On July 24, LWIC elder William Abraham, offered an opening prayer in his traditional language before Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced that the federal government will invest $25.7 million in the Lake Winnipeg Basin Program. This program will focus on three priorities, according to ECCC’s press release:
Reducing nutrient pollution
Enhancing collaboration to protect freshwater quality throughout the Lake Winnipeg basin
Strengthening collaborative-governance opportunities and supporting enhanced engagement of Indigenous peoples in addressing freshwater issues
Details are still unknown about how these funds will be allocated across the Lake Winnipeg Basin. It is expected that the majority of this funding will support Environment and Climate Change Canada’s ongoing science and governance responsibilities with respect to Lake Winnipeg. In addition, stakeholders including researchers, conservation districts, community groups, First Nations, environmental NGOs and others will likely be able to apply to the program for project-specific funding.
This newly announced funding builds on past programming made possible through the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative, which saw $36 million of federal money invested from 2007 to 2017 in a variety of water-related initiatives.