Gatineau River Protection VICTORY!!
Save the Gatineau / Sauvons la Gatineau

Roy Dupuis, le président de la Fondation Rivières announces his adoption of the Gatineau River


Aug 1, 2012 - Canadian Wildlife Federation Video Contest WINNER: - Official Submission from "Save the Gatineau / Sauvons la Gatineau"

Read Roy Dupuis' letter of support to the Save the Gatineau / Sauvons la Gatineau team: Click for letter

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Watch Flikr Slideshow from #savethegatineau photo contest
Recent 2012 – Newsletters

Gatineau River Septic Sludge Lagoon Threat – Awareness Campaign update May 2012

Save the Gatineau / Sauvons la Gatineau newsletters, website and Facebook Community reachs 1000s of people in an effort to keep them up to date on the emerging septic sludge lagoon threat to the Gatineau RIver.

 

sign the petition / tell your friends!
Visit Fondation Rivières Website & Consider Joining!
Follow on Twitter Follow Us On Twitter
Friend on Facebook Friend Us On Facebook
Forward to Friend Visit our YouTube Channel

 

Join Roy Dupuis, President of Fondation Rivières and adopt the Gatineau River

Adoptez une Rivière

Fondation Rivières President Roy Dupuis launched an adopt a river campaign on Earth Day, April 22, 2012.

Save the Gatineau / Sauvons la Gatineau Movement has already adopted the Gatineau River to help raise awareness about the threat posed by the proposed massive septic sludge lagoons upstream of Wakefield Québec.  You can also join Fondation Rivières and help them help us prevent this nasty project from proceeding.

www.fondationrivieres.org

Watch a great video created by an independent film maker which sumarizes the problems with the current plan

New Video Created by Independent Filmmaker

Click the image above to watch a short video which outlines many of the problems with the current MRC des Collines’ planned septic sludge lagoon project.

The much loved and incredibly clean Gatineau River faces a MASSIVE POLLUTION THREAT. Fortunately the

Nasty, Cheap & Universally hated regional septic sludge lagoon planned upstream from Wakefield, QC

CAN STILL BE STOPPED.

If you haven’t already – please sign the petition at www.savethegatineau.com/petition  and call your MLA, Stephanie Vallée (819) 568-3356 .. pending elections can sometimes change hearts and minds.

Party with FIFTYMEN & Junction 105 @Carleton Tavern, Thurs May 31, 2012 8:30 pm

Carleton Tavern / Save the Gatineau Fundraising Event Thurs. May 31, 8:30 pm

Join Save the Gatineau  / Sauvons la Gatineau supporters at the Carleton Tavern to enjoy the amazing FIFTYMEN and special guests Junction 105 as we raise awareness about the plight of the Gatineau River, one of the last clean rivers in the National Capital Area.  Better alternatives do exist that do not require releasing 1000s of metric tonnes of ‘treated effluent’ into the Gatineau River every week. View event page here: Event Page and Facebook ‘Join”

Save the Gatineau / Sauvons la Gatineau, May 2012 Newsletter Thank you for your ongoing care and concern for the beautiful, and as yet largely unpolluted, Gatineau River.The following is a recap of recent activities, some interesting research and a warm invitation to attend our next event at the Carleton Tavern, Thursday 31 May, 2012 8:30 pm.  There will be entertainment, a few door prizes and a chance to mingle with people who love the river as much as you do.

PAST AWARENESS RAISING EVENT / #SAVETHE GATINEAU PHOTO CONTEST

Our last event was held in conjunction with Canada Water Week on  March 25, 2012 at the blacksheep inn, Wakefield QC.  We held an Instagr.am /Facebook #savethegatineau photo contest and received over 140 entries.  These photos capture the hope and spirit and overall beauty of our region and they are available for viewing on the website at: View the images  The event day photos also won the national Canada Water Week photo contest.  The prize was a Delta water faucet which will become a door prize at the Carleton Tavern event Thursday March 31, 2012 8:30 pm.

LEGAL AND POLITICAL

We’ve also hired a lawyer and are working towards raising the profile of this septic sludge lagoon problem at the Provincial level.

