WINNIPEG - Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said that a Manitoba Liberal Government will create a $7-million fund to help pay for remediation of soil and the environment in communities with lead contamination that have been ignored for decades by NDP and PC governments.
A year ago, it emerged that during the St. Boniface by-election when Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont was elected MLA, the PC government had sat on test results that showed elevated levels of lead in some St. Boniface gardens.
The PCs then accused the NDP for not releasing a 2007 report showing elevated levels of lead across Winnipeg, including in Weston, North Point Douglas, and St. Boniface. Each area was a site of industrial activity in which lead was used or being smelted.
A year later, most residents still haven’t received advice on what to do. Lamont said the time for excuses is over.
“Brian Pallister has run an excuse-based government where every single PC failure is justified by saying the NDP were even worse,” said Lamont. “After 30 years with successive PC and NDP governments who did nothing to clean up their act, Manitoba Liberals are going put resources into getting the lead out.”
A Manitoba Liberal Government will create a $7-million/yr. fund to provide:
-Testing for toxins in soil, air and water
-Public education and community engagement to share safe handling practices
-Grants to individuals and communities to remediate soil for the future
-Funding for partnerships with scientists to find toxins and evaluate the effectiveness of removal techniques.
Lamont said the fund would be available to test natural innovations to reduce soil pollution, known as “Phytoremediation”. Certain trees, plants and flowers naturally absorb and can withstand high concentrations of toxins and heavy metals and can be used to clean up contaminated areas.
“Manitoba Liberals’ approach to the environment and government is determined by the “campsite rule” - leave it better than you found it for the next people who come along,” said Lamont.