Skip to main content

The need to protect an ecologically sensitive area near Rivers from a gravel pit (aggregate quarry) development.

 On Monday April 19, I asked in  Question Period about the need to protect an ecologically sensitive area near the Little Saskatchewan River not far from Rivers, Manitoba.  My question and the Minister's response are below: 

Gravel Pit near Rivers, Manitoba
Local Resident Concerns

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, local residents are concerned about a mining lease requested to build a gravel pit near Rivers. This  is in the centre of an ecologically sensitive area  with endangered and threatened species, known archeological sites and human burials as well as unknown heritage resource sites and concerns over water and drainage issues. Four other gravel pits are within a few kilometres, so there's no im­mediate need for this one.

      I ask the minister to respect the wishes of local residents, including Marlin Beever, the former pres­ident of Manitoba Beef Producers. I ask the minister to deny this lease or at least hold off on signing the lease until a full assessment of the site is completed.

Hon. Blaine Pedersen (Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development): I'll remind the member that this is before a municipal hearing, before the local municipality and has a hearing there, where all resi­dents have the ability to have the input there. No decisions have been made as to whether this quarry will proceed or not.

On April 11,  I  had the opportunity to visit the ecologically sensitive area where  a gravel  pit is bein proposed near Rivers.   It is truly an important ecologically sensitive area. Below are three photos.

There were  many Prairie Crocuses there.
The water from the area of the proposed gravel pit drains into this coulee which is an area with  substantial natural flora and fauna. The coulee drains into the Little Saskatchewan River in the distance.
While we were there, a flock of Sandhill Cranes flew over.

A petition to deny the application to have  a gravel pit in the centre of this ecological  area can be signed  on-line  at Here is the link:  If  you would like a hard copy to sign, please make a request to Shandi Strong in my office at


Popular posts from this blog

Comparison between Manitoba and South Dakota shows dramatic impact of Physical Distancing

Manitoba implemented physical distancing measures in mid-March.  South Dakota has still not made physical distancing mandatory.   The result is a dramatic difference in the incidence of covid-19 viral infections between the two jurisdictions.   This graph shows the number of people with Covid-19 infections from March 27 to April 14.  Manitoba ( red line )  started leveling off about April 4 and has seen only a small increase in Covid-19 infections since then.   South Dakota ( blue line )   has seen a dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections since April 4.  Those who are skeptical of the impact of physical distancing in Manitoba should look at this graph! Data are from the Johns Hopkins daily tabulations

Standing up for Seniors

Yesterday in the Legislature I  asked the Minister of Health questions about the care of seniors in personal care homes in Manitoba.   I specfically called for the Minister to increase the training and staffing requirements for personal care homes in Manitoba to bring them up to date.   My questions, the Minister's comments and the Speaker's interjection are below:  Personal-Care-Home  Improvements - Need for Upgrades to Standards and Training Hon. Jon  Gerrard   (River Heights): Madam Speaker, we're very concerned this government is not adapting to the reality of caring for seniors who are living longer. Seniors living in our personal-care homes today have much more challenging health-care conditions than those who were in similar homes even five years ago, and yet the staffing formula, or minimal personnel requirement, is over 20 years old. Too few care aides and nurses are adequately trained to look after residents with dementia and multiple chronic health conditi

I cried today when I heard the report on the Maples Care Home disaster

Today the Pallister  government released the report on the tragedy which occurred at the Maples personal care home in October  to December 2020.   There were far too many people infected with COVID-19 (73 staff and 157 residents) and far too many deaths (56).  It did not have to be this way.  The central finding of the report was: "The review found that while pandemic plans had  been prepared and were in place, the site was not prepared for the significant reduction in available staff once they had been  exposed to COVID-19  and were required to self-isolate.  In addition, the urgency of requests for additional on-site staffing supports were not  fully understood until the situation became critical.   While additional staff were brought in, many were not skilled in providing long-term care services and  lacked training in infection prevention and control and specialized housekeeping skills."    Five  months before, Manitoba Liberals had warned the Premier three times that pre