Province backpedaling on promise to establish park


Last day for public comments

The Manitoba government is attempting to back down on its commitment to designate a Fisher Bay provincial park by the end of this month by asking Manitobans for their views on extending the park proposal process for up to 5 years. FRCN and CPAWS say the park should be established now as promised.

“It is time for the government to quit stalling and establish the Fisher Bay park now for the benefit of all Manitobans,” said FRCN Chief David Crate. “The outstanding support for the park gives the province a silver-platter opportunity to protect this diverse and beautiful area for future generations of people and wildlife.”

Over 14,000 Manitobans, many local communities, and politicians of all stripes have sent letters of support to establish the park now, with the ecologically appropriate boundaries requested by FRCN and CPAWS. Manitoba Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie himself has written a letter to his own government stating that he supports this.  Official supporters of establishing Fisher Bay park.

In addition, the province’s First Nation and Stakeholder comments review states, “The majority of comments received during the review process support the concept of creating a new provincial park in the Fisher Bay area. Many review meeting participants recognized that a provincial park designation would help protect the region’s natural landscape features and values.”

“There has never been more support for creating a park in Manitoba,” said Ron Thiessen, Executive Director of the CPAWS Manitoba chapter. “It’s time to get the job done.” FRCN and CPAWS are asking citizens to let the Manitoba government know how they feel about honouring its commitment to establishing the park this October. Individuals can share their opinions by emailing parksystem@gov.mb.ca. The official deadline for comments is today but the province will likely accept weekend submissions.

Located 2 hours north of Winnipeg, the Fisher Bay region is home to wildlife such as bears, moose, fox, eagles,  songbirds, ducks, and a variety of rare and endangered species such as the Piping Plover. The picturesque area is blessed with treed shorelines, long sandy beaches, large islands covered with old-growth forests and reefs. The quest to establish the park that would be four times the size of Winnipeg is part of FRCN’s journey to protect nature, culture, and economic opportunity.

“Safeguarding this natural area provides the avenue to diversify the local economy with eco- and cultural tourism while ensuring traditional activities continue to flourish,” Chief Crate added. “The park will make sure wildlife remains healthy and our treaty rights are upheld.”

For more information:

FRCN Chief, David Crate – 204 781 8016

CPAWS Manitoba Executive Director, Ron Thiessen – 204 794 4971

The Fisher Bay special report can be found at http://cpawsmb.org/conservation/fisherbay1.php