See quote from Cindy Duncan-McMillan below regarding Save the Gatineau attendance at recent Québec Povincial Liberal Party event:

“We arrived determined to build alliances in our quest to find alternative means of treating our septage.”

TECHNICAL/PROCEDURAL (MRC sponsored ‘meeting of experts’ event)

On April 5, 2012 the MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais convened a meeting of experts (Click to see invitees) where the engineering company CIMA+ was in attendance but none of the mayors of the MRC attended.  Seems strange.  The results of this consultation are not public and we can only hope that this wasn’t a cynical exercise to create the appearance of listening to the public while taking no concrete steps towards dissembling the current plans.  For instance, neither the MRC des Collines nor the Municipality of La Pêche have passed motions to rescind the site selection reports or rescind the technology proposal.

ONGOING EFFORTS

We continue writing letters and seeking clarification as we prepare for the eventual inquiries and hearings that are sure to come out of this process.  The first and foremost question still is, “how can accepting a plan to put an industrial sized septic sludge treatment facility (open pit lagoons, actually) on agriculturally zoned farmland  possibly ‘fit’ with Municipality of La Pêche zoning or the actual land management plans of the MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais, let alone meet Ministry of Environment standards in the longer term?”

See recent link to letter from the Prefect Mayor of MRC des Collines regarding the schema d’admanagement (land management plans) where the #1 priority for development within the territory is:

1. Convenir d’une vision du développement récréo-touristique 

(Translation – create a vision for recreo-touristic development)

French Letter

English Translation by Google

NOTE: There are many addresses and letter templates on the http://www.savethegatineau.com  website if you’re interested in writing some letters.

PAPER TRAIL FROM PUBLIC CONSULTATION (March 2011) :

Also, if you were one of the hundreds of people who submitted hundreds of formal questions about the Septic Sludge Lagoon Project at the March 15, 2011 public consultation – be sure and read the answers the MRC commissioned for public consumption.  In many cases, direct questions are not answered and in others, the questions are “pared down” so a simple answer can be provided:

Read Easy Questions and Short Answers provided by the MRC 6 months after the public consultation ( English)

Here’s a typical example: A difficult yet comprehensive question about legal liability was submitted and it was subsequently “pared down” and then inadequately answered in the vaguest of terms. (See below)

Actual Question Submitted to the Public Consultation Process:

“A billion dollar class-action lawsuit was launched after the Walkerton tragedy, suing the employees, the PUC, the town of Walkerton, and the government for negligence in the treatment of the water supply. Many things could happen with the operation of the proposed MRC treatment plant, including spills, overflow, contamination of surrounding wells and of the river itself, and accidents involving the huge amount of anticipated trucking traffic, coming and going from the plant on a daily basis. How much liability insurance is carried by the MRC – what limits, what type of coverage, and with which insurers; how much coverage is carried by CIMA+ for their professional liability and with which insurers in the event that CIMA+ is sued for their negligence in project design; and how much liability insurance will be required of all independent contractors involved in the building and operation of the treatment plant, including the trucking firms delivering septic sludge and those removing the solid waste? This is relevant because if insurance is not sufficient, then the MRC, its employees, and the councillors and Mayors, will have to pay any excess or increase taxes to pay for any shortfall, and the employees, councillors and Mayors may also have their personal assets at risk.

The “pared down question” the MRC asked themselves based on a synthesis of many, many similar questions.

127. Will the MRC be legally responsible should there be damage to material goods, the environment or to human beings?

MRC’s “pared down” Answer:

Should the damages be linked to the operation of the future RSTSTC, the MRC’s responsibility will have to be established by the proper authorities or by the courts. In any case, the MRC and its staff will respectively assume their share of responsibility. It should be noted that the MRC will, at all times, hold an insurance policy covering the damage caused to material goods, the environment or to human beings, and brought about by the operation of the centre.

—————-

So now you see what we’re up against.

We can expect a decision on the technology and the location no later than June, 2012.  After the expected announcement,  we’ll determine our ‘next steps’ as we continue to campaign for a septic sludge treatment solution that doesn’t require putting the Gatineau River and our priceless tourism-based economy at risk.

