Springfield Taxpayers Rights Corporation

Sio Silica mining license denied

PRESS RELEASE - February 16, 2024
From SAVE OUR WATER and Springfield Taxpayer Rights Corp

Today, we are very pleased and relieved to hear the announcement that the Government will not grant Sio Silica a mining license. 
We would first like to thank the newly elected provincial government under the leadership of our new Premier Wab Kinuw and Minister Schmidt for listening to the people and following the science on this very controversial issue. 
We must also acknowledge the Citizens of Springfield who have worked hard over the last 3 years to draw the public’s attention to the serious risk that this project poses to our pure drinking water. Our survey in September resulted in a 96.4% vote against Sio Silica. We thank all the people for their continued support and dedication to the preservation of maintaining a safe and dependable water source for our homes and businesses over the last 3 years.  If the people hadn’t turned out time and again and voted when they could against this untested and very risky project, the decision would likely have been made a year ago but not in our favour. 
Since the first signs of this project showed up in Springfield, our local council seemed to ignore the concerns of the people and disregard our by-laws and procedures.  Beginning with the test hole drilling, the open stockpiles of silica sand, the amassing of mineral rights licensing, land clearing etc. our locally elected representatives seemed more motivated by their provincial masters that their constituents concerns. But thankfully elections happen and sometimes they do make a difference.  
In 2022, the municipal election replaced 4 out of 5 members of council.  Two new councillors: Mark Miller and Andy Kuczynski did not bend to the pressure of the provincial will and instead stood up for the citizens of Springfield.  Their commitment to promoting Springfield’s future and protecting the environment put them in very difficult circumstances at times and our appreciation for their efforts is so very much appreciated.  

Then with the provincial election of 2023 the Conservative machine that seemed to have been driving this project regardless of the risks to the environment, regardless of provincial statutes and regulations, thankfully came to an abrupt end.    

Although today’s announcement is very welcomed, we are still left with the underlying feeling that there is still more to be done. The Sio Silica mining and processing project should not have gotten this far.  The laws that are in place have either been overlooked or are too weak to protect the public’s safety and interests.  Save Our Water and Springfield Taxpayer Rights organized to become the voice that our elected officials should have had.  

We do not want this type of project to ever happen again.  We fully support the Ethics Investigation that is underway but we would also ask for a full enquiry on how this project was handled.  Almost from the beginning, rules seem to have been bent, ignored or manipulated by people high up in power.  Decisions were made that facilitated the project but lacked rational or practical thinking, such as dividing the project into two parts for licensing.  The processing plant and the mining of silica could not exist separately.    A enquiry would hopefully expose who behind the scenes was making the decisions, what deals may have been made, who may benefit most from the project etc.  

Allan Akins, the President and spokesperson for SAVE OUR WATER, and Springfield Taxpayer Rights Corp is not able to attend the Press Release but is available by phone for comment and to answer questions this afternoon between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. 
Springfield Taxpayers Rights Corp
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