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Will Manitoba Join Ontario and Quebec as Leaders in Boreal Forest Protection?

On June 9, the Ontario government introduced new legislation that would allow for the permanent protection of at least half of the 450,000 square kilometres that makes up the northern Boreal Forest region of Ontario -- one of the last great, undeveloped spaces on our planet. CPAWS Manitoba joins its colleagues in Ontario, Wildlands League, in applauding this important next step taken by Ontario. CPAWS Manitoba also hopes the Manitoba government will soon join the impressive ‘Boreal Leaders’ club and make its own spectacular protection commitment.  Both Quebec and Ontario have made commitments to protect 50% or more of their Boreal Regions.

“The proposed Far North Act would place Ontario among world leaders in boreal protection and represent the largest land protection commitment in North America to fight climate change,” Ontario Minister Donna Cansfield said in that province’s legislature yesterday. “It would also set the stage for carefully managed sustainable resource development in the far north, with the requirement that development benefit local First Nations and take into consideration ecological and cultural values,” Minister Cansfield added.  “Those words are music to my ears,” says Ron Thiessen, Executive Director of CPAWS Manitoba. “If only we could hear Premier Doer announce a made-in-Manitoba plan to protect more than half of Manitoba’s Boreal Region, then I would be absolutely thrilled, over the moon in fact,” Thiessen dreamed.

Manitoba’s Boreal Forest region is part of a globally significant intact ecosystem. It is at the heart of the largest terrestrial storehouse of carbon on the planet and it shields us all from the dangerous impacts of climate change.  CPAWS Manitoba urges the Manitoba government to take that first step and commit to an incredible vision of more than 50% Boreal protection. Thiessen exclaimed, “Manitoba is blessed with a chance to unite with our neighbours in Ontario to establish the largest interconnected protected areas network on the planet!”

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For more information:
Ron Thiessen – 204 794 4971, 204 949 0782