Business sign vandalized, questionable activity at Nipawin Municipal Airport

(Last Updated On: June 27, 2020)

Sometime between the evening of Thursday, June 25th 2020, and early morning on Friday June 26th, a sign for Brennan Jardine Aerial Spraying, located just west of Love, SK along Highway 55, was vandalized.

The word “SCAB”, with a homophobic slur below it, was spray painted on the sign.

Anyone having witnessed the vandals, or with any information about the incident, can contact the Nipawin RCMP at 306-862-6270

Questionable activity at Nipawin Airport

Jardine’s bad day didn’t end well as he arrived at Nipawin Airport early Friday evening to find the designated spray plane area at the airport flooded with water being dumped from what Brennan says was a “spray tank land pump“.

In an interview by phone with Nipawin News, Jardine indicated he had called the RCMP and was told they didn’t consider it a criminal matter.

Jardine’s attempts to contact the Nipawin Bylaw Enforcement Officer failed. He was told the Bylaw Enforcement Officer was away for the weekend and was told no one else was available to respond to the call.

While the Nipawin Municipal Airport must adhere to Transport Canada regulations, the faculty is owned by the Town of Nipawin and is governed by the town’s Airport Bylaw 1052/18.

The bylaw clearly states that spray plane’s are restricted to the designated area “west of the paved airport apron“, where the water was being dumped.

7.1. Aerial Applicators must restrict operations to the designated area west of the paved airport apron and ensure that the taxiway remains clear at all times.Town of Nipawin Airport Bylaw 1052/18 (pdf)

According to Jardine, the incident impacts him directly but may not have the same impact on any aerial spray operators who frequently load up on the taxiway in direct violation of both the Airport Bylaw and Transport Canada regulations. Jardine indicated he has made reports to the Town of Nipawin in the past, regarding operators blocking the taxiway, but he says it continues to be an issue at the airport.

Possible presence of chemical in water being dumped, among other hazards created by the water

The water itself, especially when combined with recent and current rainfalls, creates a barrier for Jardine and other aerial spraying operators needing to use the Nipawin Municipal Airport for their spraying operations. In addition the area being too wet to use, vehicles driving over the saturated area can leave behind deep ruts creating a hazard for pilots even after the ground has dried.

An additional concern Jardine had was the water may also contain chemicals. In a Facebook post describing what he witnessed happening on the spray plane designated area, Jardine said “It’s flooded with water and what appears to be chemical from the color and smell“. This adds a risk factor of contaminating any spray planes using the area with an unknown chemical.

If the water contained chemicals, the incident breaches both the Airport Bylaw 1052/18, section 7.4 “Absolutely no dumping of any chemical of any type is permitted on the Airport grounds” and operation protocols as governed by various federal and provincial Acts and regulations.

7.3 Aerial Applicators must be properly certified to perform such services, and operate at all times, in accordance with the provisions of the Pest Control Products Act(Canada) and it’s subsidiary Pest Control Products Regulations (SOR-206/124);The Pest Control Products (Saskatchewan) Act and its subsidiary Pest Control Products Regulations, 2015; and also of The Dangerous Goods Transportation Act.Town of Nipawin Airport Bylaw 1052/18 (pdf)

According to the bylaw, the penalties for violation are $250 for individuals and $500 for commercial users for the first offence, $500 for individuals and $1,000 for commercial users for a second offense. For a third or subsequent offence, the penalty is expulsion from and prohibition of further use of the airport.

Local residents concerned airport disruptions could impact air ambulance

With such questionable activity happening at the airport, including Jardine’s mention of the taxiway being blocked (by a vehicle), numerous area residents raised concern that the incident poses a risk and possible interference or delays for the air ambulance service that uses the Nipawin airport.

Blocking of the taxiway is another violation of the Airport bylaws, and, according to Jardine, an issue that has been an ongoing problem.

Unlike a common bylaw complaint that could be investigated, Jardine expressed his concern that the town appeared to have no measures in place to be able to act in a situation that warranted prompt attention when the bylaw enforcement officer is unavailable.

Nipawin News has sent an inquiry to the Town of Nipawin and followup will be provided once a response is received.

Post Author: Joanne Francis

Joanne Francis is the Editor and Journalist for Nipawin News