St. Boniface, Winnipeg -- January 3, 2018 -- The Manitoba government is making effort to help local residents and industry co-exist more compatibly, after numerous concerns expressed by locals.
Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires has said that she plans to “enhance regulations” for the auto recycling industry, based on new research the government has conducted. She has yet to elaborate on exactly what this means for the auto recycling industry, or what this research is.
People who live in some parts of the city's French quarter, particularly around the area's industrial park, have voiced concerns about odour, dust, gases, haze, noise and other air pollutants.
The demand for air quality tests got much louder earlier this year after a residents' group expressed fears their soil was being contaminated with high levels of toxic metals.
Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires said she recently met with the South St. Boniface Residents Association and promised them the testing will begin soon.
"They've asked for more air quality monitoring and I've committed to delivering on that," she said, adding the government has started the process of upgrading its monitoring equipment.
Her department is pricing out a mobile unit right now with the aim "to acquire it soon."
Squires said the matter is sensitive because there is 115 years' worth of industry within the St. Boniface industrial park.
"But we also know a residential neighbourhood has grown up around that," she said. "The challenge is, how can we live in harmony with industry and residents side by side."
"It's really about hitting the reset button and asking all the parties to come to the table," she said.