Winnipeg – Manitoba Liberal Leader & MLA for St. Boniface, Dougald Lamont, is calling on the Province to release an unpublished report from 1988-89 that found levels of lead more than a hundred times higher than levels currently considered safe.
In September 2018, a story broke that a ten-year-old government report on lead in soils in Weston, Point Douglas and other neighbourhoods had been withheld by the NDP government.
However, the high lead levels were discovered in tests and reports done in the 1980s in more reports that were never released by the government.
One of those reports was done by Dr Eva Pip, a now-retired toxicologist. Her studies on soils near Sutherland Avenue showed levels of lead in soil that were over a hundred times what are now considered safe. The Manitoba Government report tabled on October 24, 2017, refers to an “unpublished” report into high levels of lead on Sutherland Avenue.
Dr Pip says she does not know of any efforts to alert residents or do any remediation though some of her preliminary findings were printed in the Winnipeg Free Press in 1988. Dr Pip says that a survey is essential because some of the contamination is very concentrated in or near former industrial sites.
Manitoba Liberal Leader and St. Boniface MLA Dougald Lamont said the government needs to set aside finger-pointing and act now.
“The people that I talk to aren’t interested in who is to blame for this, because it has gone on for more than 30 years. They want testing, public information, and a plan to fix it.”
Dr Pip recently contacted the Manitoba Liberal Caucus. She says that root vegetables and leafy vegetables tested at the time were also contaminated.
“When I look at these reports of lead and other toxic metals, I see a pile of terrible mistakes, with terrible consequences. All I can think of is the people who were exposed to it and didn’t know. Those people elected us and trust us to protect them,” said Lamont