Nova Scotia Ministry of Energy and Mines Withholds Toxic Leak Information

“Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNNS) members, the 900 signatories to our petition opposing gold mining exploration or development in the French River Watershed and the population of Tatamagouche are shocked by the news that the Ministry of Energy and Mines has withheld information about a leaking exploration drill hole contaminating the French River Watershed area with arsenic and iron” says SuNNS spokesperson John Perkins.

“The government has been in conversation with Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNNS) many times since the polluting leak was discovered but not once has the leaking well been mentioned, risks explored or remediation efforts discussed. As I understand it the government has taken a hush- hush and wait and see approach” says Perkins. “It makes me wonder if the current governments open for business approach means open for business whatever the human or environmental cost” notes Perkins.

Nova Scotia already is known as a most mining – friendly place given its lax regulatory requirements and enforcement and it is this lax approach that has heightened the concerns of Tatamagouche area citizens. Minister Derek Mombourquette’s Op-Ed in January 2019 Tatamagouche Light assured residents that “ Communities have an opportunity to be involved in all stages of the exploration process” but SuNNS is now asking “how does Energy and Mines not telling Colchester County about a failed, leaking exploration drill site meet the Ministers promise?

Perkins also notes “this purposeful withholding of information – especially from the municipal water authority –about an ongoing leak adds to a complete lack of faith in the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Provincial Regulatory and enforcement frameworks”.
SuNNS demands the proper authority act to cap the contaminating drill hole!
SuNNS once again calls on the Ministry of Energy and Mines to withhold any issuing of a Request for Proposals for gold mining exploration or development in the French River Watershed and the six other watersheds in the current Enclosure Area. “ It never made sense before and less now; the Request for Proposals should be abandoned” says
Perkins.
SuNNS further supports the efforts of the Municipality of Colchester as it seeks “Protected “status for the French River Watershed under the Environmental Act given that the French River is the sole source of water for the Village of Tatamagouche.
SuNNS will make a formal request to meet the Premier regarding this serious threat to the Tatamagouche water
supply.
SuNNS spokesperson John Perkins concludes “I think it is fair to say that the government and any interested mining companies should expect a monumental increase in local citizen opposition to gold mining exploration or development in the French River Watershed.
Media Contact: John Perkins, Phone, 902-657-0406 or

Advertisements

Ministry of Energy and Mines Backtracks on No Plan to Cap Contaminating Drill Hole

John Perkins spokesperson for Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia says “SuNNS membership and Tatamagouche area residents are pleased to hear the Ministry of Energy and Mines is committed to capping a leaking exploration drill hole in the French River Watershed”.

Perkins notes “this is a big change in the Ministry of Energy and Mines
approach to this contaminating drill hole.” Frances Willick reported in a January 25 CBC article that Don James, Ministry of Energy and Mines, had stated “the responsibility for the hole now rests with the landowner”. “Mines and Energy’s reversal indicates the power of a Free Press, the effectiveness of local community advocacy groups like SuNNS and the power of municipal governments to bring pressure on the provincial government” says Perkins.
“The contaminating drill hole sits in the French River watershed, the sole source of water for the Village of Tatamagouche, so I think the Municipality of Colchester and area Councilor Michael Gregory were very upset when Mines and Energy failed to contact them regarding their plans to not address the polluting drill hole” says SuNNS member Paul Jenkinson.
“The discovery of one uncapped contaminating drill hole on Warwick Mountain and the possibility of more leaking drill holes has raised the spectre of 780 other unmonitored mining exploration drill holes across the province”, Perkins notes.
SuNNS is asking the Ministry of Energy and Mines to immediately instruct staff to visit all drill hole sites and return in 6 months with a report on their condition.
SuNNS is asking Minister Mombourquette to issue an order that any polluting drill holes be immediately capped by the Ministry of Energy and Mines, upon discovery of their “leaking” status.
SuNNS is asking Minister Mombourquette to remove new regulatory language that allows landowners to request wells remain uncapped.
SuNNS once again calls on the Ministry of Energy and Mines to abandon plans to issue a Request for Proposals for gold mining exploration or development in the French River Watershed and the six other watersheds in the current Enclosure Area.
SuNNS further supports the efforts of the Municipality of Colchester as it seeks “Protected“ status for the French River Watershed under the Environmental Act given that the French River is the sole source of water for the Village of Tatamagouche.

Gold Water Documentary Revealing

Gold Water Documentary Revealing

Cliff Seruntine, documentary filmmaker, has unleashed a visually beautiful, emotionally poignant, intellectually pointed and politically painful film onto the Nova Scotia political, business and environmental landscape. Gold Water highlights the provincial government’s cozy relationship with the gold mining industry and its devastating effect on the Nova Scotia environment, towns and citizens.

Gold Water examines the government’s “open for business” approach to Canadian gold mining companies who are currently operating the Moose River Touquoy Gold Mine with plans for four other Eastern Shore gold mines. Additionally, Gold Water questions how a provincial government, sworn to protect its citizens could be promoting advanced mining exploration and mine development in the Warwick Mountain, French River Watershed near Tatamagouche, NS. The documentary highlights the voices of citizens associated with Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNNS) as they lay out the case for never putting a gold mine in a watershed that is the sole source water, of a sustainable, thriving, tourist friendly community.

Gold Water highlights the possibility that the provincial government is in fact not working for the welfare of its citizens and in fact has been overwhelmed by the lure of quick revenues associated with gold mining and its boom and bust cycle. A more ominous possibility is offered by Gold Water filmmaker Seruntine and independent journalist Joan Baxter when they both examine the idea of “corporate capture”. The film examines how corporations move many of their experts into government bureaucracies, have them craft regulations favorable to industry, have government members champion the business case and later provide employment for those functionaries when their time in government is completed. This phenomena is well known in the United States but the film asks, is this what is happening in Nova Scotia?

The massive impact of the Moose River (Touquoy) Gold Mine on that now nonexistent town, the devastation experienced by citizens who lived through land expropriation, the impending environmental disaster contained in the Moose River tailings ponds, all of these Moose River realities are compared to the still unknown fate of the French River Watershed and the town of Tatamagouche should any gold mine exploration or development be government permitted.

Gold Water gives viewers an aerial view into the Moose River Touquoy Mine scar scape, just the tip of the long- term environment impact that Nova Scotia citizens will have to clean up after the mining companies are gone. The filmmaker and the voices of SuNNS’ members encourage the viewer to analyse what is happening in the government gold mining lobby and industry partnership encouraging citizens to become active in opposing this short-term boom and bust industry. As Cliff Seruntine says, “ people want something done… it will be an uphill fight …it’s a fight worth making, its starts now with taking a stance to protect our good water and making sure it doesn’t become gold water.”

Link to Gold Water https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br-em_AafkY&feature=youtu.be Contact Information: Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia

Media Contact Paul Jenkinson Ph: 604-613-5417 (Tatamagouche) Email: pandljenkinson@gmail.com