Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, MB -Manitoba Liberal MLA for River Heights Dr. Jon Gerrard introduced bill 239 today, which would amend The Ecological Reserves Act, to allow for the creation of an ecological corridor system.
The bill also makes related amendments to require that ecological corridors be considered in land planning decisions.
"This bill recognizes that there needs to be a fundamental shift in how we think of ecological stewardship. We need to move beyond protecting islands of habitat towards protecting ecological corridors. We need to move beyond the view that governments can act alone, and toward the view that private sector landowners, Indigenous people and governments need to work together to provide effective stewardship of ecological corridors where wildlife live and migrate," said Gerrard. "Stewardship of ecological corridors has the potential to improve biodiversity, fight climate change and bring the environment back to a better balance. This bill arose out of discussions with individuals and municipalities along the Little Saskatchewan River in south-western Manitoba."
An ecological corridor strategy must be established within 24 months of this bill coming into force. The minister must identify:
• Wildlife that has experienced habitat loss
• Locations where the movement of wildlife between habitats has been negatively impacted
• Policies and projects that would preserve and improve sustainability or create ecological corridors
"Having more wilderness is good for communities, good for wildlife and good for the planet," said Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St Boniface, Dougald Lamont. "We're operating by the campsite rule - we have an obligation to leave the province to future generations, and this is an important start that we hope all parties can buy into."