WINNIPEG – Greg Selinger reaffirmed his commitment to protect the boreal forest on the east side of Lake Winnipeg this afternoon and unveiled a plan for aboriginal-led economic development and eco-tourism for the area.
“It is a responsibility for all of us to protect the boreal forest and get it established as a UNESCO world heritage site,” Selinger said.
“We will work with communities on the east side of Lake Winnipeg to build a plan to protect the forest while providing sustainable economic opportunities for the people who live there.”
Selinger released the plan while meeting with members of the Manitoba Young New Democrats, who are holding a leadership vote tonight at the University of Winnipeg.
Some 108 delegate spots at the Oct. 17 leadership convention are up for grabs. MYND members from outside the city were sent ballots by mail. Those mail-in votes will also be counted tonight.
Unlike the delegate selection process in constituencies, the young New Democrats will vote directly for either Greg Selinger or Steve Ashton.
The leadership candidates will be able to choose youth delegates based on the percentage of the youth vote they receive.
Selinger said his economic development plan for the east side of Lake Winnipeg will include investments in eco-tourism and training programs plus the development of an interpretive centre to give visitors information on the historic, cultural and ecological significance of the boreal forest.
A spokesman for the campaign declined to say which community was being eyed for the interpretive centre at this point.
“We believe the boreal forest on the east side is a world-wide treasure equal to the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Island, Serengeti National Park and Yellowstone National Park, all of which are already UNESCO world heritage sites,” Selinger said in a news release.
In addition the east side has a cultural component that makes it even more special. It is the duty of any premier of Manitoba to ensure that treasure is protected and preserved for today and for the future.”