Farmers say they didn’t drain lake province wants restored

Ponoka-area poultry farmers have been ordered to restore a Crown-owned lake that the province says was drained illegally. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development issued an enforcement order under the Water Act against Henk and Gerrie Krijger on Feb. 18 for allegedly performing unauthorized work on the lake.

Ponoka-area poultry farmers have been ordered to restore a Crown-owned lake that the province says was drained illegally.

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development issued an enforcement order under the Water Act against Henk and Gerrie Krijger on Feb. 18 for allegedly performing unauthorized work on the lake.

The province says the unapproved work included draining a 51-acre lake about 10 km east of Ponoka and a smaller wetland, excavating near a lake outlet and putting fill into the lake.

Under the order, the Krijgers must restore the lake to the condition it was in before any unauthorized drainage work was done. They have until March 2015.

Alberta Environment spokeswoman Nikki Booth said the lake was not included as part of the property when it was sold to the Krijgers in August 2011.

Two months later, a public complaint was received that the lake was being drained and water flowing into neighbouring properties. A provincial inspector went out in October and told the Krijgers to stop work. Another visit was made in February 2012 and the inspector noticed unauthorized work was continuing, said Booth.

Another complaint was made in November 2013 that more drainage work was being done. An inspector determined that a drainage trench had been widened.

“With these changes and the continued work on the lake, it was determined we would need to issue an enforcement order to get the remediation work to take place.”

If the landowners don’t do the work, charges could be laid under the Water Act against them and they could face fines or other judge-ordered penalties.

Gerrie Krijger said she and her husband have been trying to resolve the issue with the province.

“We’re still in conversations to see what to do.”

They did not drain the lake, which is shallow and grows and shrinks significantly depending on whether it is a wet or dry year, she said.

“There’s nothing drained. The lake is still there and there’s lots of water.”

What drainage work was undertaken was done on their own land, not Crown land, she said.

“We would never, never dig in Crown land. We know to stay away from Crown land.”

An existing drainage channel was on the land, which is not used as their home quarter section, when they bought it, she added.

“I don’t know if the owner before made it, I have no idea.”

Just Posted

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Red Deer’s new ‘equity co-ordinator’ will promote tolerance

Andrea Lacoursiere was hired by city with Alberta Human Rights funding

More bridge work this summer in Red Deer’s Coronation Park

The park’s north bridge is being rebuilt to ensure safety

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

U.S. hits back with WTO challenge against Canada’s retaliatory tariffs

OTTAWA — The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government’s… Continue reading

Croatia gears up to give heroes’ welcome to World Cup team

ZAGREB, Croatia — Fans are pouring in from throughout the country as… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month