The members of the Municipal Silica Sand Advisory Committee (MSSAC), being the rural municipalities of Tache, Ste. Anne, La Broquerie, Hanover, Brokenhead, Reynolds, St. Clements and the City of Steinbach, have met six times since the MSSAC was formed in September, 2021, to stay on top of the two proposals submitted by Sio Silica Corporation (formerly CanWhite Sands Corp.) for their processing facility and extraction process. The Provincial Environment Act Proposal processes are proceeding and the MSSAC has been actively engaging the Province.
The MSSAC activities to date include:
- Issued its first News Release on September 29, 2021 on the establishment of the MSSAC;
- Sent a letter on October 5, 2021 to the Minister of Conservation and Climate requesting a Clean Environment Commission Public Hearing on CanWhite’s silica sand extraction project and the processing facility;
- Submitted detailed comments on the Environment Act Proposal for the silica sand extraction project to the Environmental Approvals Branch on October 5, 2021, which was subsequently posted on the Manitoba Public Registry;
- Received a copy of a letter dated November 15, 2021 from the Minister to the Chair of the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission (CEC) requesting that the CEC hold a public hearing on the silica sand extraction project and that the review process be complete by March 15, 2022;
- Received a copy of a letter dated December 15, 2021 from the Acting Director of the Environmental Approvals Branch that intervenor funding is not available to a number of parties for participation in the public hearing. Instead, the CEC will hire an independent technical expert to assess and report on the silica sand extraction project, which report is to be made available to the public for review;
- Received a copy of a letter dated December 16, 2021 from the Acting Director of the Environmental Approvals Branch issuing Environment Act Licence No. 3667 for the silica sand processing facility near Vivian, Manitoba;
- On December 23, 2021, approved the engagement of KGS Group Consulting Engineering firm to review the silica sand extraction project; review the CEC technical expert report and represent the MSSAC at the public hearing;
- On January 20, 2022 , sent a letter to the Minister of Conservation and Climate appealing the issuance of the Environment Act Licence for the processing facility, because the public hearing for the extraction is yet to occur;
- Received a copy of a letter dated January 13, 2022 from the Minister to the Chair of the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission (CEC) approving the CEC’s request to extend the timeframe of the public hearing process. The process is to be over six months from the date that the Conservation and Climate Department completes its review of the extraction project.
- Noted that the Manitoba Public Registry includes a letter dated February 3, 2022 from the Acting Director of the Manitoba Environmental Approvals Branch to the Chair of the Clean Environment Commission that states that “the departmental environmental assessment review for the proposed Sio Silica Corporation (formerly CanWhite Sands Corp.) silica sand extraction project is now complete.” The letter further states that “…the Clean Environment Commission hearing process can now commence…”.
- Received a letter dated February 28, 2022 from the Minister of Environment, Climate and Parks acknowledging receipt of MSSAC’s letter of appeal (to the licencing of the processing facility) dated January 10, 2022, and advising that the appeal will be considered in accordance with Section 27(2) of the Environment Act.
- On March 25, 2022, e-mailed the Participant Request Form to the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission for participation in the Public Hearing for the Vivian Silica Sand Extraction Project.
The MSSAC regularly monitors the CEC website and as of March 25, 2022, a detailed schedule for the public hearing has not been posted. However, the CEC website includes the “Hearing Directive for the Vivian Silica Sand Extraction Project, February 2022” and this document provides a schedule of events, including that the Hearings will commence in late Summer/Fall 2022. The Hearing Directive identifies the four Commissioners that form the Panel for the Public Hearing.
For information on the CEC public hearing process, click here.
Mayors and Reeves of
R.M. of Brokenhead
R.M. of Hanover
R.M. of La Broquerie
R.M. of Reynolds
R.M. of Ste. Anne
R.M. of St. Clements
City of Steinbach
R.M. of Tache