WINNIPEG - Manitoba Liberals officially launched their 2019 campaign Tuesday in St. Boniface, with a 25-page plan for “Green Growth and Renewal.” Leader Dougald Lamont says it is the boldest and most ambitious climate change plan of any party this provincial election.
The Manitoba Liberals’ plan sets out a series of steps that would make Manitoba “carbon neutral” by 2030 – so by that year, Manitoba will no longer be contributing to climate change.
Liberals say the PCs have backtracked on their plan, increased emissions and have no timelines or targets. The NDP has proposed a law to make Manitoba carbon neutral by 2050, without details. The Green party only commits to setting targets, without saying what they will be.
“We have an obligation as leaders to act on climate change – and what’s more, Manitoba has an opportunity to show Canada and the world how it can be done,” said Lamont. “We need to show our children that the climate is a priority, that their futures are a priority, and that’s what our plan does.”
A Manitoba Liberal Government will take back control of carbon revenues from the federal government, making Manitoba a leader in low-carbon and no-new-carbon fuels, ease the shift to electric for transportation, and working with farmers and nature alike to soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The Manitoba Liberal Green Plan promises 50,000 hectares of new wilderness – including urban forests and restoring grasslands. Grasslands are the single most endangered environment in North America and can store as much or more carbon as a forest can.
The Manitoba Liberal Plan will convert the Red River Floodway into grasslands, following an award-winning plan prepared by landscape architect Glen Manning.
In addition, Manitoba Liberals will encourage Manitobans to plant five trees apiece – 6-million trees by 2023. A new report in Science suggested that the lowest-cost and most effective way to slow and reverse climate change is by planting trees and Canada is one of the top countries in the world where it can be done.
Manitoba Liberals will re-establish a tree nursery to provide low-cost or free seedlings to families, businesses and municipalities. The PCs sold off Pineland Forest Nursery, which used to provide the service.
“We have said that our goal, as Manitoba Liberals, is to govern by “the campsite rule” – that we want our children to inherit a better province than we did,” said Lamont. “We can get a lot done working with nature instead of against it.”