MGEU joins First Nations community on August 7 for Water Wednesday | National Union of Public and General Employees

MGEU joins First Nations community on August 7 for Water Wednesday

"Clean water is fundamental to how all Manitobans live, work and play.” - Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President.

Winnipeg (07 Aug. 2013) — Leaders of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE), along with members of the Safety and Health and Youth Committees, are joining First Nations activists for another “Water Wednesday” in Memorial Park at 5 p.m.

Project to highlight the federal government's reckless water stewardship

Part of a nine-week project intended to draw attention to the federal government’s reckless stewardship of water resources, today's event will focus on the current threats facing Lake Winnipeg.

“Some people may wonder why members of a provincial union are joining with First Nations organizers to talk about our water,” says MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky. “But to us, it just makes good sense. Our organization has been around for nearly a hundred years in this province, and as we’ve grown into Manitoba’s largest union, we’ve always felt we have a responsibility to help build and protect our local communities. And clean water is fundamental to how all Manitobans live, work and play.”

MGEU/NUPGE and the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium sponsor annual scholarship

Three years ago, the MGEU/NUPGE volunteer Board of Directors decided to sponsor an annual scholarship with the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium.

“The scientists with the Consortium helped us understand that there are no easy answers to the threats facing Lake Winnipeg,” Gawronsky said. “In order to figure out why and to what extent the lake is at risk, and then how we might manage or mitigate those risks, ongoing research is a must.”

Recently, the Global Nature Fund named Lake Winnipeg “the world’s most threatened lake of 2013,” largely due to the lake’s growing algae issues created by the high levels of phosphorus that drain from the Red River Valley into Lake Winnipeg.

More awareness needed about Lake Winnipeg and its threats

Gawronsky hopes Wednesday’s gathering will be one more way to spread the word about the plight of the world’s tenth largest freshwater lake. She urged MGEU/NUPGE members and all Manitobans to learn more about the lake’s challenges and potential solutions at

“The MGEU plans to be around for at least another hundred years and we want Lake Winnipeg to survive and thrive along with us,” she said.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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

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