Skip to main content

What is the Palliser government's timeline for removing phosphorous from Winnipeg's sewage?

Phosphorous entering our waterways and getting into Lake Winnipeg is a primary cause of the large algal blooms that plaque the lake.  Wednesday May 30, I asked the Minister for Sustainable Development what her timelines are for removing phosphorous from the City of Winnipeg's sewage - through the improvements at the North End Treatment Plant and the elimination of the combined sewers.  My questions and the Minister's responses are below (from Hansard).

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): My question to the minister, it's one that I've asked before, so I'm hoping that I will get an answer.
      As the minister knows, the biggest point source of phosphorus is the city of Winnipeg, and action to decrease phosphorus coming from the sewage in the city of Winnipeg is dependent on doing two things. The first is completing the North End treatment plant to the point where it removes phosphorus, and the second is addressing the combined sewer system. And my question is this: What does the minister see as her timeline for achieving the removal of phosphorus at the North End treatment plant and the timeline for addressing the combined sewer issue? Does the minister have a timeline at all, or can the minister specify what the timeline is?
Ms. Squires: So, on the combined sewer overflows, the member will probably note that in 2003, I believe, the CEC had requested the government of the day to do something about the combined sewer overflows. This is a challenge that jurisdictions all across the nation are faced with. Unfortunately, the former administration chose not to address the problem, and they ducked their heads in the sand and ignored it for several years.
      And so our government has worked more closely. We're working with the City of Winnipeg and moving forward on a plan to upgrade all the combined sewer overflows. Every year, that work is commencing, and we are certainly moving forward with more aggressive targets than the former administration. Well, the former administration didn't have any targets; they didn't have a plan to upgrade the combined sewer overflows. And our plan is–and the exact timeline that we have given the City of  Winnipeg on the combined sewer overflows–it escapes me right now, but I can get that for the member and I can provide him the letter that we had written to the City of Winnipeg on this issue, in November of 2017, giving them a very definitive timeline in which they needed to move forward with their combined sewer overflows.

Mr. Gerrard: The minister didn't talk about the North End treatment plant and the phosphorus removal from the North End 'pleatment'–treatment plant. Does the minister have a timeline for that?

Ms. Squires: One of the greatest joys that I have coming to work every day with this government is I get to work with all my colleagues, and we have developed a real rapport and a relationship. And it's just a joy for me to work with my colleagues, and I know the member for Gimli (Mr. Wharton), the Municipal Relations Minister, he is in talks on a regular basis with the City of Winnipeg, and we are working together to bring these conversations to the forefront. They have been stalled out for many, many years and there has been no activity on the North End water pollution centre, and our government is moving forward.
      So I don't have a timeline. This is–there's a lot of work to be done, but I can assure the member that this is something that we are moving on.


Popular posts from this blog

We must stop the Pallister government from implementing the KPMG proposed cuts to children's hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing implant processors and FM transmitters.

The Phase II report from KPMG on the Health System Sustainability and Innovation Review makes a recommendation that the government decrease the level of provincial support for children's hearing aids, for bone-implant processors and FM transmitters.    These are devices which are very important for enabling children with hearing difficulties to hear.   We have recently (2016) finally achieved universal newborn hearing screening after many years of advocating for this.   It is essential that children who are identified at birth as hearing deficient have the support for enable them to hear as good as they can hear with the support of hearing aids and Cochlear implants.  When children have a hearing deficiency, they have difficulty hearing and this translates into difficulties learning and often to behavioural and other problems down the road.  We need to ensure that these children are enabled to do well.   The provincial government should definitely not reduce support for this progr…

Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberal Party win big in the St. Boniface by-election

Today Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberal Party came out substantially ahead of Blandine Tona of the NDP in the St. Boniface by-election.   Francoise Therrien-Vrignon of the Green Party was in third and Mamadou Ka of the Progressive Conservatives was fourth.  This is a major victory for Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberal Party.  It will mean our Liberal Leader is in the Legislature.  It will also mean that the Manitoba Liberal Party will have what is called "Official Party Status" in the Manitoba Legislature, with more resources and more ability to contribute inside and outside the Legislature - in holding the government to account and in contributing constructively to helping achieve a better Manitoba. 

Hundreds of teachers rally at the Manitoba Legislature - for Kids not Cuts.

A very large crowd of teachers assembled at the Manitoba Legislature this afternoon.  They came protesting the cuts the Pallister government have made to the support of children and children's learning.   One of the speeches which resonated with me was from a teacher in Brandon who spoke about the difference it can make to helping a child with a learning disability, a speech delay or an anxiety issue.   Under the Pallister cuts the children as most risk are most affected.   Helping kids who are struggling can make a difference which lasts a lifetime and enables such children to succeed.  We need to stand strong against these Pallister cuts to help children who are doing their best to learn