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Response to Ministerial Statement (6 November 2006)

Response to Ministerial Statement

From Hansard - 6 November 2006

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Saskatchewan’s New Water Conservation Plan

Mr. Hart: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I certainly would like to respond to the minister’s statement dealing with his new water conservation plan. As the minister stated, Mr. Speaker, water is certainly a very precious and valuable commodity that we should all be aware of. And it will become even more so in the future as the increased demands for water within our province and within our country and around the globe grow, particularly, Mr. Speaker, when we look at this in the context of climate change and look at some of the models that are out there that predict more variance in our climate that could result in multi-year droughts and so on, Mr. Speaker.

The minister mentioned that some jurisdictions have overallocated their water supply. And, Mr. Speaker, I would hope that in this plan, in this government’s plan, that we do an inventory of our current water resources that we have in this province so that we know what our supply is in a definitive way so that we can then deal with allocation issues from a knowledge base of inventory, Mr. Speaker.

The minister referred to Saskatchewan’s green plan. And I find it rather interesting when he said that, when the green plan is fully developed. And that is an issue, Mr. Speaker, that citizens, particularly those that are in the environment area, that are following this issue as to when is this government going to unveil their full green plan . . . . We underwent a series of meetings and consultations and so on over a year ago, Mr. Speaker, and we still don’t see the whole plan.

Overall, Mr. Speaker, I haven’t . . . I’ve just received the minister’s statement and I do thank him for that. We will have to review what the minister is proposing, Mr. Speaker. There’s a couple of issues that come to mind as I listen to the minister, particularly when he talked about leading by example, Mr. Speaker.

I would hope that one of the examples that that government doesn’t use, Mr. Speaker, is the SPUDCO [Saskatchewan Potato Utility Development Company] example and leadership in that whole area.

I would hope that we look at issues and conservation practices that are meaningful, Mr. Speaker, and we certainly would be . . . will view with interest and will certainly lend our support where it is required, but we will certainly also make suggestions and offer alternatives if we feel that it is required in this area. But we certainly feel that water is a very important and essential issue in this province, and we will be certainly looking forward to working with the government in the future to develop a plan that is in the best interests of all citizens of this province. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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