On Feb 4th.  I received a letter from Mulroney & Company on behalf of SIRM (South Island Resource Management Ltd.), Stating that the blog post “Can we take back Shawnigan Lake?“, was somehow defaming SIRM?

They further demanded that I removed the blog, and post an apology or they would initiate a lawsuit against myself and Mission LED.  I have scanned a copy of the letter for anyone who would like to read the document in full.  

On Mar. 18th they filed the lawsuit.

Funny thing is when I made this post, I did not even know who SIRM was, so I am at a loss as to how I could defame them?

But to be clear, I would like to set the record straight publicly:


  • Does not own the property on Stebbings, nor are the directors of SIRM the owners of the property.
  • Did not apply for the contaminated materials permit, did not go through the permitting process, and does not own the permit for the contaminated waste nor are the directors of SIRM the owners of the permit.
  • Did not enter into a secret profit sharing agreement with the engineering firm that provided the opinion the site was safe;
  • Appears merely to be a company incorporated in 2015 to manage the operations at the site, and will presumably continue to manage the site when only clean soil is acceptable.

Therefore, SIRM is not responsible for:

  • The government’s decision to approve the headwaters of the Shawnigan watershed  as a contaminated waste site
  •  The breaches of water from the site during heavy rain conditions, regardless of whether it actually carried toxins or not;
  • Any seepage of the toxins from the soil into the substrata under the site that might leach through the aquafer from the bottom of the piles of contaminated waste.
  • The high levels of materials below Lot 21 compared to control water as collected in May 2015, (before SIRM was incorporated) of:

Magnesium (Mg), Vanadium (V), Chromium (Cr), Manganese (Mn), Cobalt (Co), Molybdenum(Mo), Caesium (Cs), Barium (Ba), Hafnium (Hf), Lithium (Li), Scandium (Sc), Germanium (Ge), Zirconium (Zr), Tin (Sn), Niobium (Nb) [enriched 5.29 times higher than control]; Lead  (Pb) [enriched 5.19 times higher than control]. Iron (Fe) [enriched 11.69 times higher than control]; Thorium (Th) [enriched 18.60 times higher than control].

  • Any long term health effects to the residents of Shawnigan or to the aquatic life in the stream or Shawnigan Lake or in the Sook Lake watershed now or in the future if there is found to be a serious breach with toxins.

SIRM is, however, responsible for sending out numerous letters and several law suits suing people for blaming them for the above regardless of whether or not SIRM was mentioned or not. 

In that, they have caused needless emotional distress to many people.  Since they are not in control of any of the questionable activities the harm that comes from the activities cannot be placed on SIRM but only SIRM know why they felt the need to jump into the fray and threaten people.

Christie Clark, Mary Polak, the panel on the Environmental Appeal Board,  Cobble Hill Holdings, South Island Aggregates, Active Earthengineers, are the parties behind the decision-making and are the permit holders and landowners.

So the question to ponder is:

Why a company like SIRM would feel the need send out numerous letters attempting to dictate how language is used – to go through all of the effort to point out the difference between “hazardous”, “contaminated” and “toxic” to sue people and, when they are not responsible in any way for the fact the soil containing toxins is being dumped in a community watershed?

Why would SIRM spend money on lawyers and lawsuits against the worried public when they are not responsible for any of the risks that the residents face because of the decisions of others?  

I have obtained counsel and will fight this lawsuit, though, I really don’t know how such suits can initiated, given the above, because this issue is too important to all of us who rely on Shawnigan Lake for our drinking water and call it home.

Instead of Christy Clark’s and Mary Polak’s Liberal BC government protecting the rights of its constituents, they have abandoned concerned citizens, and left them to fight expensive court battles against corporations that threaten and sue when legitimate questions are raised?

I wonder if this posted comment will incite some other firm I have never heard of to sue me?

About The Author

John Keirstead
John Keirstead
Serial Entrepreneur, Technologist and Inventor my objective is to develop useful products that have a net positive effect in the lives of those that use them and the environment that we live in. CEO of Mission LED Lighting Company Ltd.


  1. Raquel

    May 28, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    People like you give me hope! Keep up the good fight!

    • John Keirstead

      May 30, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      Thank you for your support! Means the world!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *