Conservation Library Closure Shocks Community

Manitoba Wildlands can now confirm Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship will be closing the library and public registry at 123 Main Street, in downtown Winnipeg, at the end of the calendar year. This public registry is the primary registry under the Manitoba Environment Act.

Little discussion or planning took place prior to this decision. Valuation of: services provided, access to journals and publications, or doing a survey of users did not receive consideration. Valuation of services would show a significant multiplier on actual annual costs. Arrangements with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, and with Environment Canada to share resources and publications are up in the air. Arrangements with the Manitoba Legislative Library are also up in the air.

The library is repository for research and technical reports, plus government publications reflecting public policy, and technical knowledge with respect to species, lands, waters, crown land designations, and all environmental licences issued in Manitoba. Students, researchers, journalists, consultants, and affected communities use the library.

Gaile Whelan Enns commented: “This decision is contrary to the public interest. A small budgetary savings seems to be the basis for deconstruction of the library, and possibly the public registry. Manitoba needs a virtual library and registry like Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights registry. No plan was in place before this decision. We would not be surprised if the materials are thrown out as that has happened with this department before when offices were being moved around.”

View Manitoba Wildlands website for the September 4, 2012 Manitoba Government Memo


Manitoba, Alberta lakes surveyed have high levels of toxin

A survey of more than 250 lakes across Canada has found a potent liver toxin in every province, with the highest concentrations in central Alberta and southern Manitoba.

The survey published in a scientific journal has found the toxin in certain types of blue-green algae. The toxin, called microcystin, is found in lakes heavily loaded with nutrients from agricultural runoff and development. The survey found nearly 10 per cent of the 256 lakes surveyed had microcystin levels that exceeded Canadian guidelines even for recreational use. Study author Diane Orihel said more research is needed to nail down the conditions that produce the toxin but there is an easy way to explain what she describes as fat lake syndrome. Read more

Feds to spend $18M on Lake Winnipeg cleanup: Harper

Winnipeg Free Press | August 2, 2012


Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today $18 million in funding to clean up Lake Winnipeg.

“We are leaving our bit of the world a better place,” he said at a press conference in Gimli, Man., on a hotel on the shore of the lake. The funding is for the second phase of the Lake Winnipeg cleanup initiative that began in 2006. For every dollar Ottawa spends, the province and other partners in the cleanup pitch in $2, he said.

Funding for the cleanup was due to end this year, but Harper is committing federal support for another five years. Read more