Improving flood protection, water quality in Westman a top priority: Pallister
A re-elected Progressive Conservative government will invest $1 million for watershed mapping and ask the Prairie Provinces Water Board to recommend ways for the governments of Manitoba and Saskatchewan to enhance cross border cooperation in water management.
“Manitoba landowners, particularly in Westman, continue to be hit by excess water and flooding in the spring,” said PC Leader Brian Pallister. “Our additional investments and the steps we are announcing today will improve protection for downstream landowners and enhance watershed management on the prairies.”
The PC government will invest $1 million in aerial mapping of riverbeds through LiDAR technology, which will result in better watershed planning in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and alleviate flooding risks and costs. We will also work with the Government of Saskatchewan to refer the issue of cross border drainage to the Prairie Provinces Water Board and request recommendations on ways for both governments to enhance cooperative management of transboundary water flows, said Pallister.
“Our goal is to reduce the incidence and volume of excessive water flow from Saskatchewan that impacts Westman downstream,” said the PC Leader. “This step will add planning security for farmers, improve land productivity and reduce insurance costs.”
The PC Party platform, Moving Manitoba Forward: Our Guarantee to Manitobans, commits to a total investment of $200 million in two conservation-based trust funds for sustainable agriculture, wetland protection and natural infrastructure.
“We are taking concrete action to protect landowners and preserve our environment for our children and grandchildren,” said Pallister. “Wab Kinew’s NDP did nothing for Westman in 17 years. Under their watch, Lake Winnipeg became the most endangered freshwater lake in the world and Westman landowners were flooded again and again. Like the many messes we inherited from the NDP, our PC team is taking the necessary steps to clean it up.”
Canadian insurance losses from extreme weather events, mostly floods, increased from $405 million per year between 1983 and 2008 to $1.8 billion between 2009 and 2017.