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Provincial government

A sewage leak at Winnipeg’s Fort Garry Bridge caused by broken pipes and subsequent failures of a temporary bypass system spilled 228.39 million litres of raw sewage into the Red River over the course of two weeks in February – the largest sewage spill to have occurred in the city in decades.

The bypass system at the Fort Garry Bridge is now operational and will remain in place until the broken pipes can be replaced, work that will continue into 2025. However, our city’s failing infrastructure continues to threaten the health of our waterways and the safety of our communities.

This latest...

The protection of Lake Winnipeg has been identified as a key commitment of Manitoba's new government in the October 2023 mandate letters issued by Premier Wab Kinew.

Mandate letters outline the premier’s expectations for each cabinet minister, including government priorities they are to focus on and specific objectives they are to accomplish.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Tracy Schmidt has been directed to “Work with experts and scientists to protect Lake Winnipeg and safeguard the health of all our waterways.”

Minister Lisa Naylor, who leads the departments of Transportation and...

In the leadup to Manitoba’s Oct. 3 election, we asked all six provincial parties to commit to achieving phosphorus compliance at Winnipeg’s largest sewage treatment plant, the North End Water Pollution Control Centre (NEWPCC).

Only the New Democratic Party of Manitoba (NDP) responded to us. This is the statement we received.

It’s disappointing that no party chose to commit directly to the specific actions required to achieve phosphorus compliance at Winnipeg’s north end plant. So many Manitobans care deeply about the health of Lake Winnipeg, and have called upon successive provincial...

For years, successive provincial governments have ignored the phosphorus pollution released by Winnipeg’s North End Water Pollution Control Centre (NEWPCC). This provincial election, join us in calling for phosphorus compliance at Winnipeg’s largest sewage treatment plant.

Excess phosphorus is the cause of harmful algal blooms on Lake Winnipeg – and NEWPCC is the single largest point source of phosphorus flowing into the lake. In 2005, the province set a phosphorus limit of 1.0 mg/L in NEWPCC’s operating licence. Almost 20 years later, NEWPCC remains non-compliant with this limit – and two...

Manitoba’s water strategy action plan has ignored available phosphorus data that could improve water decision-making and protect Lake Winnipeg – despite stated objectives to support community-based monitoring and increase collaboration and sharing of water data.

Released July 5, 2023, the plan identifies 72 actions meant to advance the goals and objectives found within a broader water management strategy framework released in November 2022.

Manitoba Environment and Climate had previously solicited public feedback to inform the development of the action plan. Our April 2023 submission...

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...

In 2018, the Manitoba Climate and Green Plan Act established an Expert Advisory Council to provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Conservation and Climate. In August, this council solicited stakeholder input on a provincial water management strategy for Manitoba.

Our submission advocates for a science-based, outcome-focused strategy to effectively translate policy into meaningful practice to safeguard our shared waters. Such a strategy must be supported by robust evidence, include measurable targets and defined timelines for action, and strengthen monitoring and reporting...

On May 7, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced a plan to increase provincial infrastructure investment by $500 million through the Manitoba Restart Program. The goal is to stimulate the economy as Manitoba deals with the effects of the pandemic.

Specific projects will be identified in the coming weeks. However, water and sewage projects and municipal infrastructure priorities were among those mentioned in a list of targeted fields.

LWF is urging the provincial government to prioritize much-needed upgrades to Winnipeg’s North End Water Pollution Control Centre (NEWPCC). You can read our...

 

UPDATE: On Dec. 5, The Manitoba government denied the City of Winnipeg’s request for a two-year extension to develop a plan for phosphorus reduction at the North End Water Pollution Control Centre (NEWPCC). Instead, the province is requiring that an interim phosphorus reduction plan be in place by Jan. 31, 2020. It will also assist the city move forward on plans to fully upgrade the NEWPCC. Thank you to everyone who spoke up on this issue! You can read more about this latest development on our Winnipeg sewage update post.

LWF has been advocating for improvements to Winnipeg wastewater...

In the lead-up to Manitoba’s election on Sept. 10, we wanted to learn more about how each party plans to address the challenges facing Lake Winnipeg.

We sent the following three questions to each of the four main party’s provincial headquarters:

1. Improving sewage treatment in Winnipeg

Winnipeg’s North End Water Pollution Control Centre (NEWPCC) is the single largest point source of phosphorus to Lake Winnipeg, releasing an average of 600 kilograms of phosphorus every day. This is more than three times the phosphorus limit prescribed in the plant’s provincial operating licence – yet the city...

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