~webmaster

http://www.savethegatineau.com

http://www.sauvonslagatineau.com

www.facebook.com/savethegatineau

http://www.twitter.com/savethegatineau

http://www.youtube.com/thegatineauriver

 

 


MARCH 2012 Newsletter
March 20, 2012 Media Advisory Wakefield, QC

Save the Gatineau / Sauvons la Gatineau

The Gatineau River is one of the most pristine bodies of water in the National Capital area. As soon as June 2012, it could be chosen to receive hundreds of tonnes of poorly treated septic sludge effluent everyday. Population growth within the MRC-des-Collines-de-l’Outaouais, (a collection of 7 Québec municipalities) coupled with the refusal of the Ville de Gatineau to continue treating local septic sludge, has made the Gatineau River an unfair target of septic sludge effluent dumping.  The effluent to be released into the Gatineau contains untreatable persistent toxins and chemicals that could damage fish habitat and make the water undrinkable.  Depending on water flow, it could create conditions for blue algae outbreaks further downstream. There are plenty of better solutions to treating septic sludge that will not put one of our cleanest rivers at risk.  Indeed, the Province of Québec is currently testing alternative technologies that hold promise.

This Canada Water Week, join us for a pint at the legendary Black Sheep Inn and hear a short presentation about the state of the Gatineau River from the Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown and Fondation Rivières’ Philippe Tousignant. Also enjoy an ambient slide presentation of photographs from the #savethegatineau Instagram contest. Celebrate the river with musical guests Gerry Wall and Eastend and show local politicians that the public is extremely concerned about any septic sludge treatment plan that puts the health of the Gatineau River at risk.

WHAT: “Save the Gatineau /Sauvons la Gatineau” awareness and fundraising raising event

WHEN:Sunday, March 25, 2012 4:00 pm (All ages)

WHERE:Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Drive, Wakefield QC, J0X 3G0  http://tinyurl.com/6nl5auj(Google Map)

Save the Gatineau is a citizen movement representing more than 2000 petitioners and is focused on preventing further degradation of the water quality of the Gatineau River.

Canada Water Weekis a celebration of water from March 19 to March 25, 2012.  Individuals, organizations and governments are hosting events across the country to raise the profile of water and its importance to Canada’s future. This year’s theme is “Discover your water footprint.” Canada Water Week is organized by The Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, Living Lakes Network Canada and WWF-Canada, and supported by RBC Blue Water Project. Learn about your water footprint and check out other events happening in your area by visiting www.canadawaterweek.com and following @CanadaWaterWeek.

Contact: Wanda Gibson, event coordinator, 613-327-9596 gibson.office@gmail.com

BACKGROUND:

The MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais announced plans for a multi-million dollar regional septic sludge lagoon system in 2009 to treat the septic sludge of 46,000 people upstream from Wakefield in the town of Farrellton. Citizens are demanding that the current plan be cancelled and that alternatives which would not pollute the river be examined.

Since 2001 the MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais has been seeking to move the treatment of septic sludge to a central location within their territory.

The Local Municipalities as part of the MRC des Collines are responsible for finding a treatment solution for septic sludge that meets the Quebec Ministry of Environment standards as well as Federal Wastewater treatment standards. Provincial and Federal members of Parliament might also be involved at the funding stage.

The Gatineau River was chosen because a centralized treatment plant requires a substantial amount of water flow to dilute the effluent and the Gatineau River is centrally located within the region.

Unfortunately, many cities and villages in Canada are now facing increased water purification costs and river cleanup costs as source water becomes contaminated by storm water runoff and the ever-rising presence of pharmaceuticals and toxins that are re-released to source water as part of their current water treatment systems.  Canada has a poor record of water protection and many currently approved plant designs are ‘legal’ but are not socially desirable or progressive.

The Gatineau River is a potential source of drinking water for over 1 million people downstream and is a main tributary to the Ottawa River, a River that has a nuclear reactor upstream from the Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area and already suffers massive sewage overflows in the hundreds of millions of liters ever year.

