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Manitoba’s conservation officers should be recognized for their selfless work: Lagimodiere
A private member’s bill, the Manitoba Conservation Officers Recognition Day Act introduced by Alan Lagimodiere, MLA for Selkirk, was delayed and prevented by NDP members from coming to a vote today during debate on second reading. Bill 201 proposes to establish October 1 every year in our province as Manitoba Conservation Officers Service Recognition Day.
“It’s very important that Manitoba’s conservation officers be honoured and officially recognized for the important work they do for natural resources, fish, wildlife and our province’s protected areas,” said Lagimodiere. “The Conservation Officers Service is Manitoba’s third-largest law enforcement body, whose members face increasing dangers on the job. They deserve protection and support in the performance of their selfless duties.”
The provincial Conservation Officers Act was passed on October 1, 2015, expanding the legal enforcement duties of Manitoba’s natural resource officers. The legislation gave the officers powers and protections of peace officers and renamed them as conservation officers. It also brought these officers responsible for fish and wildlife, natural resources, protected areas and environmental protection into the newly established Manitoba Conservation Officers Service.
Six conservation officers in Manitoba have lost their lives on the job since 1966. Lagimodiere noted that the enforcement work of conservation officers will become even more important when the Manitoba government’s Bill 29, the Wildlife Amendment Act, becomes law and tightens regulations on night hunting.
The NDP’s delay of the bill occurred as several conservation officers were on hand for what they had hoped would be a passing of the bill on second reading.