Manitobans will remember October 9, 2015 as the day they lost Lake Winnipeg to zebra mussels as Conservation and Water Stewardship confirmed for the first time the north basin is infested beyond repair.
This tragic news comes almost a year and a half after the Selinger government declared victory after dumping several hundred tonnes of liquid potash, at a cost of $500,000, into four Lake Winnipeg harbours to stop the spread.
The Selinger government has known about the presence of zebra mussels in the Red River Basin at least as far back as 2009, yet it took them over six years to introduce any legislation and initiate any educational advertising campaigns.
“The Selinger government continues to be more interested in headlines than protecting our precious lakes,” said Shannon Martin, Progressive Conservative critic for Conservation and Water Stewardship.
Unfortunately for Manitobans, infighting and mismanagement have led us directly to this week’s announcement that Lake Winnipeg is beyond the point where anything can be done. Going from ‘declaring victory’ to ‘lost cause’ in less than 18 months is just one more reason why Manitobans are looking for change.
It’s estimated that Lake Winnipeg, both directly and indirectly, adds billions of dollars to the Manitoba economy. This contribution is now threatened and may be lost forever.