Issues on Approach to Lake Winnipeg Water Quality

CANADA - The leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party says the province needs to adopt a science based approach to addressing water quality problems in Lake Winnipeg, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 25 August 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Pork producers have drawn attention to the fact that, despite a moratorium on the construction of new or expanded hog barns in much of Manitoba, water quality in Lake Winnipeg continues to decline.

Manitoba Liberal leader Dr Jon Gerrard says the major problem in Lake Winnipeg is the excessive algal blooms caused by phosphorus.

Dr Jon Gerrard-Manitoba Liberal Party

The hog industry has been said to contribute about one percent of the phosphorus.

People can argue that back and forth, it really depends in part on how well the hog manure is applied.

When it's injected there probably is not very much phosphorus that runs off the land because the phosphorus injected into the land will stay there and be used by crops so it's a matter of agricultural practices.

Certainly the NDP and the premier have used the hog industry as a scapegoat rather than tackling this in a really effective scientific way.

They've been slow on many fronts.

Even though we now have a ban on phosphorus in automatic dishwasher detergents, they were slow to implement that and it's not complete because it doesn't apply to phosphorus in automatic dishwasher detergents in industrial use.

There have been some other modest steps taken but by en large this government has been very slow and it's not been very science based and they've taken an attitude that we can blame it all on the hog industry and we can use them as a scapegoat instead of doing the overall job that needs to be done.

Dr Gerrard recalls, during the debate, scientists from the University of Manitoba stated clearly a hog moratorium was not the answer and that there are other better scientific approaches and that's what should be done.

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