The Red River has so much more potential
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/08/2020 (1029 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Many of us pass over, or along the Red and Assiniboine rivers every day. We might not even think about them, unless we’re stuck in traffic on a bridge.
The mighty Red River that flows through our city is a natural asset that we politicians have neglected for far to long. It is time that we get more serious about a long-term plan for the Red River and how it can best provide its potential for future generations of Winnipeggers. We need a group of people to come together with a mission, a mission that would include a plan that would be friendly to our environment and see that the public in general have access to parks, walkways and so much more.
It’s not just a coincidence that these rivers are at the heart of our city. They’re our city’s very reason for being. In its earliest days, Winnipeg was called the Red River Settlement.
The confluence of the Red and Assiniboine has been a hub of trade and cultural exchange for more than 6,000 years. Indigenous groups and European fur traders chose to settle here so they could control the rivers and travel across the continent.
For a short time every winter we get a taste of what our rivers could be at The Forks. The incredible work on the River Trail is an exciting beginning, but it’s so small compared to what we could be enjoying. In Winnipeg North I often find myself in Point Douglas or on Scotia Street admiring the beauty of the Red. Whether it is downtown, Kildonan Park or Crescentwood Park people enjoy the natural beauty of rivers.
Even though I refer to the Red River, we should not forget about the potential of the Assiniboine or Seine rivers, too. I think that most people today forget what an incredible resource these waterways can be, and the obligation we all have to ensure that they’re protected for future generations.
I’ve seen the incredible sights in Ottawa, where their waterways act like a magnet for residents and visitors. We don’t have to look that far to find inspiration. Closer to home, the city of Saskatoon has world-class amenities, river trails, and park spaces developed for their citizens.
For a city so much smaller than Winnipeg, I have found that it gives plenty of attention to how a city can maximize the benefits of its river. One of the reasons is the Meewasin Valley Authority, a non-profit responsible for preserving and overseeing development along the Saskatchewan River.
Winnipeg needs a similar river authority, ideally one that is focused on the Red River. Over the next few years I hope to draw more attention to the Red River and if you are interested in helping please contact me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Caring for our rivers is about more than just doing what’s “right,” it’s about doing what’s best for our community. Our rivers can be beautiful sites for recreation — a natural, freely accessible place for canoeing, walking, fishing and more.
Winnipeg North constituency report
Kevin Lamoureux is the Liberal Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North.