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Cross - country solo canoeist completes journey in Winnipeg

Winnipeg -- After paddling 8000 km since beginning his journey in 2006, solo canoeist Jay Morrison was greeted in Winnipeg today by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Manitoba chapter at the banks of the Assiniboine River directly south of the Legislative Building to celebrate the completion of his cross-Canada adventure.

Morrison, a CPAWS board member and former national triathlon team member, is asking Premier Doer to honour his long overdue commitments to protect large areas of Manitoba’s east side. As part of a nation-wide campaign to conserve Canada\'s Boreal wilderness, CPAWS is calling on the Manitoba government to protect most of the east side of Lake Winnipeg in a network of large interconnected protected areas, with community driven lands management plans, and sustainable economic strategies that benefit the communities.

Morrison alit from his canoe and said, "I was amazed by the spectacular wilderness beauty on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. "A healthy future for Lake Winnipeg depends on protecting all the east side rivers that nourish the lake with their clean waters."

“It\'s high time the Manitoba government acts on its commitments to a World Heritage Site by protecting large, intact boreal forest lands, as requested by local First Nations," says Ron Thiessen, Director of the CPAWS Manitoba chapter. "It\'s essential these actions are completed before any expansion of industrial developments such as logging and mining."

The east side of Lake Winnipeg is in the heart of the Earth\'s largest roadless and wild boreal forest region. The boreal forest is the world\'s largest source of fresh water and is deemed the "northern lungs of the planet." As the largest single land storehouse of carbon, it also plays an important role regulating global climate.

"With a quarter of the Earth\'s remaining intact forests in Canada, it\'s our responsibility to ensure big wild boreal places like the east side of Lake Winnipeg are protected, because they\'re an essential part of the Earth\'s life support system," said Morrison.

CPAWS is a founding member of the Canadian Boreal Initiative\'s Boreal Leadership Council, which promotes the conservation of Canada\'s Boreal through a network of protected areas and best practices by industry.

CPAWS-Manitoba is part of a national organization with a network of 13 chapters, 20,000 members, over 50 staff and hundreds of committed volunteers. Since 1963 CPAWS has helped to conserve over 400,000 square kilometers of Canada\'s most treasured wild places in parks and other protected areas.


Ron Thiessen, CPAWS-Manitoba, 204-794 4971 or 204-453 6346.