One Environment—Five Policy Areas of Plan20-50
The Winnipeg Metropolitan Region’s 18 municipalities account for over two-thirds of Manitoba’s population and about 70 per cent of its provincial GDP. The Winnipeg Metro Region is the fastest-growing area of the province—expected to reach 1.1 million residents by 2050.
To accommodate this growth and ensure we have what it takes to meet the needs of our growing communities, businesses, and industries, the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region (WMR)—through its mandate by the Province of Manitoba—took on the challenge of developing a first draft of a long-term land use and servicing plan: Plan20-50.
Draft Plan20-50 will allow us to balance the needs of today while planning for investments in infrastructure and servicing in the future—meeting all challenges head on and providing a quality of life that is second-to-none.
Building on the success and best practice from other regions across Canada and North America, the expert project team engaged over 400 stakeholders and organizations—including local, provincial, federal, and Indigenous governments; sector stakeholders; knowledge institutions; professional associations; the development community; planners; economic development professionals; and social and environmental non-government organizations—for input on the plan. Through a detailed research and analysis of our region, five key policy areas have been identified.
- Integrated Communities & Infrastructure
- One Environment
- Investment & Employment
- Resource Management
- Collaborative Governance
The first draft of Plan20-50 is expected to be complete by spring 2021. Through the five integrated policy areas, Plan20-50 allows municipalities to harness the benefits of regional collaboration while maintaining local character—creating a globally competitive Winnipeg Metro Region.
There are two things that are essential to the success of Draft Plan20-50: The first is ongoing collaboration, so that the finished plan reflects the input, needs, and realities of all WMR municipalities. The second is good data—so that, as we move forward, we can do so with an accurate understanding of how the population, housing, labour, and land needs in our region are likely to evolve over the next 30 years.
A watershed is a defined geographic area where all surface water drains into a common point. In efforts to best manage water, land, and biodiversity resources in Manitoba, watershed districts were developed in January 2020. There are five watershed districts and 18 sub-districts within the Winnipeg Metro Region. This means that all residents across the region have a direct impact on—and are directly impacted by—the quality of our freshwater resources, even those who do not live near a shoreline.
Over the years, it has become increasing clear that we must plan for climate change and build resiliency in our region. Municipalities must work together to respond to floods, droughts, and the effects of extreme weather events. Wise environmental stewardship supports healthy ecosystems, biodiversity, and watersheds and ensures optimal water quality and quantity while balancing the needs of the natural environment, the needs of communities, and the needs of a growing economy.
We’re building a plan to protect our environment. Collaboration is vital to the long-term protection of the natural resources that we all share. As the Winnipeg Metro Region continues to grow, a collaborative approach is critical to preserving agricultural and sensitive lands while facilitating new development.
Draft Plan20-50 will provide effective and consistent approaches to protect, restore, and enhance our ecosystems, watersheds, and environmentally sensitive areas across the region. It will also recognize the social and economic importance of traditional lifestyles, recreation, and tourism for future generations. We are all connected by water and we will benefit by working together to protect it.
That’s why Draft Plan20-50 is so important.