Mr. Lechner, I just finished listening to the CBC Noon news on Thursday, Jan 30. Dan Kerslake, quoting SaskPower spokesperson Larry Christie, said "there is no requirement to talk to landowners about tree harvesting." Larry Christie then says that they are intending to push through under the Power Corporation Act.

If there was any doubt before there can be none now. SaskPower is declaring SERM's requirement to deal with private landowners about the environmental conditions to be null and void, and seem to be invoking the SaskPower Act to say that they are not bound by SERM conditions.

It appears that Stan Saylor's comments which you repeated to me are either based on ignorance of the real SaskPower position, or designed, as other things have been, to say what ever will help them meet an immediate objective with no consideration to truth or longer term commitment to the statements.

Once again, I repeat my appeal to you, use the authority you have to require SaskPower to negotiate these conditions with me. I am probably the only step that is preventing them from having a clean sweep of avoiding the intent and purpose of the conditions so carefully crafted by your department last year.

By claiming that the SaskPower Act gives them the right to avoid the terms of the agreement they made with you pronounces their total contempt for your efforts. I am sure you are aware of the significance of this as a precedence. Do not let that happen!

Why can they be allowed to make an agreement with SERM and then use a section of the SaskPower Act to cancel that agreement? Did not the agreement with SERM rule out that option?

As you know, my requests of SaskPower were totally from within SERM's document, and having made NO effort to discuss or negotiate these, SaskPower is rejecting those conditions. Any possible verbal assurance that they might apply them to my land completely misses the point: They are unwilling to be bound by the conditions, and if they can avoid a binding agreement, they are not required to follow it in the future during the maintenance and decommissioning life of the line either.

You have the legislative authority to act here. Please do so and do not let down the society and the values that your conditions were attempting to protect.

Gerald Regnitter at Friendly Forest, Box 289, Christopher Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada S0J 0N0 ph: (306) 982-3614 web address: www.friendlyforest.ca email: friendlyforest@inet2000.com "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." .. Martin Luther King

Saskatchewan Eco Network ACTION ALERT

(Also see follow-up email to L. Lechner of SaskEnvironment at end of this page)

Issued January 27, 2003

Dear Environmentalists,

The Forest Fringe Citizens Coalition is calling upon concerned citizens to
raise the alarm on this situation -- the crown corporation, SaskPower, is
circumventing environmental mitigation measures negotiated via the
provincial Department of Environment, and proceeding with construction of
the powerline on private lands WITHOUT adhering to agreed-upon conditions.
Your calls to Sask Power, to your MLA, to the Environment Minister, and the
Minister of Crown Corporations will make a difference!

SaskPower says that they are committed to environmental responsibility, but
their actions regarding this powerline call their credibility into question.

Their website says:
"Our Commitment -- SaskPower is committed to protecting the environment
while providing our customers with safe, reliable and cost-effective
sources of electricity. To us, being environmentally responsible means
using natural resources while respecting the need to preserve their
potential for use by others, now and in the future. It means building and
operating our facilities in a manner that will, to the greatest extent
possible, conserve natural resources, maintain natural systems and preserve
natural diversity. And it means anticipating and, wherever possible,
preventing environmental impacts."

Yet read on to see how they have dealt with the citizens and SERM who are
trying to protect the environment:

- Cathy

From: "Gerald Regnitter at Friendly Forest" friendlyforest@inet2000.com
To: "Saskatchewan Eco Network"
sen@the.link.ca

Hi Cathy and SEN members:


I am writing to bring an urgent matter to your attention.

Since the summer of 1999, residents of the Christopher Lake area, and many
other citizens, have tried to have SaskPower select a route for its PA 8
powerline around a pocket of sensitive forest and through already opened
land away from people's homes.

After a massive show of public support for the concerns over unnecessary
damage to this forest area, Saskatchewan Environment (then SERM) reviewed
SaskPower's planned project and applied a series of environmentally
mitigating conditions to the project, as a condition of proceeding without
a full EIA. After several weeks SaskPower agreed to these conditions.
This was in January 2002.

At that time the Forest Fringe Citizens' Coalition sought and received
assurances from Sask Environment that the conditions applied to Crown
forests would also apply to private lands if landowners required that in
agreements with SaskPower. These assurances were provided by Randy Seguin
of Sask Environment and are also in the document giving SaskPower
permission to proceed.

