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New technology provided by the Canadian Floating Fence Corporation helped gather water samples on the James Smith Cree Nation. A ‘s lawsuit says government inaction is at least partly behind a Husky Energy oil spill that fouled water supplies for tens of thousands of people along the North Saskatchewan River last summer.

The James Smith band in Melfort, Sask., says the province ignored recommendations from its own auditor general on pipeline safety made four years before the accident.

The 2012 report concluded that the government didn’t have the resources to ensure its pipeline rules were being followed and that some were being ignored.

About 40 per cent of a 225,000-litre spill from the Husky pipeline reached the river and forced three cities to shut off their water intake for almost two months.

The James Smith First Nation says oil from the spill remains in water, soil, vegetation and debris on its land.

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