“It’s really sad for the families in Hadashville right now who have so many questions about their future. It’s also very sad for all Manitobans to lose this service. What will this cut mean for the future of our forests?” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (19 Nov. 2018) — At first glance, it may have looked like a giant Christmas card. But Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE), wasn’t bringing tidings of comfort and joy to the legislative building yesterday. She was delivering 1,500 signatures to the government from Manitobans who don't want to see the Pineland Forest Nursery privatized.
Manitobans want public services and public assets, not sell-offs
In May, the provincial government announced it was ending operations at Pineland by December 31 and selling the nursery near Hadashville — a massive tree-growing operation that serves as a vital contributor to Manitoba’s environmental sustainability.
Gawronsky delivered the petition signatures, arranged in the shape of a tree, to Rochelle Squires, Minister of Sustainable Development, to remind the government that Manitobans don’t support their continued efforts to sell-off valuable public assets.
“This is one more example of how the Pallister government continues to whittle away at our public services and our public assets,” said Gawronsky. “It’s really sad for the families in Hadashville right now who have so many questions about their future. It’s also very sad for all Manitobans to lose this service. What will this cut mean for the future of our forests?”
Manitoba government to decrease planting by 2.6 million trees
Sustainable Development recently told Gawronsky that they will plant 1 million to 2 million seedlings annually after the sale, significantly less than the 4.6 million trees the province planted in 2008.
Pineland has been operating in Hadashville since 1953. The province has yet to announce a buyer for the site, which consists of 67 greenhouses on 7 acres. The operation features eco-friendly equipment, including an advanced biomass boiler that was part of a Manitoba Hydro demonstration project.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE