Tatamagouche residents, many of them members of Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNNS), crowded the Tatamagouche Fire Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 21, to hear if the Tatamagouche Source Water Protection Committee would vote to seek “Protected” status for the French River Watershed.
“It’s all about protecting the only water source of Tatamagouche from the contamination that comes with gold mining,” said SuNNS member John Perkins.
Committee members including councillors Mike Gregory and Bill Masters listened as public member Greg Watson brought two motions to the floor. The first motion sought the Committee’s recommendation to Colchester Municipality Council that the French River Watershed be designated as “Protected”. The second motion directed that local MLA Karen Casey and the ministers of Energy and Mines and Environment be asked specifically to delay releasing a Request for Proposal to mining companies until the Protected Watershed status was in place. Both motions were passed unanimously and councillors Gregory (Tatamagouche) and Deputy Mayor Masters indicated they would be vigorous in supporting the recommendation when it is voted on at the August 30 Municipal Council meeting.
Gregor Wilson (SuNNS) thanked Greg Watson and the Water Source Protection Committee for acting decisively to protect the water noting that 450 area residents and cottagers had signed petitions emphatically stating that they did not want a gold mine in Tatamagouche’s only water source. Wilson later said that “while this is only a first step in protecting the French River Watershed from gold mining it is a major one. The citizens of Tatamagouche believe the Colchester Municipal Councillors and Mayor will support area business, the tourist industry and the local citizens by voting for “Protected” status for the French River Watershed when they meet August 30. Tatamagouche residents feel especially strong about this issue so I think the council chambers will be full of citizens expecting to receive the support of the entire Colchester Municipal council when voting occurs to designate the French River Watershed “Protected” John Perkins of SuNNS concluded saying “ The “protected’ status citizens are asking for is primarily from gold mining activities in this municipal watershed. It is not a status that will be restrictive of the normal business, recreation, agricultural and recreational activities that are already safely conducted in that area”.