Currently the regional septic sludge from the MRC des Collines is being adequately treated at Cheneville and Ottawa and a major treatment facility is going to be ready in Quyon (Pontiac Municipality) in June 2012.  The mayor of Pontiac has publicly stated that the Quyon facility could handle at least ½ of the current sludge in the MRC des Collines thereby cutting the current volume projections by half and possibly eliminating the need for a new facility.  The Ville de Gatineau is also in consultations with surrounding Regional Governments, including the MRC des Collines to discuss a large incinerator style waste treatment facility which would generate energy and would have the potential to turn septic sludge into electricity.

Concerned citizens can get involved by registering to vote for the municipal elections in 2013 and phoning their current representatives to voice their concern.  They can also receive ongoing news updates by following ‘Save the Gatineau” on Facebook and signing the petition at www.savethegatineau.com/petition

People can help keep this the river by joining the www.shorelinecleanup.ca events in Wakefield and Alcove this Fall and help support engineering and research efforts to protect the river by joiningwww.fondationrivieres.org

Supporter Highlights:

Roy Dupuis, President of Fondation Rivières:

“Fondation Rivières is concerned about the construction of a treatment center for septic sludge in Farrellton, and the treated water which would be discharged into the Gatineau River…Rest assured of the collaboration of Fondation Rivières in your actions,..” http://savethegatineau.com/?p=328

Justin Trudeau signed the “Save the Gatineau” Petition to Halt the septic sludge lagoon project on banks of Gatineau River.http://savethegatineau.com/?p=413

Vicky Husband, Order of Canada, Order of British Columbiawrote letter to local politicians “The future of the Gatineau is in your hands, please use your power wisely and say NO to this proposal and protect this very precious river which gives its name to the whole region.  It is a natural heritage legacy now and for those who come after us.”

 


FEBRUARY 2012

February 2012 Newsletter

Save the Gatineau / Sauvons la Gatineau

Exactly one year has passed since the MRC des Collines made their site selection announcement determining that two locations in or near Farrellton QC would be ideal for their proposed regional septic sludge treatment lagoons.  This announcement was followed by massive demonstrations, endless letter writing campaigns, the hiring of a lawyer, and ongoing lobbying by various concerned citizens and groups.  Today the message is clear.  The public is demanding that the intrinsic value of the Gatineau River in it’s current healthy state and all the recreational, touristic and rural activities associated with the river valley be calculated and properly balanced against the potential harms and the potential alternatives to the current plan.

In light of this public ‘push back’ the public has been treated to many verbal claims by officials that ‘all technologies and all locations’ are under consideration and that no decision will be made until June 2012.  However; the MRC has done nothing to officially remove the sites or the technology from the table.  Indeed the choice of lagoon technology is still the offical choice of the MRC and they are merely witholding the anouncement of site location.  Remember, they have officially accepted an engineering report identifying either “Site A” or “Site B” inor around Farrellton http://tinyurl.com/3dus93k  as the eventual location of the regional septic sludge lagoons.

Given that the public has no concrete evidence that the MRC is halting the project, local farmers and villagers have begun organizing in preparation for public hearings with CPTAQ (Commission de protection du territoie agricole) to make sure that the stated CPTAQ mission is enforced and farmland is protected.

 

The CPTAQ mission statement is as follows:

  • Garantir pour les générations futures un territoire propice à l’exercice et au développement des activités agricoles.

  • ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Guarantee for future generations  a territory conducive for the performance and development of agricultural activities.

Originally presented as “an urgent rush” this project has blundered on for more than a year since the ‘location announcement’ and now 11 years have passed since their first commissioned engineering report in 2001 (see links to 3 previously withheld engineering reports commissioned by the MRC below).  After spending all this taxpayer money on reports with nothing to show for them, locals find that the absence of a new facility has had no impact on anyones’ ability to hire pay-per-pump septic trucks to drive sludges to treatment facilities outside MRC borders. As time goes on and alternate arrangements become more entrenched, the public perception is that the Municipalites of L’Ange-Gardien, Notre-dame-de-la-Salette and Val-des-Monts are very happy with their treatment arrangements with Epursol Inc., in Chêneville, QC.  This makes sense because Chêneville is much closer to those Municipalities than the  ‘off limits’ Gatineau, QC plant and is much, much closer than either “Site A” or “Site B” in Farrellton will ever be: (See Map here:  http://tinyurl.com/3dus93k  )

Sometimes rumours are confirmed too!

