‘Why Am I Being Blackballed?’

Water Wells First Spokesperson Kevin Jakubec at meeting. May 30, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham Kent).

The spokesperson for a local activist group claims he is being “blackballed” by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change over concerns regarding water wells.

Kevin Jakubec, spokesperson for Water Wells First, says he was called to a residence Tuesday afternoon to help answer some questions.

Lucille DeFraeye, who lives in the North Kent Wind Project area, says she recently noticed problems with her water. She says the sediment in the well water had clogged her filter.

“My husband is at work, working 12-hour shifts, seven days a week — I know very little about the filtration system… so we have [Jakubec] to represent us.”

DeFraeye says she called the ministry to test her water and asked that Jakubec stay with her to help answer any questions. However, DeFraeye says the tests were never done.

“[Jakubec] appeared and [the ministry official] left. She refused to do the testing,” says DeFraeye. “So whatever they have between [Jakubec] and the ministry has nothing to do with Lucy DeFraeye — I’m the victim here!”

DeFraeye claims that the ministry official refused to do the tests, saying the reason was because Jakubec was present.

“I said ‘nobody told me,'” says DeFraeye.

She says following Tuesday’s incident, complaints have been filed with the ministry.

Meanwhile, Jakubec is left questioning why his presence affects whether or not residents get their water tested.

“We created Water Wells First to be an advocate and provide support for the well owner, so it’s really clear that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change does not want the well owners in the area to have access to information,” says Jakubec.

“Why does the ministry not want me — like, why am I blackballed?” says Jakubec.

Jakubec says a total of 12 residents have come forward with well issues, meanwhile the ministry says they are monitoring and assessing these concerns.

BlackburnNewsCK.com has reached out to the MOE for comments to the claims made by DeFraeye and Jakubec but have not heard back.