The Leader of the Green Party of Manitoba says she was brought to tears at Friday morning's announcement in Anola.

It was there that Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew announced that his government has decided to not issue an environmental license for the Vivian sand extraction project in the Rural Municipality of Springfield.

"I'm just so relieved," says Janine Gibson, who lives south of Steinbach. "I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude."

Gibson describes the atmosphere in the room Friday morning as electric after the Premier announced the decision. She notes people were cheering and yelling, "Thank you, thank you."

"I am just so profoundly grateful that they listened to the scientists, the citizens, and my neighbours and activists who said, the risks of this project to our water quality were just not worth any potential benefit," adds Gibson. 

She says when the Premier noted that water is life and that the cost of this project outweighs any potential benefits, it brought her to tears. 

Gibson admits that she was very nervous when she arrived in Anola Friday morning, not knowing what the final decision might be. She says she was concerned that the province was going to allow some sort of a graduated license for this project. Gibson says she was scared that the dollar signs would blind people to common sense.

The Green Party Leader says she is grateful for all those who spoke against this project at Clean Environment Commission public hearings. 

"I think it really shows that we need to protect democracy," adds Gibson. "All it takes for evil to triumph is for enough good people to not take action."

She calls it a "flimsy presentation" made at those hearings by Sio Silica.

"So much of their proposal was based on modeling taken from context way different than the actual physical reality of where that silica is deep in our drinking water and the stress that it posed," adds Gibson.

Meanwhile, Council for the Rural Municipality of Springfield issued the following statement Friday morning:

Council of the Rural Municipality of Springfield supports the decision of the Environment and Climate Change Minister Tracy Schmidt to not issue an environmental license for the Vivian sand extraction project in the Rural Municipality of Springfield.

The Minister's decision reflects the position taken by the Rural Municipality of Springfield at the CEC hearings regarding the proposed extraction of silica sand in the area. Given the unproven nature of the mining process proposed by Sio Silica and the potential effect on the environment and groundwater resources in southern Manitoba, questions and concerns raised about the proposed extraction process must be addressed completely.

Springfield Mayor Patrick Therrien says he is happy that the Premier and his government made a quick decision on this matter. Having said that, Therrien suggests his council should have been invited to Friday morning's announcement.

"We've gone through a year and a half of very heightened concerns of polarization and much of it towards council and it was in fact a provincial decision," says Therrien. "We weren't invited. I think council should have been advised of a very important decision like that."