The Mayor of Pontiac Municipality spoke on the record at an MRC council meeting in January 2012 confirming that his municipality would NOT be using the MRC’s planned septic sludge treatment lagoons and this fact alone brings into question the fundamental volume and ‘demographic centre’ of the MRC; calculations used to select sites near Farrellton in the first place.

Even trucking distance charts prepared for the MRC by BPR in 2006 show that the cost savings for trucking to a completely hypothetical and as yet unbuilt treatment plant in Wakefield (not even 7 KM further north in Farrellton) would only save the MRC a statistically insignificant amount ($27,170 per year on $1.1 million – see pages 14 and 22)

http://www.savethegatineau.com/docs/BPR_2006_combined_sludge_gatineau_mrc_report.pdf

So despite the potentially damaging social, economic and environmental impacts of building the plant and the availability of other alternatives; including the current ‘status quo’; the MRC has not scheduled another public consultation nor have they in any significant way moved towards ending the current project.

Therefore concerned citizens continue to be wary and continue to follow council meetings and minutes of meetings closely as they are very aware that a “we’ve looked over all the options and are choosing the exact same technologies and location” announcement is eminent.

What can you do before the next announcement?

  1. Realize that the MRC still has many hurdles ahead including applying for agricultural rezoning, applying for an environmental review and applying for a transportation safety review to name a few. They are merely trying to weary and disingage the public by postponing and delaying their decision. There will be plenty of intervention points for the public in the future, provided we stay alert.
  2. Consider attending a Canada Water Week event at the blacksheep inn, Wakefield Quebec on Sunday March 25, 2012 at 4pm where the Ottawa Riverkeeper will make a brief presentation on the current situation followed by musical entertainment:   More Info and Tickets: http://savethegatineau.com/?p=798
  3. Read or even just browse the three previously withheld engineering reports commissioned by the MRC des Collines between 2001 and 2006. None of these reports mentioned locations in Farrellton:

4.  Call Stephanie Vallée, Liberal MLA – She say’s she has complete confidence in the MRC and their ability to decide.  However, the Provincial Government will most likely be financially supporting this project and a possible spring election might make her more attentive.  Read her letter: http://savethegatineau.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Vallee-letter_Dec-2011.png

Call her number and change her mind: 819-568-3356

Thanks for caring and looking forward to being back on the river soon!

~webmaster.

PS – on a fun note, there’s a #savethegatineau photo contest going on and if you have some photos you’d like to share, check out the contest details at:

http://savethegatineau.com/?p=806

Feel free to forward this email to your friends and family.

http://www.savethegatineau.com

http://www.sauvonslagatineau.com

 

JANUARY 2012

Hello and Happy New Year to everyone who has helped delay the MRC des Collines from building highly unpopular septic sludge lagoons on the banks of the Gatineau River at Farrellton this past year.

Despite the widespread outrage (link to 2011 resistance chronology: http://tinyurl.com/7avmnep ) and some vague and unconvincing promises that “all technologies” and “all locations” are under review; the MRC des Collines and the Municipality of La Peche (the host Municipality for the proposed regional septic sludge treatment lagoons) have taken no procedural steps to actually abandon the project.

Indeed, there is NEW PROOF that the Municipality of La Peche is ACTIVELY petitioning the MRC des Collines to appeal to the CPTAQ (Commission de protection du territoir agricole http://www.cptaq.gouv.qc.ca/ ) to REMOVE AGRICULTURAL ZONING PROTECTION from the proposed sites* while the Mayor of La Peche (who is coincidentally also the Prefect Mayor of the MRC des Collines is actively defending the project) publicly insists that ‘no decision will be made’ until June 2012. If this rezoning actually happens, agricultural land will be zoned for industrial use and the doors will be open for this sewage lagoon project, as well as other similar projects, to go ahead without public scrutiny.

