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cremains and cremation ashes manitobaba

Province of Manitoba: Guidance on scattering ashes

cremains and cremation ashes manitobaba

The beautiful Canadian prairie province of Manitoba has set out the policy / legal clarification for those wishing to scatter ashes of a loved one. Manitoba covers a vast area (please remember I am English so 50miles/ 80km seems a fair distance) it stretches from the US border to the south west corner of Hudson bay with a population in region of three quarters of a million. So think we can safely say it is not that crowded, even the capital Winnipeg is a bit sparse.

Below I have repeated the press release in full, but before that I have two observations: firstly which is quite poetic for our subject matter is that the word “Manitoba” comes from the native word manitou, meaning spirit, new to me but I guess not to the vast majority of you reading this post. Secondly the main point is that scattering is permissible on Crown land and water, hang on! Are saying that HRH owns large chunks of land so far from home, perhaps it is not surprising and perhaps it is understandable, but really? I wonder is that shorthand for the State land, or that if in the future Canada decides to choose a separate Head of State and to disentangle themselves from Ol’ Blighty, does that mean The Windsors will need to be ‘bought out’ ! Anyway I am sure that is all in hand.

Enough rambling here it is:



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Manitoba Government Clarifies Policy to Ensure Families Can Fulfil Last Wishes, Follow Religious Customs: Premier

Families that wish to honour the last wishes of a loved one or follow cherished cultural or religious traditions now have the clear right to scatter the cremated remains of loved ones on Crown lands and waterways in Manitoba, Premier Greg Selinger said today.

“Thanks to the work of my colleague, Mohinder Saran, the MLA for Maples, the Manitoba government has clarified the rules surrounding the scattering of cremated human remains,” the premier said.  “Families can rest assured they have the right to scatter cremated remains on lands and waterways owned by the province.”

In May of this year, Saran introduced a motion in the legislative assembly noting that cremated remains may be easily scattered on Crown lands and waterways in other provinces, but there was no clear policy for Manitoba families.  This is especially important for Manitoba’s growing immigrant communities and inspired the provincial government to clarify the policy, said the premier.

Under the policy, human remains that have been properly cremated may be scattered on unoccupied provincial government-owned Crown land or water, including provincial parks, without official government approval.  Care must be taken to ensure that cremated remains are not scattered near drinking water or recreational water activities, such as swimming areas.

“While it was never against the law, families were uncertain about their rights at a time when they were mourning the loss of loved one,” Saran said.  “Now they can be true to their cultural and spiritual heritage and honour their deceased family members without worrying whether they are breaking the law.”

Manitobans are encouraged to consult a licensed funeral director about cremation options and the acceptable practices of handling human cremated remains.  Options include:

  • buying a compartment (niche) in a cemetery columbarium;
  • buying a cemetery plot for burial of the remains;
  • scattering the remains in a cemetery with the cemetery operator’s approval;
  • scattering the remains on private land with the landowner’s permission; and
  • scattering the remains on unoccupied, provincial government-owned Crown land or water (including provincial parks) with no need for government consent.

The new policy only applies to provincially owned lands and waterways.  Manitobans wishing to scatter ashes on municipal land or water should first consult their local governments.

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