East side dollars

May 30, 2010

It is important to note that a World Heritage site on the east side of Lake Winnipeg will be a huge economic boost for Manitoba. If Bipole III is constructed through the east side, we severely reduce our chance of receiving this internationally prestigious designation and consequently the best free marketing available for promoting eco and cultural tourism—two of the fastest-growing industries in the world. I point to recent examples.

UNESCO took the severe step of removing the World Heritage Site designation from Germany’s Dresden Elbe River Valley in 2009, after construction began on a four-lane bridge through the heart of the area.

In 2009, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador reversed its decision to construct a Bipole through Gross Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because they were informed that doing so could jeopardize the park’s UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.

In the spring of 2010, the B.C. government announced a ban on mining and oil and gas development in the Flathead River Valley because a United Nations team of experts visited the region and called for a moratorium on any potential future development in the region as it would have an impact on Peace Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Keeping the east side healthy and well, without Bipole III, is a win-win! We preserve the intact east side ecosystems while local communities embrace new economic opportunities for businesses and jobs. This GDP boost and protection of our environment will be beneficial for all Manitobans.

Ron Thiessen


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