Band Forces Change In Plans At Fishing Lake

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 at 16:03



Concerns from a First Nation have prompted the provincial government to halt work on a channel designed to remove water from around the homes and cabins on Fishing Lake.


The Fishing Lake First Nation had expressed concerns with the long-term effects the construction may have on water levels at the lake.


Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Lawrence Joseph says band members have lived in the area for hundreds of years, and the elders believe a ditch could artificially reduce water levels to a point where the lake experiences a drought in future years.


Public Safety Minister Ron Harper says this modification of the previously-announced engineering solution became necessary when the Fishing Lake First Nation indicated it was “prepared to halt the project”.


The government says the land that has been disturbed in preparation for the ditch will be reclaimed.


Harper says the province is still committed to working with communities to remove the excess water from around the cabins before freeze-up so that clean-up of the cabins can begin.


Construction of temporary berms was part of the original plan, and will begin immediately in those communities that have expressed support for the structures.


The province says it still wants to work with all affected stakeholders to develop a long-term solution to flood-proofing the homes and cottages in the area.