Elizabeth May: Question on Shawnigan Lake Quarry

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I am following up on a question asked yesterday of the Minister of National Defence by my colleague from Cowichan—Malahat—Langford. It is about the Shawnigan Lake quarry, which has been shown to violate its permits. It was approved for contaminated-soil disposal, but downstream, where 12,000 residents of Vancouver Island depend on it for drinking water, there are carcinogens: toluene, chromium, and aluminum. The source, unfortunately, is that DND is using this facility for the disposal of contaminated soil from CFB Esquimalt. Will the minister immediately end shipments of contaminated soil to this quarry?


Jonathan Wilkinson: Mr. Speaker, provincial and territorial governments are responsible for approval, licensing, and monitoring of waste-management operations in this country. The Province of British Columbia issued a permit relating to the establishment of a soil remediation facility in Shawnigan Lake. Environment and Climate Change Canada officials have conducted a review and are monitoring the situation. However, at this time, no potential Fisheries Act violations have been identified. Potential pollution issues and prevention issues related to the issuance of the permit should be directed to the environmental protection branch of B.C.’s Ministry of Environment.