Fonds F 315 - North Battleford Water Inquiry fonds

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North Battleford Water Inquiry fonds

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F 315

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  • 1963-2003, predominant 2001-2002 (Creation)

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4.18 m of textual records
20 photographs
2 audio cassettes

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Administrative history

The North Battleford Water Inquiry was an independent commission ordered by the Government of Saskatchewan on May 10, 2001 pursuant to Order-in-Council 357/2001. The public inquiry was ordered following an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness in March and April, 2001. Approximately 5800 to 7100 people in the Battlefords, Saskatchewan area became ill after consuming water infected with the parasite cryptosporidium parvum.

The Commission's mandate was to inquire into, make recommendations and report on: the circumstances that led to the cryptosporidium outbreak in North Battleford; the adequacy and effectiveness of the actions taken by the provincial government, the Battlefords District Health Board, and the City of North Battleford leading up to and in response to the outbreak; the effect, if any, of the regulations, bylaws, policies, guidelines, procedures and practices of the above named parties on the outbreak; any other relevant matters the Commission considered necessary to determine the future safety of North Battleford's public drinking water.

The Honourable Mr. Justice Robert D. Laing was appointed Commissioner on May 10, 2001. The Commission consisted of James Russell (Counsel); Christopher Boychuk and Blair Bleakney (Assistant Counsel); Warren Bickford (Executive Director); Norman Doell (Registrar) and two administrative staff.

Applications for funding and standing were heard on June 26, 2001. The public hearings were held at the Tropical Inn in North Battleford from September 17 to December 6, 2001, with final arguments heard on January 14 and 15, 2002.

The Commission's final report, Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Matters Relating to the Safety of the Public Drinking Water in the City of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, was submitted to the Minister of Justice on March 28, 2002 and released to the public April 5, 2002. The Report's 28 recommendations focused on regulatory improvements at Saskatchewan Environment, Saskatchewan Health and health districts; increased plant inspection; improved training for operators; and improvement in water management in North Battleford. The Saskatchewan Government accepted all recommendations and vowed to improve the province's water quality.

Custodial history

The exhibits, transcripts, and witness interview files were transferred to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives by the Executive Director of the North Battleford Water Inquiry in one accession in 2003: R2003-187 (May 5, 2003). The administrative files in this fonds were transferred to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives on September 15, 2004 and October 25, 2004 by the office administrator for the Neil Stonechild Inquiry. The Executive Director of the Stonechild Inquiry used the North Battleford Water Inquiry records for reference and guidance. The administrative files were assigned accession number R2003-187.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used in 2001 and 2002 by members of the North Battleford Water Inquiry.

This fonds has been arranged into four series: Administrative Files; Witness Interview Files; Transcripts of Hearings and Exhibits.

The Administrative Files series contains records relating to routine matters, such as supplies, equipment, office space, contract services, etc. Also included is background research, records relating to the procedural operation of a judicial inquiry and an electronic copy of the Commission's website.

The Witness Interview Files series contain records created by the Commission's legal counsel, who interviewed witnesses prior to their appearance at the public hearings. Witnesses included personnel from the City of North Battleford, the Battlefords Health District, and the Government of Saskatchewan. Medical doctors and persons representing the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Environmental Society, Nature Saskatchewan, Canadian Union of Public Employees and 427 individuals and corporations affected by the contaminated potable water in North Battleford were also interviewed.

The Transcripts series includes transcripts of the applications for standing and funding hearings (June 26, 2001); public hearings (September 17 to December 5, 2001) and final arguments (January 14 and 15, 2002).

The Exhibits series contains the 120 exhibits entered as evidence at the public hearings. This series has been arranged into two sub-series: Official Exhibits and Master Copies of Exhibit Binders.

The types of records included in the fonds are correspondence, memoranda, legislation, news releases, newspaper clippings, briefs and submissions, expense claims, budget material, interview notes, summons to witness, background research, transcripts, photographs, audio cassettes and computer disks.

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Original order maintained. Series titles supplied by archivist. File titles provided by records creator except where indicated in square brackets.

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These records are subject to access restrictions. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication and/or reproduction of records are subject to terms and conditions of Crown copyright. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

Finding aids

SAFA 254 consists of a fonds description, file listings of textual records and item level descriptions of audio recordings. The electronic finding aid consists of a file level database for textual records and item descriptions of audio cassettes.

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No further accruals are expected.

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10 compact discs 3 floppy disks

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