Manitoba’s Water Protection Act

Publication, Environment, Frontier Centre

Executive Summary

  • Manitoba’s new Water Protection Act is poorly conceived.
  • The provincial government is responding to a real problem, nutrient loading into Lake Winnipeg.
  • The scientific basis for allocating responsibility for the increased nutrient load is dubious.
  • Some claim that agricultural sources for phosphorus have received undue attention.
  • The Act divides the province’s farm land into zones, with different levels of regulation for each.
  • They were based on recommendations from a committee studying the problem whose conclusions are based on unfirm assumptions.
  • It is highly uncertain whether the Act can achieve its stated goals.
  • Through the OECD, developed countries have created a template for intelligent, effective regulation.
  • The process of consideration that resulted in the Act violated the provisions of that template in almost every respect.
  • The Act should be reconsidered before its potential for economic damage is realized.
  • Pdf Full paper (10 pages plus appendices)

    About the Authors

    Rolf Penner is Frontier’s Agriculture Policy Fellow is Canada’s most “hands on” think tank based farm policy commentator. He is a successful third generation farmer who operates an 1800 acre mixed farm near Morris, Manitoba. His farm is soundly diversified into two parts, half the operation consisting of feeder hogs and the other cropland. Both of which have consistently grown in size, sophistication and scope. Crops rotated on his land include wheat, oats, barley, timothy, flax, rapeseed, canola, alfalfa, peas, lentils and sunflowers. He sits on various agriculture industry committees. His many practical skills include the general maintenance and operation of heavy machinery, welding, carpentry, electrical work, basic veterinary care, marketing, accounting, and computer work. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a diploma in Agriculture.

    Dennis Owens is Frontier’s Senior Policy Analyst. A descendent of homesteaders near Portage la Prairie, he graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science. Over a 20-year career in the transportation business, he rose to the position of operations manager of a Winnipeg-based firm. Since then he has researched and written about Canadian public policy issues for a variety of organizations including the Manitoba Taxpayers Association and the Prairie Centre. His specialties at the Frontier Centre include municipal issues, public education, healthcare and aboriginal policy.