ontario news watch

Manitoba denies environmental licence to contentious sand project

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has nixed a contentious sand-extraction project proposed by Sio Silica east of Winnipeg. 

Premier Wab Kinew and Tracy Schmidt, Manitoba’s environment minister, say the province has decided not to grant an environmental licence to the Vivian project. 

Kinew says his government will always put the health and safety of Manitobans first and that includes ensuring communities have safe, clean drinking water. 

Schmidt says the proposal failed to adequately consider long-term impacts, including potential aquifer collapse. 

A news release says Schmidt’s decision was based on expert information as well as consultation with affected communities and First Nations.

It says a Clean Environment Commission report flagged a number of serious concerns about the project, which would have extracted sand through aquifers that provide drinking water to 100,000 Manitobans. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2024. 

The Canadian Press

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