WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channel Project has proceeded to the next assessment phase.
Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin reached record high water levels in 2011, and the Province of Manitoba has committed to building two permanent outlet channels to alleviate flooding.
“Completing this crucial climate-change adaptation project — a project that will provide certainty for many communities and families — is one of our government’s top priorities and I am proud of the work we have done to reach this stage,” said Manitoba Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler in a statement.
“We are pleased to share the Environmental Impact Statement for public comment and we are eager to begin the next phase of the environmental assessment process, which is the technical review.
The project requires federal and provincial regulatory approval prior to construction and the provincial government has engaged with 39 Indigenous communities and is in the process of signing consultation agreements with 10 First Nations communities impacted by the project, a Province of Manitoba release stated.
“We have worked hard to achieve progress on this project, spent more than $50 million in consultation and preliminary engineering, design and preparation work. We are very pleased the federal government is committed to working together, and that we’re finally achieving progress on project timelines, while being respectful to all concerned,” he added.
“Jointly with our partners in the federal government, we will be investing resources to ensure meaningful consultation and co-ordination with Indigenous communities and other stakeholders. We are confident in the merits of the project and look forward to any feedback the federal government, Indigenous groups and communities, and stakeholders will provide.”
Increasing frequency of severe weather and flood events creates an even more pressing need to put safeguards in place to protect communities and families, he added.