Urban Public Urged to Be Part of Lake Debate

by 5m Editor
16 August 2011, at 8:25am

CANADA - The president of Keystone Agricultural Producers is urging the public to become involved in the debate over the most appropriate action to address water quality issues within the lake Winnipeg water shed, according to Bruce Cochrane.

Keystone Agricultural producers and 14 other Manitoba commodity organizations have issued an open letter to the citizens of Manitoba outlining agriculture's concerns over the "Save lake Winnipeg Act."

Bill 46, passed in mid-June, contains new provisions to reduce the amount of nutrients entering Lake Winnipeg including extending a 2008 moratorium on new hog barn construction or expansion in part of Manitoba, to the entire province.

KAP president Doug Chorney says farmers are also concerned about saving Lake Winnipeg and want to see appropriate action to reduce nutrient loading.

Doug Chorney-Keystone Agricultural Producers

If the only measures taken are the ones contained within Bill 46 we really believe the lake will continue to get more algae problems and more phosphate nutrient loading and that's going to require a real commitment from our urban population and the rural communities that are dumping lagoons into rivers and creeks that lead to Lake Winnipeg to be part of the solution with agriculture.

We're not saying agriculture is uninvolved but we don't think it's fair to target agriculture alone.

I think key take home messages from our letter are the references to the 2006 Lake Winnipeg Stewardship Report which showed the overall contribution of nutrients in the lake to be only 15 percent from agriculture and about one and a half percent from the hog producers.

We, by emphasizing that kind of information, want to show that there's a lot of people who are contributing to this problem that need to get involved and work together to improve the overall health of our lakes in Manitoba.

Mr Chorney fears banning the construction of hogs barns in Manitoba will result in new barns being built just outside of our jurisdiction where the Manitoba government has no regulatory control.

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