Council for the Rural Municipality of Springfield says it has significant concerns with the CanWhite Sands proposal.

CanWhite Sands Corp. is proposing to extract silica sand from the Carman Sand member within the Winnipeg Sandstone geological formation beneath the RM of Springfield and process it at a new facility CanWhite is proposing to build outside of Vivian, Manitoba.

Sprinfield Mayor Tiffany Fell says following a thorough examination of the proposal, the staff and Council of the RM of Springfield have significant concerns and questions that have not been answered.

"The safety of Springfield residents, including our precious water resources, is of the utmost importance to this Council," says Fell.

Council will be formally requesting the Province of Manitoba initiate a Clean Environment Commission hearing on the CanWhite Sands proposal. Additionally, in consultation with administrative staff, they will be drafting questions and comments on the proposal and submitting them to the province through the formal Environment Act Proposal process.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, seven municipalities in southeastern Manitoba announced the establishment of the Municipal Silica Sand Advisory Committee. They are the City of Steinbach and Rural Municipalities of Hanover, Tache, Ste. Anne, La Broquerie, Brokenhead and Reynolds.

This committee was formed to serve as an advisory body to the municipal council of each participating municipality regarding independent review and obtaining of information to better understand the effects that may arise as a result of silica sand extraction and processing operations in southeast Manitoba. The Committee is concerned about the silica sand mining extraction as proposed by CanWhite Sands Corp.

The member municipalities are interested in any impacts to water quality and quantity (the aquifers, surface water), any land use issues including undue contamination, any impact on municipal infrastructure and services. The Committee will provide recommendations to the Council of each member Municipality regarding the best solutions for mitigating any impacts of silica sand mining, which
could include regulation or restriction of silica sand mining through municipal by-laws.

Membership of the committee is made up of one elected official and one administrative official of each member Municipality. The Chair of the Committee is Tache Mayor Justin Bohemier. The Chief Administrative Officer of the Rural Municipality of Tache will provide direct administrative support to the Committee and chair a committee of administrators of the member municipalities. The committee held its first meeting on Monday, September 27, 2021.