This is the excerpt from the Municipal motion in regards to the rezoning:
“Request to the MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais to authorise the establishment of commercial, industrial and semi-industrial businesses, in some part of the area of agricultural use of the Schéma d’aménagement et de développement11-526”

Sites to be taken out of Agricultural Zoning Protection of La Peche Council gets its way:
-Lot 3A Range 7 Twsp Wakefield is Site “A”
-2A & 2B Range 11 Twsp Wakefield could be two places
• one is 1941 Rte 105 which is a gravel pit near Brennan’s Hill
• the other is quite likely at or near Site “B”

*SEE: http://www.savethegatineau.com/lapeche and scroll down to the November 21, 2011 meeting notes including a link to the actual motion.

Despite the best efforts of 1000s of people to stop this project and protect the river we have no reason to believe that the decision to delay the site selection announcement until June 2012 is anything other than a Public Relations ploy.

Delaying the actual project announcement while continuing to actively ‘move the project along’ by deliberately but quietly pushing for agricultural de-zoning a SECOND TIME is an affront to us as local tax payers and our quality of life in this beautiful river valley. You may recall the April 21, 2011 MRC council meeting where 500+ people marched and were greeted at the council chambers by Prefect Mayor Bussiere who categorically promised the protestors that ‘there would be no discussion of the septic sludge plant at the meeting’. You may also remember that only the presence of a quick thinking citizen/lawyer prevented the MRC from passing a motion to release funds and begin the agricultural dezoning process for both proposed sites BEFORE the site was even announced and BEFORE the answers to the public hearing questions from March 15th, 2011 had been answered. See http://www.lowdownonline.com/protester-pull-u-turn-at-mrc-meet-in-chelsea-quebec/ for a recap of this meeting.

There has not been a stellar record of transparency and inclusion in this process. The last official public hearing was March 15th, 2011 and no subsequent public hearing has been scheduled despite the outcry. Nor have local politicians planned an information session or ‘town hall’ meeting to meet with dissenters. Indeed, the sole procedural attempt to deal with dissenters was to pass a motion limiting question period at MRC council meetings to half an hour and restricting citizens to one question each (the answers are not recorded nor published). Therefore it must be concluded that only the most hopeless optimist could believe this zombie project will be halted somewhere in the future when the MRC and the Municipality of La Peche won’t stop it of their own accord NOW. Concerted citizen involvement and persistent, ongoing intervention is required.

Let’s remember it’s been over a year since this ‘phony crisis’ began and there has been zero interruption of septic pumping services. Septic waste continues to be adequately pumped and treated by existing ‘pay per pump’ treatment plants. It has always worked this way and the private pumping system does not, and never has, cost the MRC or the municipalities a penny. Home owners call the pumping companies on an as needed basis and it works fine. What’s the rush?? And what actual benefits will we enjoy with the building of this plant that we don’t already enjoy today? Perhaps the Municipality thinks we will benefit from more trucks on our roads and 200 to 300 tonnes of ‘treated effluent’ from Buckingham, Breckenridge and Val-des-Monts draining into our river every day?

DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED! There are still plenty of us with the time, energy and determination to expose the folly of this project and shine a light on the absolute contempt with which the public has been held during the entire process. One day this could make a difference at a public inquiry and that’s why documenting each instance of misinformation or obstruction along the way is so vitally important.

And that’s where you can get involved!

1) Print off a call log and start calling people and taking names and dates. Ask whatever you’d like and demand follow up. Names, addresses and phone numbers as well as a handy record-keeping sheet are available at the following link along with some good responses to the typically dismissive phrases we hear thrown around the project promoters. http://savethegatineau.com/?page_id=404 — keep your logs for that day in the future when we’ll have to get together at a rally or hearing, etc.
2) Print a copy of this email and the call log and drop it off to any neighbour without the Internet.
3) Sign the petition at www.savethegatineau.com/petition and get a few friends to sign the petition.
4) Go wild! Attend MRC meetings and council meetings and watch your tax dollars at work (Calendar on the website)

Expect another newsletter in the next month or so and if even 10% of you (this mailing list has a huge circulation) wrote two letters and made 4 or 5 phone calls it would be a significant show of support for the river. It would also remind the politicians and the media that we haven’t gone away and we won’t accept any plan that winds up adding even one molecule of ‘treated effluent’ into our beloved Gatineau River.

