Week in Review: Save Lake Winnipeg, Fair Tax Review, No Privatizations

Dear Friend, A Manitoba Liberal Government will end decades of NDP/PC neglect of Lake Winnipeg and act to save the lake, as well as Manitoba’s other waterways, by helping the city of Winnipeg and other municipalities upgrade infrastructure.  For years, Lake Winnipeg has been at risk of becoming a “dead lake” as massive blue-green algae blooms grow in the Lake, fed by fertilizer run-off and waste from municipal sewers. The algae threatens the health of the lake and washes up on beaches where it can make people and animals sick. Lake Winnipeg is home to a fishery worth tens of millions of dollars a year. Thousands of Manitobans depend on the Lake for a living, drinking water, and tourism. For decades, raw sewage and undertreated water have been flowing into our lakes and rivers, and NDP and PC provincial governments refused to help cash-strapped municipalities solve the problem. We want to leave a better Manitoba to our children than the one we inherited. In order to do that, saving Lake Winnipeg and restoring it to health needs to start now. Manitoba Liberals say if the City of Winnipeg agrees, a Manitoba Liberal Government will fund the process that could cut the North End Treatment Plant’s emissions of phosphorous by 70%. The process, adding “ferric chloride” to water, has been recommended by both the Lake Winnipeg Foundation and the International Institute for Sustainable Development as a lower-cost means to bring the city quickly in line with environmental guidelines for $5-million.  While the Red River supplies less than 10% of Lake Winnipeg’s water, it accounts for nearly 60% of the phosphorous. The largest point source of all, 5%, is the City of Winnipeg’s North End Treatment Plant.  In addition to the ferric chloride treatments, a Manitoba Liberal Government will:  Work with Conservation districts and the Lake Winnipeg Foundation’s existing network to map and target phosphorous “hotspots,” in Manitoba and work to eliminate them.

Create new wetlands and restore old ones, including the Netley-Libau Marsh, where the Red River flows into Lake Winnipeg, to naturally clean the water flowing into the Lake.  Commit to making upgrades to green infrastructure a priority, including funding for an “innovation” stream to build and test small-scale pilot projects for new or different technologies.  Use sound science to track fish populations in Lake Winnipeg so we can manage the fishery with certainty for the future.  The funds for what needs to be done are available, but the PCs have chosen to delay action, even if it hurts the environment and Manitobans. After years of decline, we want to see Lake Winnipeg get better.