On Wednesday, May 19th in Question Period I asked the Minister for clarification on the government's plans with respect to Wildlife Management areas. My question and the Minister's response are below.
of Crown Land to Pasture Land
Management by Manitoba Wildlife Federation
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Mr. Deputy Speaker, I ask the minister to provide details of the government's plan to convert Crown lands designated as wildlife management areas into pasture land so that these lands can become domestic animal management areas.
Is it correct that trees will be bulldozed to put up permanent fencing, and the producers who access these pasture lands will have free rent for five years? This seems odd and unfair, as many producers using Crown lands have seen extraordinary rent increases.
And why is the Manitoba Wildlife Federation to be managing these pasture lands? I thought Manitoba Wildlife Federation members are more interested in hunting wild animals, not domestic ones.
Will the minister table the contract with the Manitoba Wildlife Federation to clarify this situation?
Hon. Blaine Pedersen (Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development): Well, misinformation seems to be the flavour of the day with the Liberals.
First of all, I'm surprised at the member for River Heights with this misinformation he's putting forward there. The wildlife management areas were formed since about 1962, and what's happened is we've seen forest overgrowing the wildlife management areas, which makes for very poor habitat for upland game birds.
With clearing some bush, with brush control in there, pasture management becomes a very important tool for wildlife management, including upland game birds. And this will improve–we're doing some pilot projects in a couple of wildlife management areas, which will improve their capacity for wildlife and, at the same time–