Minister's Response


The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency is proposing to construct and operate three irrigation projects surrounding Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan: the Rehabilitation Project; the Expansion Project; and the Qu'Appelle South Water Conveyance Project. The proposed infrastructure would irrigate up to 202 000 hectares of land and provide water for other uses. The Rehabilitation Project and the Expansion Project would take place northwest of Lake Diefenbaker and would complete the Westside Irrigation Canal System.


Non-designated projects.


Pursuant to section 9 of the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), I, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada considered the potential for the proposed Rehabilitation Project and Expansion Project to cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction and adverse direct or incidental effects, public concerns related to these effects, as well as adverse impacts on the Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. In forming my opinion, I took into account the analysis of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.

The proposed Rehabilitation Project and the Expansion Project are in the conceptual and early planning stages and important design decisions have yet to be made.

I am of the opinion that the designation of the Rehabilitation Project and the Expansion Project is unwarranted, at this time, for the following reasons:

  • the Rehabilitation Project and the Expansion Project are in the conceptual and early planning stages; and
  • there is insufficient information at this time to determine:
    • the applicability of the Physical Activities Regulations;
    • the potential adverse effects in areas of federal jurisdiction and the extent to which the study and design of the physical activities could inform and address these effects;
    • the extent to which regulatory mechanisms, such as the provincial environmental assessment, could address these effects is unknown; and
    • the extent to which potential engagement and consultation processes could address adverse impacts to section 35 rights.

The Qu'Appelle South Water Conveyance Project was not considered for designation under subsection 9(1) of the IAA since it appears to include physical activities prescribed by the Physical Activities Regulations.

Document reference number: 2

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