Manitoba Needs to Invest in Nature in Upcoming Budget

March 8, 2024
By Ron Thiessen
Executive Director, CPAWS Manitoba

If Premier Wab Kinew’s government hopes to achieve its ambitious target of protecting 30% of Manitoba by 2030 it needs to make a substantial investment in the 2024-25 budget. 

The government has already demonstrated strong progress towards achieving that goal. 

It reached an agreement in January with four First Nations to provide interim protection for the entire 50,000 square kilometre Seal River Watershed while a feasibility study is conducted on establishing an Indigenous Protected Area.

The government has also established an interdepartmental working group that has a focus on advancing its 30×30 conservation target. CPAWS Manitoba will be meeting with that group in the coming weeks and will support the government’s efforts to make good on its commitment to develop an action plan that will set the course for achieving 30×30. 

Progress will stall without significant investments in the upcoming budget.

The previous provincial administration greatly diminished the government’s capacity to fulfill its role in moving forward on establishing protected areas. The Parks and Protected Spaces branch as well as the departments involved in 30×30 need adequate resources to build and maintain the capacity required for planning and for effective engagement with Indigenous communities and Manitobans. 

Along with government staff capacity, it’s fundamental that Indigenous communities have the means to work effectively with the province. These resources include funds for ensuring internal capacity for Indigenous communities to lead or support the identification of protected area sites, the processes involved, and the implementation of agreements. 

Establishing protected areas through legislation also requires that public consultation is undertaken. Ensuring the resources are allocated for this purpose is essential. 

Tell Premier Wab Kinew we can’t wait. We need swift and decisive action to protect Manitoba’s lands and waters. Take action for the future you want. Write a letter with our simple form. 

Here are CPAWS Manitoba’s recommendations for Manitoba’s 2024-25 budget: 

Recommendation 1: Ensure sufficient resources for a conservation task force that will produce a Manitoba action plan for achieving the protection of 30% of Manitoba by 2030. 

Recommendation 2: Invest in government capacity by significantly increasing budget allocations for the Parks and Protected Spaces branch and ensuring staffing levels are adequate to support the required work. 

Recommendation 3: Ensure adequate resources for staffing and the processes required by relevant departments including Environment and Climate Change, Economic Development Investment and Trade and Natural Resources, Municipal and Northern Relations and Indigenous Economic Development, Agriculture, as well as the Premier’s Office. 

Recommendation 4: Invest in the capacities of Indigenous Nations as leaders and supporters to ensure their sovereignty, rights, and aspirations are ensured throughout. 

Recommendation 5: Ensure sufficient resources are available for required public consultations. 

View the Budget Recommendation Letter CPAWS Submitted to the Government.

Tell Premier Wab Kinew we can’t wait. We need swift and decisive action to protect Manitoba’s lands and waters. Take action for the future you want. Write a letter with our simple form.

– Thanks in part to the National Audubon Society for making this blog possible. CPAWS greatly appreciates its support of our boreal conservation efforts in Manitoba –

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