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Phosphorus

In the leadup to Canada’s election, we sent three questions to Manitoba candidates to better understand their commitments to Lake Winnipeg.

Here's what we learned.


Surprisingly, only nine* candidates responded to our request. You can review their commitments below, by clicking on the candidates' names. 

Conservative Party of Canada

James Bezan, Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman

Green Party of Canada

Greg Boettcher, Winnipeg South

Janine Gibson, Provencher

Doug Hemmerling, Winnipeg South Centre

Ralph McLean, Churchill-Keewatinook Aski

Laurent Poliquin, Saint Boniface-Saint Vital

Liberal Party of Canada...

Despite decades of government commitments, Lake Winnipeg’s health continues to decline. 

In the leadup to Canada’s election on Sept. 20, the Lake Winnipeg Foundation and the Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective are reminding federal candidates that promises are not enough. It’s time for immediate action that generates measurable results. 

WHAT WE’RE DOING: 

Together, LWF and LWIC have released a plan for federal action: Five Things the Federal Government Must Do for Lake Winnipeg. This road map identifies specific, concrete actions achievable in less than five years to achieve real impact for...

Photo of the North End Water Pollution Control Centre sign, with address of 2230 Main Street below

Measurable phosphorus reduction at Winnipeg’s largest sewage treatment plant is one step closer to reality – a success made possible by committed citizens speaking up for change. 

On Feb. 9, Winnipeg’s Standing Policy Committee on Water and Waste, Riverbank Management and the Environment recommended funding for interim chemical phosphorus removal at the North End Water Pollution Control Centre (NEWPCC). 

The committee decision comes as a follow-up to an October 2019 Winnipeg City Council motion which directed department staff to test interim phosphorus removal options, report back to the...

A group photo of all the people and children who participated in the Victoria Beach Walk for Water event in 2017, with the children holding a banner that says we love Lake Winnipeg.

As individuals and as a group, citizens have great power to influence change. Decision-makers take note when people speak up for water; individually and collectively, our voices matter. Using our voices is an effective tool to influence policy, encourage action and hold governments accountable.

Now is an important time for freshwater advocacy. LWF has been engaging with all levels of crown government to push for evidence-based solutions to reduce phosphorus loading across the watershed.

Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been up to – and how you can help us speak up for Lake Winnipeg.

At the...

Canada is a country defined by water – and improving the health of Lake Winnipeg is a well-established national priority, acknowledged through the policy priorities, mandate letters and throne speeches of successive federal governments.

But how do we move beyond good intentions and begin achieving meaningful results?

Together, the Lake Winnipeg Foundation and the Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective have released a position paper which identifies five things the federal government must do for Lake Winnipeg right now.

They are:

1. Recognize phosphorus as the cause of blue-green algal blooms on...

Grade 10 Biology students from Minot, North Dakota, are the newest citizen scientists to join the Lake Winnipeg Community-Based Monitoring Network (LWCBMN).

As part of their honours class, a small group of students from Minot’s Central Campus have volunteered to collect samples from the Souris River, using equipment supplied by LWF and following LWCBMN protocols developed by LWF science advisors. Their teacher was trained by LWF staff over Zoom.

LWCBMN is a long-term monitoring program coordinated by LWF which mobilizes citizens to collect water samples across rural areas of Lake Winnipeg’s...

Waves rolling onto a sandy shore.

Update: The deadline for public feedback on the IJC’s proposed nutrient loading targets and concentration objectives has been extended until March 28, 2020.

The International Joint Commission (IJC) works to prevent and resolve transboundary water disputes, investigating issues and recommending solutions to the governments of Canada and the United States. Guided by the Boundary Waters Treaty, which was signed in 1909, it was established in recognition that each country is affected by the other’s actions in lake and river systems along the border.

The IJC is currently soliciting public feedback...

It’s not every day you get to visit one of Canada’s primary sources of lake science. And it’s certainly not every day you get to stand on the shores of a humble little lake known simply as Lake 227 that has informed scientists’ understanding of eutrophication for almost half a century.

Located in northwest Ontario about an hour and a half east of Kenora, the IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) is a natural laboratory comprised of 58 small lakes and their watersheds. The area was set aside for scientific research in 1968 and it’s an ideal setting in which to conduct whole-ecosystem science...

Harmful algal blooms have been increasing in size and frequency on Lake Winnipeg – contaminating beaches, reducing water quality, and damaging Manitoba’s important fishing and tourism industries.

Algae on Lake Winnipeg circa 2006; photo: Lori Volkart

Algal blooms are the result of eutrophication – a condition caused by an over-abundance of the nutrient phosphorus. All living things need phosphorus – in fact, it’s one of the ingredients in the fertilizers we give our house and garden plants and our agricultural crops to help them grow. However, too much of it is a problem because it contributes to the growth of blue-green algae (which is also...

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