Environment

Many of us remember going to the cabin with our parents, and hope to explore Manitoba’s forests, lakes and parks with our children.

Our province’s eco-diversity makes it unique, and families expect us to protect those habitats for the future.

  • We’re stepping up on climate change by becoming the first province to sign Dr. David Suzuki’s Blue Dot Declaration, which affirms our commitment to the right to clean water, fresh air and healthy food for all Manitobans.

  • Our NDP government cares about Lake Winnipeg and Manitoba’s water and refuse to give up the fight against zebra mussels. We will continue to protect our Great Lake and have committed $1 million towards to the fight against zebra mussels in 2016. Brian Pallister and his Conservatives, on the other hand, have opposed every single water protection measure we’ve brought in.

  • Manitoba Hydro’s Power Smart helps families save money by being more energy efficient, creates jobs in Manitoba and helps fight climate change. Under our NDP government, Power Smart has grown by leaps and bounds—we’ve invested five times more than in the 1990s.

Our long-term investments to protect the environment will ensure our unique parks, habitats and natural resources stay healthy for generations to come.


Environment Stats & Facts


Tackling climate change
  • We are committed to introducing legislation to provide all Manitobans with a healthy environment.

  • We’re investing $ 400,000 to help create a new Prairie Climate Centre at the University of Winnipeg, in partnership with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). The centre will help us research and adapt to climate change, and the floods, storms, fires and droughts that come as a result.

  • One of the centre’s first projects is to support a documentary film by Dr. Ian Mauro on Manitoba’s boreal forest and the vital role it plays in carbon capture and reducing climate change. The film will engage the boreal region and its people, to help us reflect on its ecological and cultural richness and strategies to conserve it.

  • Our plan to cut emissions is already working. Between 2000 and 2012 our population grew by 9% and our economy grew by 31%, but our emissions decreased by 2%.

  • Brian Pallister’s Conservatives have opposed our legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stacked the committee to slow its passage. Mr. Pallister also voted against measures to reduce greenhouse gases in 2007 when he was an MP.

On October 16, 2015, Manitoba became the first province in Canada to sign Dr. Suzuki’s Blue Dot Declaration and affirm our right to a healthy environment.

Protecting children and pets from pesticides
  • Following extensive consultations, we put in place a ban on synthetic cosmetic pesticides used on lawns to protect children and pets from toxic chemicals.

  • Brian Pallister said dandelions are more of a threat than pesticides. That puts him at odds with medical experts such as Dr. Paul Doucette, who says “As a father, community member and a physician, I feel strongly that this new legislation is a very important step toward making our community a safer place. Our children’s health will be significantly improved by lowering the risk of exposure to pesticides on lawns and fields on which they play” (Manitoba news release, April 22, 2014).

Protecting our water
  • We’re working with our neighbours in the watershed to develop a plan to save our Lake Winnipeg. In addition to passing the Save Lake Winnipeg Act—which put a moratorium on new hog barns in Manitoba to reduce the excessive amount of nutrients flowing into Lake Winnipeg—we are developing a Lake Friendly Accord to reduce nutrient loading into Lake Winnipeg by 50%.

  • Over the next five years, we will leverage over $1 billion on projects and research to protect Lake Winnipeg.

  • Proper water treatment is essential for our health and for healthy lakes. We have committed to provide one-third funding to build a new wastewater treatment plant in Winnipeg’s North End. We banned peat harvesting operations in provincial parks and in all but one wildlife management area and we are restoring the Delta and Netley-Libau Marshes.

  • With Ontario and First Nations as partners, we have signed an agreement to protect North America’s largest intact boreal forest.

  • We’re expanding our network of protected areas. We will create up to 15 more parks, ecological reserves, wildlife management areas or other types of protected areas. As part of this commitment, we will create up to 10 new or expanded parks, building on the 11 parks we’ve created since 1999.

  • We expanded protection for endangered species and became the first province in Canada to protect entire ecosystems.

  • We are the first province to ban penned hunting, we’ve restricted the export of live polar bears and we’ve protected the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act.

Recycling and waste reduction
  • We are leading the way on reducing waste by supporting municipal composting programs and expanding recycling.

  • TomorrowNow, our aggressive green plan, includes a new $1-million annual fund designed to triple the amount of organics that Manitoba diverts from landfills by 2020.

  • Our new incentive program will help redirect the equivalent of 15,000 garbage trucks of waste a year from landfills and, at the same time, create green jobs and a useable product in the form of compost.

Through these protections and investments, we are ensuring our children and grandchildren will have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and healthy ecosystems in which to live.

November 2015