The NDP opposition is grilling the provincial government over the Quill Lakes water diversion project.

The project would see seven million cubic metres of water diverted from the area of Quill Lakes, down into Last Mountain Lake. The project was designed to ease the burden of flood-plagued land owners in the area.

In early November the Saskatchewan Government decided a environmental review wasn’t necessary for the diversion project because it wasn’t labelled as a development. This decision was met with public outcry from surrounding citizens and First Nations.

This also prompted the federal government to step in and decide whether an environmental review is necessary. No word yet if Ottawa has made a decision on the matter.

During Question Period on Wednesday the NDP’s Environment Critic Cathy Sproule grilled the government on the issue.

She accused the province of a lack of transparency, communication, and consultation with Saskatchewan’s citizens and Indigenous Peoples over the project.

“So will (the Environment Minister) at very least complete an environmental impact assessment before plowing ahead on this project,” Sproule asked the assembly.

Environment Minister Dustin Duncan responded by saying the the project has been determined to not need an environmental assessment, but he says that doesn’t mean there won’t be environmental conditions to be met if the project is approved.

“We can protect the environment, but it doesn’t always require an environmental assessment to do so,” he said.

A group of citizens from the area presented a petition addressing their concerns about the project. The petition had over 1,000 signatures.

(PHOTO: A screenshot of Environment Minister Dustin Duncan during Question Period on December 6.)