Action Item - Eco Update Nov 2008

Eco Update

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dear Neighbours,

This Fall has proven to be a very busy time for environmental victories in Manitoba, and I wanted to take a brief moment to highlight some of these for you:

On November 12th, our government launched a brand new water conservation program called Water Smart. It will conserve 80 million litres of fresh water each year and save ratepayers $2 million in water bills through installation of new water efficient toilets. More information available at WATER SMART

On November 20th in its annual Speech from the Throne, the provincial government announced that logging would end in all but one provincial park and that no logging will be allowed in any future provincial parks created in Manitoba. Legislation was introduced on November 24th enshrining this new protection of Whiteshell, Nopiming, Grass River and Clearwater Provincial Parks in law. See the full news release at: PROVINCE PROPOSES HISTORIC CHANGES TO PRESERVE PROVINCIAL PARKS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

The Speech from the Throne also committed the government to new initiatives in waste reduction, stating that “…plastic bags that do not conform to composting or recycling standards will be banned from distribution in Manitoba. A new industry partnership will be launched in the coming year, with a mandate to reduce the amount of paper and packaging going into landfills”. For a copy of the full Throne Speech, visit SPEECH FROM THE THRONE

On November 24th, Manitobans learned that we will soon be home to the largest wind farm in Canada. Construction of the 300 megawatt farm will begin in 2009 in the community of St. Joseph, located along Highway 75 near the US border. When the 130 turbines are operational, they will displace 800,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually – the equivalent of taking 145,000 cars off the road. Full details available at: CANADA'S LARGEST WIND FARM SLATED FOR DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHERN MANITOBA

Just a few hours ago as I wrote this on November 27th, I joined Finance Minister Greg Selinger and staff from Manitoba Hydro at the announcement of new a Power Smart program to encourage residential solar water heating efforts including financial incentives RESIDENTIAL SOLAR WATER HEATING PROGRAM

Without question, there are still many more environmental battles to be won. I hope you nevertheless take some encouragement from the progress being made here in Manitoba, and as always I would welcome your feedback and participation in charting our next round of eco-priorities.

Sincerely,

Rob Altemeyer MLA – Wolseley