Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Marie Lake resident vows to block seismic testing

'We'll break the law if need be'
Marie Lake resident vows to block seismic testing

Cabin owners protesting seismic testing at Marie Lake are so determined to keep oilsands development off their water, that they're prepared to block the lake to seismic crews when they try to test the area.

Hal Bekolay, Marie Lake resident, said concerned cabin owners will stop seismic testing on the lake any way possible, even if that means blocking the boat launches, so seismic crews can't go out to do their work.

"They're forcing our hand. We'll break the law if need be," he told Sun Media yesterday.

Bekolay was one of about 200 citizens who voiced their concerns to Bonnyville-Cold Lake PC MLA Denis Ducharme, as well as Liberal leader Kevin Taft, during a town hall meeting near Marie Lake Sunday evening.

Bekolay said residents throughout the Cold Lake area want the province to stop leasing out Alberta's limited fish-bearing lakes to companies for seismic testing and potential oilsands development. Marie Lake protesters want the government to buy back seismic testing rights that Sustainable Resource Development approved to Oilsands Underground Mining for their lake.

Last week, Edmonton's Chris Goss, who uses a cabin at Marie Lake, said he's planning a protest on the water for Sept. 15, the day seismic tests are to begin.

He said protesters will be going out in boats, disrupting the seismic crews' work.

Ducharme hopes seismic protests won't be necessary. He's meeting with Premier Ed Stelmach and Sustainable Resource Development Minister Ted Morton to discuss the situation at Marie Lake.

He also wants Sustainable Resource Development to account for concerns of residents potentially affected by oilsands development before granting seismic testing permits in the future.

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