Canada and Manitoba renew commitment to protect Lake Winnipeg and its basin
August 12, 2021 – Winnipeg, Manitoba
Lake Winnipeg is a valuable freshwater resource known for its fisheries, critical habitat for migratory birds, plentiful beaches, and importance to the livelihood of many communities along its shores.
Today, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Ralph Eichler, Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development, announced the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the governments of Canada and Manitoba to advance collaborative work to protect Lake Winnipeg.
Building upon a previous ten-year agreement between the two governments, the new MOU will support a cooperative and coordinated approach to understand and protect the water quality and ecological health of Lake Winnipeg and its basin, including reducing nutrient loading. The MOU will also support engagement of Indigenous Peoples to advance reconciliation and mutual priorities related to water quality and the ecological health of Lake Winnipeg.
Parliamentary Secretary Duguid also announced $519,600 in federal funding today to support 10 new projects under Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Lake Winnipeg Basin Program.
The Parliamentary Secretary was joined by a representative from Northeast Red Watershed District. Their project received $25,000 to improve water quality by stabilizing creek banks and creating a water retention site to help reduce erosion and retain excessive nutrients from reaching waterways.
“Lake Winnipeg and its basin is a vital resource for many communities. It is important to our economy, generating millions of dollars of revenue in hydroelectricity, recreation, and fishing industries. Our new agreement with Manitoba on Lake Winnipeg and its basin will help build upon stakeholder efforts to address water quality and ecosystem health challenges, and provide a useful framework for information sharing and science collaboration.”
– Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“This new ten-year agreement between the Province of Manitoba and the Government of Canada is an important step in our work to protect our water, and the ecological health of Lake Winnipeg for now and the future. This is another example of what we can accomplish when we work together.”
– The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies
“Our governments recognize the need to work together to protect Lake Winnipeg. The transboundary Lake Winnipeg watershed stretches across four provinces and four U.S. states and both the federal and provincial governments have an important role to play in protecting one of Canada’s most important freshwater lakes.”
– The Honourable Ralph Eichler, Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development
Lake Winnipeg is Canada’s sixth-largest lake and the eleventh-largest freshwater lake in the world. Its watershed is the second-largest in Canada and includes parts of four provinces and four U.S. states.
The Lake Winnipeg drainage basin is nearly one million square kilometres in size and is home to nearly seven million people.
Under the previous MOU, collaborative efforts helped:
- Develop a Science Subsidiary Arrangement that was used to better align federal-provincial science and research planning.
- Coordinate and publish two reports on the State of Lake Winnipeg (2011 and 2020) and Lake Winnipeg Basin Indicators (2018).
In 2021–22, $519,600 will support 10 projects to protect water quality throughout the Lake Winnipeg Basin through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Lake Winnipeg Basin Program. In Budget 2017, the Government of Canada invested $25.7 million over five years in the Lake Winnipeg Basin Program.
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
Office of Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development
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