Manitoba budget all talk and no action on the environment

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 (All day)

WINNIPEG — According to the Wilderness Committee, the Manitoba government has today introduced a budget devoid of initiatives on protecting the lands and waters of the province, while cutting ministerial budgets for water stewardship, parks and climate change.

“The government's rhetoric in their budget speech, about protecting parks to preserve sustainable economic development, does not reflect the budget cuts that they are proposing,” said Eric Reder, Wilderness Committee’s Manitoba Campaign Director. “We need to protect the lands, water and biological diversity of the province to keep us and our economy healthy over the long term.”

According to Reder, money spent protecting the environment will be returned with lower healthcare costs and better conditions for business in the future.

“Clean water is not a natural resource,” said Reder. “Clean water is life for us and all the living things that our economy is built on.”

Reder is concerned that cuts in funding to water stewardship and the biodiversity branch will delay pressing environmental initiatives, such as the restoration of degraded waterways or the conservation of Manitoba’s at risk species.

“The habitat protection, which is legally required to preserve the threatened boreal woodland caribou, is not likely to occur with budget cuts,” said Reder. “The health of Lake Winnipeg is not improving and budget cuts to water stewardship will not make the lake healthier.”

While Reder welcomed the Made in Manitoba climate change action plan, but stressed that cuts to climate change funding makes implementation difficult.

The government is also spending millions on new software to calculate royalties for the oil and gas companies, an industry that needs to be phased out to prevent increasing climate chaos.

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For more information, please contact:

Eric Reder | Manitoba Campaign Director, Wilderness Committee
204-997-8584, eric@wildernesscommittee.org

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