LA LOCHE – NDP Member of Parliament Georgina Jolibois (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River) is expressing her concern about the spillage of up to 250 000 litres of crude oil and other material in the North Saskatchewan River following the leak of a Husky Energy pipeline last week. The water supply for approximately 70 000 residents in North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort has been affected by the oil spill causing a state of emergency.

"This is a very difficult time for communities, farmers and business owners who are forced to endure a lack of drinking water and ongoing water advisories in the midst of this unfortunate oil spill in the North Saskatchewan River." said MP Jolibois.

Several indigenous community leaders have contacted Jolibois to express their concern about the oil spill and its negative impact on their cultural and traditional lifestyle. Jolibois wrote to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett on behalf of FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron and PAGC Chief Ron Michel to ask the Minister to visit the affected area and to immediately discuss urgent matters such as cleaning the river and insuring access to clean water for indigenous and northern communities.

"Many members of nearby reserves and reserves in my riding are worried about the repercussions of the oil spill on their environment and wildlife. The pipeline leak has threatened their habitat and the integral parts of their traditional lifestyle such as hunting and fishing." added the MP for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River.

MP Jolibois is also waiting for a response from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna whom she contacted to find out if any federal funding will be released to mitigate the oil spill issues.

Experts have warned that this will not be a short-term crisis and therefore a long-term plan to address the consequences is necessary. MP Georgina Jolibois will be closely following the developments around the spill and will continue to be in contact with affected community members. She is committed to support all efforts of mitigating issues of further ecological damage to water ways.


** Letter to Minister Bennett attached

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