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