After initiatives involving the Wilderness Committee, CPAWS, and concerned citizens, the province and Tim Hortons have abandoned plans to develop a kid’s camp on Meditation Lake in Whiteshell provincial park. CPAWS opposed the location of the proposed Tim Horton’s kid’s camp for the following reasons:
- unnecessarily increasing access to an ecologically sensitive park wilderness area, thereby causing potentially irreversible damage.
- questionable water quality for swimming as the lake has been known to be covered with toxic algae blooms during summer months
- introducing this development proposal before the long overdue Whiteshell Park Management Plan is complete. In other words, a backwards approach of ‘development before planning’
- an unwillingness by the province to share all the requested information about the proposed project
In a Manitoba government press release, Conservation Minister Stan Struthers said, “We will look at an alternate location in the Whiteshell to meet the program and wilderness experience needs required by the youth leadership camp proposal while keeping in mind the needs of current and future park visitors.” In the same release, Tim Horton Children’s Foundation vice-president Dave Newnham stated, “We are confident another site will be found that will respect the environmental sustainability needs of the park, and provide a unique experience for children and youth from economically disadvantaged homes.” CPAWS thanks all the Manitoba citizens who expressed their concerns to the Manitoba government about the location of a children’s camp at Meditation Lake.