November 29, 2015


-3° C, Sunny

Full Forecast

Special weather statement in effect

Latest News

Winnipeg selling water to Rosser violates agreement: international commission

The Canada-U.S. body governing the lakes and rivers that straddle the border says the City of Winnipeg would be violating an international agreement if it sells water to neighbouring municipalities.

The City of Winnipeg hopes to extend water services to a section of the Rural Municipality of Rosser in order to allow the development of the CentrePort trade hub. Two northwestern Ontario First Nations have mounted a legal challenge against this plan, arguing it would violate the terms of a century-old agreement governing the use of water from Shoal Lake.

Winnipeg's Shoal Lake water intake.


Winnipeg's Shoal Lake water intake. Purchase Photo Print

In a letter dated April 18, the International Joint Commission offered a "preliminary opinion" that such a move would place the city in non-compliance of the agreement.

City officials have opined the sale of water beyond its border would be allowed because of the precedent set by the former Greater Winnipeg Water District, an arrangement that saw the City of Winnipeg service suburbs that were not part of the city prior to the Unicity amalgamation of 1972.

The International Joint Commission, however, noted the Greater Winnipeg Water District’s responsibilities have been taken over by the City of Winnipeg.

In a statement released on Monday, Chief Erwin Redsky of Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation said he is satisfied with the IJC’s position.

City of Winnipeg spokesman Steve West said the city is reviewing the brief letter.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Scroll down to load more