchers. Read the full research proposal here. At the same meeting he asked for land limits under the Lands Protection Act to be effectively doubled.

Here’s what Marie Ann Bowden from the Coalition said in a Letter to the Editor, after the Charlottetown Guardian published an editorial in support of Irving’s project idea:

EDITOR:

The Guardian editorial of December 5, “A sensible suggestion,” clearly supports the proclaimed commitment to environmental sustainability expressed by Cavendish Farms. While I salute the editor’s optimism, it raises a few questions:

The province has indicated that the moratorium on high capacity wells for agriculture will remain in place at least until 2021, when the research of Dr. Mike Van den Heuval and the Canadian Rivers Institute is completed. No new high capacity wells should be considered or permitted until that time.

If this proposal were to be accepted, and the water drawn from these wells used to irrigate agricultural lands, would this simply be a happy byproduct of “determining the impacts of agricultural irrigation on the water table”? And if Island water sources are shown to be “at risk” as a result, how would those negative impacts be addressed?

The editor states, “The Irvings are successful because they make sound, and sometimes hard, business decisions.” So when exactly does a “pilot” project undertaken in the name of sustainability become a hard business decision to irrigate more agricultural lands, and circumvent a moratorium on deep water wells endorsed by Islanders?

Let’s call “a spade, a spade” or in this case ” a spud, a spud.” The proposal requires violating the moratorium. The “sensible suggestion” is that government should simply reject it on that basis alone – no matter who is making the application.

Marie Ann Bowden,
Charlottetown

 

Can you see a pattern?

Sometimes charts help you see patterns.

Repeating History

event Plan B High Capacity Wells
Department and Minister responsible Transportation, Vessey Environment, Sherry
Minister punts to Stantec consulting PEI Potato Board
which writes, and then retracts, *approval* of Plan B Says it’s not their job, but is part of team
with Cavendish Farms hiring former MLAs/Premier’s staff as consultants
and that results in dozens and dozens of letters
from concerned, articulate
Islanders
dozens and dozens of letters
from concerned, articulate Islanders
Minister’s spokesperson duties shifted to Steven Yeo, chief engineer Bruce Raymond, manager of watershed planning
who says Plan B is needed for safety.
It will meet or exceed TAC Standards
There is capacity for “dozens and dozens
and dozens of wells.”

Quote from Minister

George Webster, Agriculture Minister, regarding high capacity wells: “We need much more consultation with the public so they are informed.”

Once again, Consultation results in the populace being Educated.

———-

But here is the quote we need:
“Fumigation of soil, more high capacity wells, soil erosion, nitrates in ground and surface water, fish kills (better to call them river kills) and multiple, annu al anoxic events in our waterways across PEI. We have tied it all together so many times and brought it to our politicians, planners, farmers, industries, road builders and more. We will continue to do so, but we need to keep improving the awareness of the connections. Our wildlife, natural areas and our own health depend on us not making this situation worse. Do what you can to prevent future damage.”
 – Jackie Waddell, Island Nature Trust