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World Water Day

Thursday March 22 is World Water Day.  This week is Canada Water Week.  This Saturday is Earth Hour.  I had the opportunity to speak in response to a Ministerial statement, and on a Member's statement on this issue.  My comments are below.

Response to Minister's statement
Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, it is important that we collectively acknowledge the importance of Canada Water Week, World Water Day and Earth Hour and send a signal to all Manitobans about the concern we have for our water, for Mother Earth, for our great lake, Lake Winnipeg, and its future and for access to clean running water for all.
      But spoken concerns and real action are different. In this context, I mention a lake forgotten for almost 70 years by successive NDP and PC governments. It is Lake Winnipegosis.
      In 2015, Seafood Watch called Manitoba's fisheries the worst managed in the world and identified Lake Winnipegosis as the worst of the worst managed lakes. The current government has given lip-speak to eco-certification, but we have seen no progress.
      The provincial government has access to some of the world's best freshwater scientists at the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Experimental Lakes Area. The provincial government has access, if it will partner, to extensive traditional knowledge and experience. The knowledge, tools and resources for action are here.
      We look forward to the government moving beyond speech to acting to look after our lakes, particularly Lake Winnipegosis, which has suffered so much neglect for so long.
      With this said, Madam Speaker, I join others to celebrate Canada Water Week, World Water Day and Earth Hour. If we do not look after our own provincial environment, who will?
      Merci, Miigwech.

Member's statement

International Institute for Sustainable Development

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): I'm going to rise on World Water Day to pay tribute to the phenomenal work that has been done at the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Experimental Lakes Area.
      Not long ago they put up the names of six women, on International Women's Day, who had been providing outstanding work and one of these women is Diane Malley, who has done some incredible work that contributed to a better understanding of the impact of acid rain on lakes and the need to address the problems with acid rain.
      One of the people who was honoured, I want to say with pride, was my daughter Pauline, who got some of her early experience at the Experimental Lakes Area doing a project there that worked and dealt with methyl mercury and she has since then gone on to be a contributing worker, scientist and  contributor at the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Experimental Lakes Area.
      So I thank all those who have worked on these two amazing projects at IISD and ELA for their contribution and I thank them particularly on today, World Water Day.

For more on the six influential women who have played an important role in the first 50 years of the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Experimental Lakes Area click on this link

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