Group complains province failing protected areas

November 9, 2006

THE Manitoba government received a dismal grade for its commitment to protecting areas in the province from industrial development.

Manitoba was hit with a D by Manitoba Wildlands.

Protected areas are where mining, logging, hydro development, oil and gas exploration are prohibited.

The organization maintains the Doer government has fallen short in establishing protected areas across the province.

“The job is only a third done in Manitoba,” said Gaile Whelan Enns, director of Manitoba Wildlands. “These are commitments to the public about protecting our natural lands and our forest regions, and the government is not following through.

Whelan Enns pointed specifically to the lack of permanent protection for the Poplar/Nanowin Rivers Park Reserve, near the northeastern tip of Lake Winnipeg.

Sophia Rabliauskus of Poplar River First Nation is fed up with the government’s failure to act.

“We have waited long enough for the government to act on our request for permanent protection of our traditional territory,” she said. “We as a First Nation have worked for years to establish a Lands Management Plan; we met and exceeded every criteria the government imposed on us and yet they continue to ignore our efforts to achieve protection and management of our traditional lands.”

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