Frack sand mine is all washed up

Friday, February 14, 2020
A clearcut road fpr the frack sand mine, Hollow Water First Nation, Manitoba

Tremendous news! The frack sand mine threatening Hollow Water First Nation territory has been put on hold by the company, Canadian Premium Sand (CPS), just as Camp Morningstar is set to celebrate their one year anniversary. 

The world is waking up to the truth that fossil fuels will burn our future, and investors are fleeing.

“Our attachment to our lands and waters has been threatened by CPS,” said Marcel Hardisty of Camp Morningstar in a news release. “For more than a year our education and outreach at the camp have been in peril. Now we can literally breathe easier and grow.”

CPS is shelving the project citing poor market conditions and declining frack sand prices in Western Canada, although these conditions have been forecast for years already. 

The world is waking up to the truth that fossil fuels will burn our future, and investors are fleeing

The struggle against this deadly proposal shone a glaring light on the inadequacies of the provincial Environment Act and the dated constitutional requirements of Section 35 consultation with First Nations. The Environment Act licence was issued in May last year with no less than 15 missing studies on water and wildlife and the Section 35 consultation was signed off before the company had even published their Environment Act application. 

While publicizing the failings of this project and process, the Wilderness Committee was able to force the government to include 98 conditions on the licence that was eventually issued. This means we didn’t let the company get away with running roughshod over wildlife and wilderness. They had to go through the correct procedures to ensure the environment was protected. And when that happened, suddenly the company said it costs too much money to do this project. 

This is the way fossil fuel projects fail. From the brainless plan to run crude oil by rail through Churchill to the brainless Energy East plan to turn a 40-year-old methane gas pipeline into the biggest crude oil pipe on the continent. Projects fail when you and I put enough effort into pointing out the costly flaws and environmental risks.  

You can be proud of your accomplishments as a Wilderness Committee supporter. Thank you. With over 18,000 views on our awareness videos on social media and 500 letters written to elected officials, together we were able to shine a light on the ecological harm of this frack sand mine. We exposed a public health risk from a failing Manitoba Environment Act system and shady corporate deal making. 

Camp Morningstar is a sacred camp on Hollow Water First Nation territory set up to protect the land from CPS’ proposed frack sand mine. It’s a space for education on Indigenous rights, for nature and for a safer climate. The effort by a core group of organizers was and continues to be immense. On Feb. 15 they are hosting a celebration of the one-year anniversary of the lighting of their sacred fire.  

The camp will continue to work on education, about the lands and waters on Hollow Water First Nation territory but most importantly on Indigenous rights and resource projects. And education will continue on the appropriate governance systems that will enable real free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous communities before resource extraction projects are authorized. 

The Wilderness Committee will continue to monitor the activities of Canadian Premium Sand, standing ready to rise up if the company attempts to revive this dead project until their Environment Act licence for construction expires on May 16, 2022.

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