CANADA AND MANITOBA SIGN AGREEMENT TO COLLABORATE ON CLEANING UP LAKE WINNIPEG
WINNIPEG, Man. – September 13, 2010 – Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety and Member of Parliament for Provencher, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, and Manitoba’s Minister of Water Stewardship, Christine Melnick, today signed a Canada-Manitoba Memorandum of Understanding Respecting Lake Winnipeg and the Lake Winnipeg Basin.
“As a Manitoban, I’m very proud to be part of today’s announcement of a renewed commitment to work with the Province of Manitoba on the management of Lake Winnipeg. Our governments have been working diligently to address the environmental challenges affecting the lake. Across the entire watershed, we are working with governments and community groups to reduce our impact on the ‘health. Today is a great step forward in taking concrete action to help clean up Lake Winnipeg,” said Minister Toews.
The signing of the agreement will provide the foundation for a long-term, collaborative and coordinated approach between the two governments to ensure the sustainability and health of Lake Winnipeg and its watershed.
“The Government of Canada recognizes that the management of important water resources such as Lake Winnipeg is a shared responsibility,” said Minister Prentice. “We will carry on our work with Manitoba to ensure that the clean up of Lake Winnipeg will continue to be based on sound science, good governance and concrete action towards our shared objectives.
“Restoring the health of Lake Winnipeg, its contributing watershed, and its downstream environment is a collective responsibility of everyone living in the lake’s huge interprovincial and international watershed, covering parts of four provinces and four states in two countries. I am very pleased to join with the Government of Canada on this memorandum of understanding. The collective commitments of our respective governments will safeguard the environment for today, tomorrow, and into the future,” said Minister Melnick.
Lake Winnipeg is the 10th largest freshwater lake in the world and Canada’s 6th Great Lake. Water quality in the lake has deteriorated due to excessive nutrients that have caused eutrophication and the development of large algal blooms.
Through Manitoba’s Lake Winnipeg Action Plan and Environment Canada’s Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative, significant investments have been targeted at reducing nutrient loading to improve the health of Lake Winnipeg and its watershed.
The Governments of Canada and Manitoba are committed to ensuring access to clean, reliable and secure water supplies and to working collectively to improve and protect the health of our waterways for current and future generations.