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Rob Altemeyer, MLA Wolseley
April 24, 2017

Earth Day

Madam Speaker, I was very pleased to attend multiple events over the weekend celebrating Earth Day.

What was very concerning, however, is that this government has let Earth Day come and go without a single word of mention. Past practice in this very room has been for ministers responsible for the environment to issue a ministerial statement celebrating Earth Day and committing their government to further action. We heard nothing last week before Earth Day and we heard nothing today after Earth Day.

Now, this government probably wouldn't have had much to say in their ministerial statement had they gotten up to make one. This is the second year in a row where they have promised to take action on climate change in their Throne Speech, and in their budget speech which follows, the term climate change is not even mentioned.

This is also the same government which linked–the Premier, actually–linked whether or not he would participate in the national climate change strategy to his completely failed and botched health care negotiations with the federal government.

It would, however, be a tragic mistake to think that this government is merely absent when it comes to environmental issues and not paying attention. On several occasions they have taken actions which directly weaken existing environmental laws or they have blocked progressive legislation that have come before this Chamber which would have improved the livelihoods of Manitobans now and into the future.

So many of these relate to water; they're too numerous for me to cram into a two-minute member's statement, Madam Speaker. But this is the government, we cannot forget, which is ignoring the Walkerton inquiry's recommendations that water infrastructure be inspected every five years rather than every 10 years. This is the government which has removed the legislative ban on winter spreading of hog manure and this is the government which just last week wiped out an agency called Green Manitoba.

A year from now, I hope the minister actually has some good things to say which I can commend them on as we push them to do more for our planet.

Thank you.