Many commitments have been made by the federal government to protect water and Lake Winnipeg.

But how do we move beyond good intentions and begin achieving meaningful results?

Together, the Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective and the Lake Winnipeg Foundation have releasedPDF icon a position paper which identifies five recommendations the federal government must do for Lake Winnipeg right now:

1. Recognize phosphorus as the cause of blue-green algal blooms on Lake Winnipeg;

2. Use evidence to guarantee impact from every federal government dollar spent to reduce phosphorus loading to Lake Winnipeg;

3. Support Indigenous peoples in reclaiming and restoring their relationship with water;

4. Increase enforcement of evidence-based policy and practices for freshwater health; and

5. Fulfil jurisdictional responsibilities through concrete action and strengthened accountability.

Progress towards each of the five overarching recommendations presented in the joint position paper may be immediately demonstrated through specific, concrete actions achievable in less than five years by existing federal departments under current mandates.

We are urging the federal government to fulfill its jurisdictional responsibilities to Lake Winnipeg by committing to these five recommendations, which are aligned with whole-of-government priorities to advance reconciliation, increase effectiveness through evidence-based decision-making, and address the urgent challenge of climate change.

To meaningfully address Canada’s water challenges, we must focus our attention and resources on strengthening established programs, acting on robust evidence, enforcing existing laws and regulations, and following through on long-standing commitments. With the tools already in hand, we can achieve real impact for Lake Winnipeg – and for all lakes and rivers across our country.


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