August 6, 2014 1:46 pm

Manitoba Tories want more wetlands to prevent flooding

Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister wants to increase wetlands protection in Manitoba to prevent flooding.

Tim Smith / The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG – Manitoba’s Opposition leader is calling for more money to maintain wetlands to reduce the risk of flooding.

The province should expand pilot projects that give rural landowners cash incentives to keep wetlands healthy, Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister said Wednesday.

The federal government, the private sector and community groups have pushed the program and the Manitoba government should make it provincewide, he said.

Wetlands can soak up water that would otherwise rush into streams and rivers, and thus reduce the likelihood of flooding.

The government said it is already taking action, pointing to a $320-million plan announced in June to promote wetland protection and toughen drainage licensing.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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