People who had opposed this selected route took some consolation in these
mitigating conditions and in the fact that a precedent had been set that
finally allowed private landowners to require environmental considerations
in how a line would be built and maintained on private lands.

Our hopes and consolation were premature.

In December 2002 SaskPower began to approach landowners in the forest area
with easement or temporary work permit agreement forms that COMPLETELY
OMITTED ANY REFERENCE TO THE MITIGATING CONDITIONS THAT LANDOWNERS WERE ABLE TO REQUIRE.

In addition, an inquiry to the President of SaskPower revealed that the
SaskPower agents who were signing these agreements with landowners DID NOT
HAVE THE AUTHORITY to sign agreements that would bind SaskPower to what was
in the agreement. When the letter from John Wright, President of
SaskPower, confirming this was received, I, as a landowner, indicated I
would only sign an agreement that would bind SaskPower as well as me.
SaskPower asked me to submit to them what I deemed an appropriate agreement
between me and SaskPower.

When SaskPower received my submission which spelled out the mitigating
factors that SERM had indicated were available to private lands, SaskPower
lawyers replied saying they found the requests completely unreasonable and
that they would be proceeding with a section of the Sask Power Act (33)
which permitted SaskPower to do whatever they deem appropriate without
permission from, or compensation to, the landowner. [see
http://www.qp.gov.sk.ca/publications/index.cfm?fuseaction=details&c=1894&id
2 for a copy of the Act]

Refusing to reach an agreement with the landowner on the issues of
environmental mitigation is a declaration that SaskPower will not be bound
by those conditions set out by SERM.

Recent public relations efforts surrounding the LaRonge Power outage
situation using the failure of a transformer to mount an attack on
environmentalist and tourist groups that have pushed for environmental
protection on the power line route appears to have been carefully crafted
by SaskPower spokespersons and, in most cases, accepted at face value by
Saskatchewan's media.

If Sask Environment is unable to force SaskPower to adhere to the
conditions set out in their regulatory process, and SaskPower uses its
considerable political influence to emasculate the regulations specifically
created to set a positive precedent, SaskPower's victory will be complete,
not only over the forest residents near Christopher Lake, but over any
future effort to apply environmental regulation to private lands anywhere
in Saskatchewan.

I call all environmentally concerned citizens to consider the serious
implications of this situation. If SaskPower is allowed to succeed in
thwarting the regulatory effort of SaskEnvironment embodied in the SERM
decision of January 11, 2002, and is permitted to do so by its manipulated
political superiors, we all will feel the chill of defeat that will impact
on all environmental concerns we share.

Counter the massive influence of SaskPower and get hold of our political
leaders and call John Wright , President of SaskPower at 306 / 566-3103
Fax 306 / 566-3523.

Bob Stedwill, head of Sask Power's Environmental Division: tel: (306)
566-3877; fax (306) 566-3428

Buckley Belanger, Environment Minister: Tel: (306) 787-0393 Fax: (306)
787-0395
Email:
belanger@serm.gov.sk.ca

Maynard Sonntag, Minister responsible for Sask Power: Tel: (306) 787-6478
Fax: (306) 787-8100; Email:
sonntag@cicorp.sk.ca

Lorne Calvert, Premier: Lorne Calvert: Tel: (306) 787-9433 Fax: (306)
787-0885
E-mail:
premier@gov.sk.ca

Your MLA - check his/her contact info at
ttp://www.legassembly.sk.ca/members/


Sincerely,

Gerald Regnitter
at Friendly Forest,
Box 289,
Christopher Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada
S0J 0N0
ph: (306) 982-3614
web address:
ww.friendlyforest.ca
mail: riendlyforest@inet2000.com

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
.. Martin Luther King



***********************************************************

Saskatchewan Eco Network
#203-115 2nd Ave. North
Saskatoon, SK
S7K 2B1

phone: (306) 652-1275
fax: (306) 665-2128
email: s
en@the.link.ca SEN website: ttp://www.econet.sk.ca

The Saskatchewan Eco Network is an
affiliate of the Canadian Environmental Network CEN website:
http://www.cen-rce.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to SASKPOWER FINAL ASSAUALT ON FRIENDLY FOREST (Documents)