The Manitoba government has decided to not issue an environmental licence for the Vivian sand extraction project in the Rural Municipality of Springfield. That announcement was made Friday morning by Premier Wab Kinew and Environment and Climate Change Minister Tracy Schmidt.

"Our government will always put the health and safety of Manitobans first, and this includes ensuring communities have safe, clean drinking water," says Kinew. "After taking the time and doing our due diligence, our government has come to the decision that the risks of this proposal outweigh any potential benefits."

The decision made by Schmidt was based on the information and data provided by experts including the report done by the Clean Environment Commission (CEC) as well as consultation with impacted communities and First Nations, notes Kinew. The Premier says the CEC report identified a number of serious environmental concerns about this project, which would have extracted sand through aquifers that provide drinking water to 100,000 Manitobans.

"We have a responsibility to ensure we are not endangering Manitobans' drinking water," says Schmidt. "This proposal failed to adequately consider long-term impacts including potential aquifer collapse. That's why we made the decision to not issue a license for the Vivian sand extraction project."

The Minister says the CEC also heard from hundreds of Manitobans voicing their opposition to this project including the community of Springfield, local leaders, scientists and environmental advocacy groups.