Manitoba

Group urges Mayor Bowman against Parker wetlands rapid transit line

Monday's announcement of federal and provincial money to complete Phase 2 of Winnipeg's bus rapid transit isn't slowing down a group trying to save the Parker wetlands.
Signs have been posted around the Parker wetlands area, urging people to write to the area's councillor, John Orlikow, to save the land from development. Many signs, like this one citing Sitting Bull, have quotes about the importance of preserving nature. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

Monday's announcement of federal and provincial money to complete Phase 2 of Winnipeg's bus rapid transit isn't slowing down a group trying to save the Parker wetlands.

That area, located near the rail line west of Pembina Highway, is slated to be developed as part of the BRT line.

Cal Dueck, who heads up the Parker Wetlands Conservation Committee, which has been trying to save the area since the proposed bus route was first revealed two years ago, is appealing to Mayor Brian Bowman to examine the deal carefully.

Those rallying for the preservation of the Parker Wetlands say the green space is home to rare birds and plants and that the city’s own assessment department has labelled it as an environmentally-sensitive natural heritage area. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)
The southwest rapid transit route will cut through the Parker wetlands and the Beaumont neighbourhood before realigning with Pembina Highway to the University of Manitoba. (CBC)
"No due process has been followed. No due diligence has been done for the Parker wetlands," he said. "And so we're asking Mayor Bowman to delay this [and] do the proper studies."

Dueck, who is also pressing his appeal to the provincial minister of conservation, said the Parker wetlands are an ecologically important area and should not be developed.

Those rallying for its preservation say the green space is home to rare birds and plants and that the city’s own assessment department has labelled it as an environmentally-sensitive natural heritage area.

Bowman said he's well aware of people's concerns with the development of that area. He noted that Coun. John Orlikow has also been critical of the route and Bowman insists the city is listening.

"Coun. Orlikow has been someone who has voiced with me and with council issues that he wants to work on and resolve. What I can say is that those concerns are being heard at city hall," he said.

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