This past Tuesday the RM of Portage la Prairie held a vote with council members as to whether or not it would become part of a new Interlake Watershed Management Plan. The region includes municipalities stretching from West Interlake down to the RM of Portage la Prairie. Reeve Kam Blight explains why they voted to decline.
"There's some discussion about putting a full commitment of our municipality to be a part of that," Blight says. "And after a long, healthy debate, the council decided against doing that at this time. I think primarily we'll wait until we see what the province's plans are going forward, and the funding that's going to be provided, etc. There's a lot of time and effort put in by council on certain committees, etc.. And to add more committee meetings to them... it's kind of difficult without knowing exactly where we're going to finish up and where the province's commitment's going to be. I think our municipality's very interested in being part of Interlake Watershed plans going forward. However, we need to know exactly what that means and how it's going to funded by the province."
RM of Coldwell Reeve Brian Sigfusson says the other municipalities were initially against forming the group as well, seeing as the government seemed to have just thrown it on their table without informing them of its full plan. He notes, "They probably did the same for the RM of Portage. But the only thing is we can't just walk away from it because the water coming out of there (Portage diversion) goes into Lake Manitoba which is part of our watershed plan."