In the air we breathe

Ever wonder what’s in the air we breathe? The prairies have always been known for their pure, clean air, and we want to work to keep it that way.

For the past year I have been assisting the South Saint Boniface Residents Association with their concerns that the air they breathe is not safe. Listening to their concerns, I have received a crash course in air quality and have learned so much. Among the things I’ve learned is that air pollution continues to be a major environmental health risk around the world. However, the smell of air is not always an indication of its quality, and whether or not it’s safe to breathe.

For years, Saint Boniface residents have been exposed to the smells coming from a few of the industries operating in Saint Boniface. The smell in the air at times has been a source of concern, and now, the quality of the air is a concern to many residents. There are many different types of industry and manufacturing that operate in Saint Boniface. However, residents are concerned about harmful emissions being emitted by a few of these industries. They are specifically concerned with particulate matter, which are miniscule droplets or particles that get into the air, and can have lasting health effects when they are inhaled. Air quality is especially concerning to those living with chronic disease. However, the quality of air and its long term health effects impact us all.

Manitobans value the environment, and we all have a right to enjoy clean air, water, and land. That’s why it’s important to make sure environmental protections and regulations are upheld. To further ensure public confidence, air quality testing must follow the guidelines set out by the Canadian Council Ministers of the Environment and be done by an impartial third party. Our goal is to work together with industry, residents and all levels of government to achieve compliance with all environmental laws and regulations, and do our best to try to reduce harmful emissions coming from the various industries that operate in the community.

We all have a part to play in working towards a future where our economy and our environment are harmonious. We want workers to have a safe workplace environment and for the community to feel safe whether they are in their backyards, bicycling on the paths, hiking or canoeing down the Seine.

Please contact the Manitoba Conservation at 204-945-7100 with any concerns or you can contact my office at 204-237-5963 or Greg.Selinger@yourmanitoba.ca.