Please continue with us in the fight.

Together we can and will stop this vastly unpopular and ecologically unjustifiable project.

Webmaster

2011 chronology of a resistance movement:

CLICK HERE

Save the Gatineau / Sauvons la Gatineau newsletters, website and Facebook Community reachs 1000s of people in an effort to keep them up to date on the emerging septic sludge lagoon threat to the Gatineau RIver.

sign the petition / tell your friends!
Visit Fondation Rivières Website & Consider Joining!
Follow on Twitter Follow Us On Twitter
Friend on Facebook Friend Us On Facebook
Forward to Friend Visit our YouTube Channel
Join Roy Dupuis, President of Fondation Rivières and adopt the Gatineau River

Adoptez une Rivière

Fondation Rivières President Roy Dupuis launched an adopt a river campaign on Earth Day, April 22, 2012.
Save the Gatineau / Sauvons la Gatineau Movement has already adopted the Gatineau River to help raise awareness about the threat posed by the proposed massive septic sludge lagoons upstream of Wakefield Québec.  You can also join Fondation Rivières and help them help us prevent this nasty project from proceeding.

www.fondationrivieres.org

Watch a great video created by an independent film maker which sumarizes the problems with the current plan

New Video Created by Independent Filmmaker

Click the image above to watch a short video which outlines many of the problems with the current MRC des Collines’ planned septic sludge lagoon project.
The much loved and incredibly clean Gatineau River faces a MASSIVE POLLUTION THREAT. Fortunately the
Nasty, Cheap & Universally hated regional septic sludge lagoon planned upstream from Wakefield, QC
CAN STILL BE STOPPED.

If you haven’t already – please sign the petition at www.savethegatineau.com/petition  and call your MLA, Stephanie Vallée (819) 568-3356 .. pending elections can sometimes change hearts and minds.

Party with FIFTYMEN & Junction 105 @Carleton Tavern, Thurs May 31, 2012 8:30 pm

Carleton Tavern / Save the Gatineau Fundraising Event Thurs. May 31, 8:30 pm

Join Save the Gatineau  / Sauvons la Gatineau supporters at the Carleton Tavern to enjoy the amazing FIFTYMEN and special guests Junction 105 as we raise awareness about the plight of the Gatineau River, one of the last clean rivers in the National Capital Area.  Better alternatives do exist that do not require releasing 1000s of metric tonnes of ‘treated effluent’ into the Gatineau River every week. View event page here: Event Page and Facebook ‘Join”

Save the Gatineau / Sauvons la Gatineau, May 2012 Newsletter Thank you for your ongoing care and concern for the beautiful, and as yet largely unpolluted, Gatineau River.The following is a recap of recent activities, some interesting research and a warm invitation to attend our next event at the Carleton Tavern, Thursday 31 May, 2012 8:30 pm.  There will be entertainment, a few door prizes and a chance to mingle with people who love the river as much as you do.

PAST AWARENESS RAISING EVENT / #SAVETHE GATINEAU PHOTO CONTEST

Our last event was held in conjunction with Canada Water Week on  March 25, 2012 at the blacksheep inn, Wakefield QC.  We held an Instagr.am /Facebook #savethegatineau photo contest and received over 140 entries.  These photos capture the hope and spirit and overall beauty of our region and they are available for viewing on the website at: View the images  The event day photos also won the national Canada Water Week photo contest.  The prize was a Delta water faucet which will become a door prize at the Carleton Tavern event Thursday March 31, 2012 8:30 pm.

LEGAL AND POLITICAL

We’ve also hired a lawyer and are working towards raising the profile of this septic sludge lagoon problem at the Provincial level.
See quote from Cindy Duncan-McMillan below regarding Save the Gatineau attendance at recent Québec Povincial Liberal Party event:

“We arrived determined to build alliances in our quest to find alternative means of treating our septage.”

