Thursday 9 December 2021

Farmland Drainage & the Environment Virtual Conference, December 14-17, 2021

Citizens Environmental Alliance (CEA) is holding the first part of its third annual Farmland Drainage and the Environment Virtual Conference from Dec. 14-17. The topics are listed below along with some additional reading material that may be of interest. Recordings of the discussions will be uploaded to the CEA YouTube channel if you are unable to attend. 

7 pm, Dec. 14 – Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Projects Town Hall 
Join a panel discussion and Q&A session to learn more about the irrigation project and its implications for Saskatchewan. This session is created to hear different perspectives with regards to the project, to learn from one another, and to ask good questions. 

Panelists: Aaron Gray, Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association, and Bob Halliday, Partners for the Saskatchewan River Basin 

Additional Reading Material 
Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Projects [Water Security Agency/Government of Saskatchewan] 

10 am, Dec. 15 – Crown (Public) Lands Gone Forever 
Lorne Scott’s webinar will discuss Saskatchewan’s Crown Lands, going right from settlement, into the 1930s, return of veterans in the 1940-50s, sell off in 1960s, Wildlife Development Fund, no sales in 1970s, Wildlife Habitat Protection Act (WHPA) 1980 - 90s, the lobby to save Community Pastures, and the Sale of WHPA and other Crown land in 2010-2020. Lorne will also give an overview of the current situation with ongoing breaking of native grassland and aspen parkland and the draining of wetlands on Crown Land. 

Lorne is Conservation Director with Nature Saskatchewan and Co-Chair of Public Pastures Public Interest. Lorne operates a farm near Indian Head and has served as president of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation and the Saskatchewan Natural History Society. He was a member of the provincial cabinet, serving as Minister of Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management. 

Additional Reading Material 
Selling off Saskatchewan, Saba Dar [Sask Dispatch] 

10 am, Dec. 16 – Wetlands and Their Role in the Resilience of Prairie Communities
Chris Spence’s presentation will focus on the important role wetlands play in the resilience of the prairies and what the loss of wetlands, prairie, and aspen parkland will mean during future climate change. 

Chris works as a research scientist for Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) in Saskatoon. He holds adjunct professor appointments at the Universities of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. His research focuses on better understanding hydrological and hydro-meteorological processes in cold regions for environmental prediction systems and policy development. ECCC informs Canadians about protecting and conserving our natural heritage and ensuring a clean, safe, and sustainable environment for present and future generations. 

Additional Reading Material 

10 am, Dec. 17 – All Our Conversations Begin with Treaty – The Duty to Consult in Saskatchewan 
Dana Martin will discuss the legal duty to consult Indigenous people and that relationship with society and our environment. 

Dana is the Director of the Battle River Indigenous Relations Council Inc., a not-for-profit corporation established to assist Treaty 6 First Nations in the Battlefords region with Crown consultation. Her background is in Indigenous law and municipal planning. 

Additional Reading Material 

Part 2 of the Farmland Drainage & the Environment Virtual Conference will be held in February 2022. 

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