Manitoba First Nations seek billions in damages over Winnipeg sewage spill

CBC News

Massive February spill into Red River caused significant harm for downstream communities: lawsuit. Story here.


Larry Powell said…

Applause for chiefs

Re: ‘Water is life’: First Nations launch $4-B suit over Lake Winnipeg pollution (May 1)

I am writing to support and applaud the chiefs of eight
Scientists have known for many years that Winnipeg’s sewage is the largest point source of phosphorus and nitrogen, nutrients that are feeding the blue-green algae blooms in Lake Winnipeg and that, as a point source, the problem is fixable, although costly. However, it is important to note that non-point sources of phosphorus and nitrogen are abundant in Manitoba when you consider the vast amounts of hog manure that are spread on cropland every year.

Most people don’t know that the regulations in Manitoba allow for the spreading of up to five times crop removal rates of phosphorus and nitrogen, as long as manure is not re-applied to that same land for five years. The problem with this regulation is that the excess phosphorus and nitrogen that is left in the soil become available to run off during heavy rainstorms or flood events. That runoff gets into ditches, creeks, streams and eventually into Lake Winnipeg and other Manitoba lakes, resulting in sometimes toxic algal blooms.

Considering that Manitoba has by far the most intensive hog industry of anywhere in Canada (averaging almost 6,000 pigs per farm, compared to the national average of less than 2,000 per farm), there is a huge amount of manure to be applied every year.

I have been involved in advocating for Lake Winnipeg for the past 16 years and am sorry to say that I’ve seen very little real action to restore the health of the lake. The answers to this problem are there, but to date, the political will has been absent. I hope this bold move by the Manitoba First Nations will result in the investments that are desperately needed both in Winnipeg’s sewage system and the industrial hog industry.

Vicki Burns


Popular posts from this blog

Conservative MP Absent From a Child Poverty Forum in Southwestern Manitoba.

A Candidate's Forum on Child Poverty Touches a Nerve in Manitoba.

The Bio of Larry Powell - publisher of this blog.