Whereas numerous resort communities in the Qu’Appelle Valley River Chain experienced major flooding in 2011 and 2014; and
Whereas the flooding led to a variety of debris entering the water, including barrels of fuels or oils, scrap metal, treated railway ties and other materials that could be harmful to residents, water life, fish and local animals that rely on the water, as well as damaging to beaches, docks and private properties; and
Whereas the provincial emergency response and recovery that followed did not include cleanup of the actual bodies of water, and there is still floating debris in the lakes and rivers; and
Whereas waterways and bodies of water in Saskatchewan are controlled by the Ministry of the Environment;
Therefore be it resolved that the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association lobby the provincial Ministry of the Environment to start a program to clean up lakes and other waterways in Saskatchewan following flooding and other natural disasters that may lead to floating debris.
The Government of Saskatchewan understands and shares the concerns of municipalities regarding the effects of debris washed into waterbodies as a result of past flood events. To date, our government has taken proactive, educational and regulatory based approaches to prevent contamination of our lakes and streams.
Some debris removal was undertaken by Rapid Response Team members from Emergency Management and Fire Services of the Ministry of Government Relations shortly after the peak of the 2011 and 2014 flood events. The Government of Saskatchewan is willing to work with SUMA and municipalities to determine where funding for such an initiative may be available in the future.