CBC: Construction Project worries Lake Wabamun residents

August 5, 2012 | Lake Wabamun

People living around Lake Wabamun are sending out a warning about a farming project that they’re worried may be a danger to their lake.

“We’re flabbergasted. We don’t know what’s up,” said John McDonald, who has owned a cabin on the lake since 1991.

“What we notice is that it has been pretty much strip mined. It looks like there’s no vegetation left, there’s no trees."

McDonald says since the trees were cut down, heavy rains have caused huge fissures in the soil around the construction site.

That erosion is a big concern for many of the people living on the lake, according to Edmonton-Strathcona MP Linda Duncan.

While it is outside of her constituency, Duncan says she’s received calls and letters from concerned Lake Wabamun residents because of the work she did with an environmental group that started in the community when a CN train derailed in the area in 2005, spilling oil into the water.

She’s worried the current erosion, right next to where those cars derailed, could lead to another disaster if soil washes over the tracks.

“People were concerned just because of the erosion and going into the lake but when I saw how close this development was to the train track, I was immediately concerned,” Duncan said.

Duncan says she has written letters to the federal Ministers of Fisheries and Transport, as well as the Transportation Safety Board concerning the project, as well as to the mayor and regional council in of Parkland County.

Residents are hoping to the project might be stopped, or something done to the erosion near the railway, before it becomes a problem.

“We don’t want another derailment at this point at all,” said McDonald