MB Votes 2019: Will you commit to meet a protected area goal of 17 per cent of lands and waters in Manitoba?
Full question: The Manitoba government has eliminated the Protected Areas Initiative program and does not have a protected areas goal for the first time since 1992. Other jurisdictions, including Canada, have committed to the target of preserving 17 per cent of lands and waters by 2020. Will you commit to meet these targets in Manitoba?
Manitoba Liberal Party
The Manitoba Liberal Party central office sent a response on behalf of most Liberal candidates. See exceptions below.
Our plan is much more aggressive than just preservation. Manitoba Liberals will create 50 thousand hectares of new wilderness, while protecting existing wilderness and enhancing stewardship. With the goal of capturing more carbon and the added benefit of helping restore lost habitat for wildlife.
Dr. John Gerrard, Liberal Party, River Heights
The target of preserving 17 per cent of lands and waters by 2020 is an admirable one, but given the current situation, and the fact that the election is Sept 2019, it is will be a difficult task to achieve 17 per cent of lands and waters as protected area by the end of 2020. I am and will be a strong advocate for achieving the 17%, and hope that a foundation for moving forward on this objective can be laid by the end of 2020.
Green Party of Manitoba
The Green Party of Manitoba central office sent a response on behalf of most of their candidates. See exceptions below.
The Green Party of Manitoba will commit to preserving the 17% and increasing the amount to assist with the global climate crisis and support a far better eco-system in Manitoba.
Liz Clayton, Green Party of Manitoba, Agassiz
The Green Party of Manitoba commits to at least 17 % protected areas, for both the health of our eco-systems, and to address the Climate Crisis. Personally, I would like to see protection for the last of the prairie wildlands that are currently being slashed and burned, and farmed. Most of the woods and ravines where I live were never plowed because they were considered marginal lands - too sandy, or too steep, to farm. But today's equipment and methods can grow crops on almost anything, and the last of these wild prairie preserves, hillside and hollows are disappearing..fast. In my area alone (SE Agassiz), we've lost several square miles of trees in the past 5 years. The once wooded escarpment has bald spots all over it, and when the water runs now, there is no hold-back. The governments continue to dig deeper, faster ditches, and spring run-off rushes unimpeded to the Boyne River, and then, to the Red. We need immediate action on this uplands protection. Also of concern is the increased demand for potato acreage, which has doubled, due to the Simplot Plant expansion in Portage la Prairie. The sandy hilly forests around Spruce Woods are being ploughed, leveled, drained and tiled and the water for all this irrigation comes from the Assiniboine River. Meantime, down south, around Winkler, farmers have been building 1/4 section lined sloughs and filling them with water to meet their irrigation needs. I'm writing this to you now, because I had no idea when I lived in the city what was happening here, on the edge of the Tiger Hills/Pembina/Agassiz escarpment in south-central Manitoba.
Janine Gibson, Green Party Manitoba, Steinbach
The Manitoba government has shamefully eliminated the Protected Areas Initiative program and does not have a protected areas goal for the first time since 1992. Other jurisdictions, including Canada, have committed to the target of preserving 17 per cent of lands and waters by 2020. I am committed to meet these targets in Manitoba.
Andrea Shalay, Green Party of Manitoba, Union Station
The Green Party of Manitoba is committed to preserving 17% of lands and waters, and increasing that amount to support a stronger ecosystem in Manitoba and assist with the global climate crisis.
David Nickarz, Green Party Of Manitoba, Wolseley
Yes. Regarding the biodiversity crisis response from Manitoba, habitat protection is likely the most important aspect. This is where I would start that response.
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF MANITOBA
The Manitoba NDP central office sent a response on behalf of all of their candidates.
We have publicly stated our support for a protected area goal of 17% of lands and waters in Manitoba and are pleased to re-affirm that commitment.