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Opposition to Proposed Landfill
On November 22, 2019, the CRDAC on behalf of the community of Conklin alongside its legal counsel successfully opposed Secure Energy Services’ (“Secure”) appeal of the decision of the development authority, the Subdivision and Development Appeals Board (“SDAB”), to develop a Class II landfill within 500 metres of the Hamlet’s boundary and within two kilometres of existing residences in Conklin.
The community of Conklin expressed many concerns of the site location namely the alarming distance to the community and the current use of site.
See below for a full review of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo SDAB decision.
Conklin is one of the few communities in Alberta that is involved in this unique process that allow community members and representatives from Alberta Environment and Parks to work together to identify key berries and gathering locations. These berries are then tested to determine if they are safe to eat.
In 2017, as a direct result of the berry monitoring program, Integrated Toxicology Solutions Ltd. finalized a technical report as a supplement to the Traditional Knowledge Report. While the Traditional Knowledge Report focuses on the importance of berries in traditional activities, cultural practices and community specific berry picking locations, the technical report focuses more on the understanding of the laboratory data and the potential risk to the community.
Conklin Wetland Monitoring
Incorporating both traditional and western science to monitor wetlands in the Conklin region, a committee was formed to help identify critical wetlands in the area, important vegetation species, and other key indicators that should be measured.
The environmental monitoring program involves observations of the physical environment around Conklin and how it may be impacted by the industrial projects that are in close proximity. The understanding of the impact and how the community views the impact is at the heart of these programs.
Indigenous Community Based Monitoring Advisory Committee
A program sponsored by the Oil Sands Monitoring Program, the ICBMAC focuses on gathering and centering indigenous knowledge to encourage and support indigenous led environmental projects within the oil sands region of Alberta.
Christina Lake Water Monitoring
The Christina Lake, a scenic and recreational lake, has been a part of Conklin and its history for many generations. As part of CRDAC’s mandate, it is our objective to ensure that we aim to protect the water, traditional ecological knowledge, and species ranging from walleye to yellow perch for many more generations to come.
Through this program, the CRDAC hopes to develop a water quality program including the installation of 16 shallow groundwater wells to help measure levels, identify any present contaminants, and collection of data that will ultimately help contribute to a fish health study. Residents are needed to help identify key locations around and/or on the lake as well as key items that need to be measured.
Wassasi Park Improvements
Wassasi (Small Bayside) Park and Christina Lake is culturally integral to Conklin and also the single point of access to the treasured lake for our community and residents. Given the significant importance of this area and with little to no maintenance, the CRDAC pursued the recreational lease and requested that the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo transfer the lease. Historically and through a series of Community Betterment Sessions, the community of Conklin has identified the revitalization of Wassasi Park as a priority.
The CRDAC is evaluating the environmental and engineering needs of the road to ensure that the erosion issues are remedied and eliminate any risk of sediment feeding into the lake. A committee was established for the collaboration and implementation of a strategy to improve and incorporate a cultural aspect to the location.
It is the intention of CRDAC to revitalize this essential park space for the community of Conklin including a rehabilitated road leading into an enjoyable park and recreational space with parking, picnic areas, non-permanent docking/launch area for non-motorized vessels, nature paths, public washrooms, and benches.
Our goal is to make this space accessible and functional in all seasons. A space where we can bring our families together and reconnect to our Métis roots.