Two candidates make committment to help Water Wells First

·2 min read

Now that the provincial election campaign is well underway, the question for members of Water Wells First are they going to get the public consultation and the health study they were promised in the 2018 election by Premier Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservative government.

Kevin Jakubec of Water Wells First invited all of the candidates to the farm of David Lusk on Green Valley Line in Chatham-Kent on May 17 to see whether a commitment would be made by any of the candidates in the Lambton-Kent-Middlesex riding. Only two were present in Dean Eve from the None of the Above Party and Vanessa Benoit from the New Democratic Party.

Both made a commitment to advocate for the group and getting answers for the land owners who had their ground water affected. Eve called the situation “a complete ball drop” and calling it a “dirty green deal.” He said the government is more interested in the corporate money behind it, saying it is a bad deal and questioned why the government is continuing with the project.

“I give you my word that I will do everything I can to advocate for you,” said Benoit. She committed to pushing for a health hazards report, something that was promised in writing by the Progressive Conservative Party in the 2018 election. An all hazards report was completed instead.

Jakubec said the all hazards report that was released to the public was only a summary. It will cost $492.50 to get a copy of the full 2,201 pages of the report, which he called another obstruction. “We will obtain that report and we will be making it public domain,” he said.

The all hazards report was compiled by an expert panel commissioned by the Progressive Conservative government. It was to look at the water well problems in North Kent which materialized, the residents say, after Samsung Energy began building its North Kent Wind project. The results were something Jakubec and Chatham—Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Colby did agree, the report did not investigate the health hazards in North Kent. Colby believes the study wasn’t done correctly and Jakubec says it doesn’t answer whether the water is safe to drink

Jakubec believes the process of building the wind turbines, including driving piles deep into ground, has damaged the Kettle Point Shale which surrounds the water table and has damaged local wells. This is a theory Colby has dismissed.

Blake Ellis, The Independent

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