TECHNICAL/PROCEDURAL (MRC sponsored ‘meeting of experts’ event)

On April 5, 2012 the MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais convened a meeting of experts (Click to see invitees) where the engineering company CIMA+ was in attendance but none of the mayors of the MRC attended.  Seems strange.  The results of this consultation are not public and we can only hope that this wasn’t a cynical exercise to create the appearance of listening to the public while taking no concrete steps towards dissembling the current plans.  For instance, neither the MRC des Collines nor the Municipality of La Pêche have passed motions to rescind the site selection reports or rescind the technology proposal.

ONGOING EFFORTS

We continue writing letters and seeking clarification as we prepare for the eventual inquiries and hearings that are sure to come out of this process.  The first and foremost question still is, “how can accepting a plan to put an industrial sized septic sludge treatment facility (open pit lagoons, actually) on agriculturally zoned farmland  possibly ‘fit’ with Municipality of La Pêche zoning or the actual land management plans of the MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais, let alone meet Ministry of Environment standards in the longer term?”
See recent link to letter from the Prefect Mayor of MRC des Collines regarding the schema d’admanagement (land management plans) where the #1 priority for development within the territory is:

1. Convenir d’une vision du développement récréo-touristique 
(Translation – create a vision for recreo-touristic development)

French Letter
English Translation by Google

NOTE: There are many addresses and letter templates on the http://www.savethegatineau.com  website if you’re interested in writing some letters.

PAPER TRAIL FROM PUBLIC CONSULTATION (March 2011) :

Also, if you were one of the hundreds of people who submitted hundreds of formal questions about the Septic Sludge Lagoon Project at the March 15, 2011 public consultation – be sure and read the answers the MRC commissioned for public consumption.  In many cases, direct questions are not answered and in others, the questions are “pared down” so a simple answer can be provided:
Read Easy Questions and Short Answers provided by the MRC 6 months after the public consultation ( English)

Here’s a typical example: A difficult yet comprehensive question about legal liability was submitted and it was subsequently “pared down” and then inadequately answered in the vaguest of terms. (See below)

Actual Question Submitted to the Public Consultation Process:

“A billion dollar class-action lawsuit was launched after the Walkerton tragedy, suing the employees, the PUC, the town of Walkerton, and the government for negligence in the treatment of the water supply. Many things could happen with the operation of the proposed MRC treatment plant, including spills, overflow, contamination of surrounding wells and of the river itself, and accidents involving the huge amount of anticipated trucking traffic, coming and going from the plant on a daily basis. How much liability insurance is carried by the MRC – what limits, what type of coverage, and with which insurers; how much coverage is carried by CIMA+ for their professional liability and with which insurers in the event that CIMA+ is sued for their negligence in project design; and how much liability insurance will be required of all independent contractors involved in the building and operation of the treatment plant, including the trucking firms delivering septic sludge and those removing the solid waste? This is relevant because if insurance is not sufficient, then the MRC, its employees, and the councillors and Mayors, will have to pay any excess or increase taxes to pay for any shortfall, and the employees, councillors and Mayors may also have their personal assets at risk.

The “pared down question” the MRC asked themselves based on a synthesis of many, many similar questions.

127. Will the MRC be legally responsible should there be damage to material goods, the environment or to human beings?

MRC’s “pared down” Answer:

Should the damages be linked to the operation of the future RSTSTC, the MRC’s responsibility will have to be established by the proper authorities or by the courts. In any case, the MRC and its staff will respectively assume their share of responsibility. It should be noted that the MRC will, at all times, hold an insurance policy covering the damage caused to material goods, the environment or to human beings, and brought about by the operation of the centre.

—————-
So now you see what we’re up against.

We can expect a decision on the technology and the location no later than June, 2012.  After the expected announcement,  we’ll determine our ‘next steps’ as we continue to campaign for a septic sludge treatment solution that doesn’t require putting the Gatineau River and our priceless tourism-based economy at risk.

~webmaster

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