Fort Garry community protects park


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/06/2021 (708 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Earlier this month, my office became aware of actions by Manitoba Hydro to clear out trees and bush in Sandra Crowson Park in East Fort Garry. We were alerted of this development by members of the public who shared their concerns about the lack of environmental stewardship and consultation on the part of the Crown corporation in clearing forestry in the park.

Sandra Crowson Park is a beautiful park enjoyed by many in the community, and is home to a wide range of wildlife, including certain protected species. While Manitoba Hydro has the right to maintain and service hydro lines all over the province, the Crown corporation has a duty to complete any necessary and required environmental surveys of the locations in question, in accordance with the federal and provincial legislation.

Furthermore, there was no notice provided to community members and stakeholders before the aggressive clear-cutting began, and as a result there was no opportunity for folks to voice their opposition to this endeavour.

Residents of the Fort Garry community, particularly those living in the area surrounding the park, have been hard at work to protect the park and wildlife from further disruption of their habitat. The residents group engaged independent consultants to conduct an informal bird survey in the park, which confirmed the presence of five nesting sites determined by breeding bird behaviour and active nests. Species found in the survey include great crested flycatchers, red-eyed vireos, and white-breasted nuthatches, which are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Act.

These findings alone have pushed Manitoba Hydro to pause their work so more thorough and formal assessment could be completed.

This is not how Manitoba Hydro or any organization should be conducting themselves when work, necessary or otherwise, threatens local ecosystems and biodiversity.

Even more troubling is the reality that this lack of due diligence on the part of Manitoba Hydro is happening in other areas, most recently at Omand’s Creek in the Wolseley area of Winnipeg. Manitobans deserve to have their voices heard on matters that will impact their communities and the ecosystems thriving within them.

I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to the community activists whose efforts have helped pause this work (at the time of writing) until further environmental assessments could be conducted.

Engaged community members can make a difference both in their local communities and province wide. My office will always assist the constituents of Fort Garry whenever possible and I encourage folks to reach out to me by emailing or 204-421-4241.

Mark Wasyliw

Mark Wasyliw
Fort Garry constituency report

Mark Wasyliw is the NDP MLA for Fort Garry.

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