Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Peat mining strategy to be public within weeks

Environmental group wants wholesale provincial ban

  • Print

The province is close to announcing a strategy on peat mining that will include a decision on a request to extract peat from Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park.

Conservation Minister and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh made the statement outside his office Wednesday as an environmental group dropped off 836 signed cards from Manitobans demanding an outright ban on peat mining in the province.

Eric Reder, a spokesman for the Wilderness Committee, said peat mining negatively affects water quality by releasing sediment into streams and creeks that feed Lake Winnipeg. The extraction of peat also releases a "tremendous storehouse" of carbon that contributes to climate change, he said.

"The economic impacts of not dealing with a chance to mitigate carbon release? Short-term gain, long-term disaster," Reder said.

Environmental groups, cottagers and Manitoba's Liberal and Green party leaders have condemned the idea of a peat mine at Hecla/Grindstone park. Last January, shortly after taking on the Conservation and Water Stewardship portfolio, Mackintosh promised a quick decision on an application by Sun Gro Horticulture to extract peat in the park.

He later backed off from that vow, saying the decision would be announced as part of a broader strategy. He also said the province needed to consult with First Nations, since several pending peat mine applications and appeals west of Lake Winnipeg involved traditional aboriginal lands.

"In the short weeks ahead, we'll be making an announcement about our approach to peat developments on a go-forward basis," Macintosh said Wednesday.

He didn't respond specifically to the Wilderness Committee's demand for a ban on peat mining except to say the government had to balance environmental and economic interests.

Paul Short, president of the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association, said there are seven peat extraction companies operating in Manitoba, which generate an estimated $78 million a year in direct and indirect economic activity. The companies employ 210 people full time. Another 150 jobs in the province depend on the industry, he said.

Short said the industry has been working closely with the province to address concerns over its impact on Lake Winnipeg.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 10, 2013 B2

History

Updated on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM CST: corrects reference to Wilderness Committee

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. 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.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. 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 April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Jets Bogosian-Little-Ladd

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A black swallowtail butterfly land on Lantana flowers Sunday morning at the Assiniboine Park English Gardens- standup photo – August 14, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A one day old piglet glances up from his morning feeding at Cedar Lane Farm near Altona.    Standup photo Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Canada's involvement in the fight against Islamic State?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google