It is budget time in Manitoba, and budgets are where the pedal hits the metal on climate action.
You have the chance to demand the government take more meaningful action on climate now by participating in pre-budget consultations. You can fill out the online budget survey or sign-up to present in an in-person consultation.
Need some inspiration? We’ve summarized our key recommendations for the 2023 Provincial Budget, drawn from the Road to Resilience below, or click here to view our full submission.
Homes: the provincial government needs to provide more financial support for people to reduce their utility bills by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes.
- Provide zero-interest financing to individuals, businesses, and public sector institutions for home and building energy efficiency retrofits and solar installation.
Public Transportation: the provincial government needs to restore permanent operational funding for urban transit systems still recovering from the pandemic, as well as increasing its financial support for the Winnipeg Transit Master Plan so that the plan can be achieved faster than the current 25-year timeline. They should also explore options for providing inter-community public transit—a huge gap five years after the loss of Greyhound.
- Increase funding for the Winnipeg Transit Master Plan
- Restore the 50/50 transit funding agreement with municipalities.
- Conduct a feasibility study on establishing a public inter-community transportation service.
- Establish a fund for municipality-led inter-community transportation.
Electric Vehicles: Manitoba is one of the only provinces that does not incentivize Electric Vehicle (EV) purchases, which needs to be rectified. To make sure EVs are a viable transportation option, the provincial government also needs to invest in expanding public charging infrastructure across the province.
- Provide zero-interest financing to individuals, businesses, and public sector institutions to purchase new and used electric vehicles and install Level 2 Chargers at homes, apartments, and other types of residences. Payment amounts should be recycled to help provide the next round of loans.
- Expand and maintain Manitoba’s network of public charging stations.
Carbon pricing: the provincial government should design its own carbon pricing scheme that allows it to generate revenue which can be used to fund the recommendations discussed here, disincentivizing carbon pollution while providing the support people need to switch to cleaner, cheaper, renewable energy.
- Assigning carbon pricing to all GHG emissions, including those from agriculture, landfills and industrial processes.
- Use carbon pricing revenue to finance the energy efficiency and electric vehicle zero-interest loans programs described above, while keeping rebates in place for low and moderate income households.
Mining: the provincial government has been increasing public subsidies for the mining industry, “greenwashing” this support by highlighting Manitoba’s lithium resources, even though these subsidies support mining expansion generally. The province needs to ensure mining is strictly regulated and limit public subsidies.
- Limit public subsidies of all forms to the mining industry.
Climate leadership: while not specifically budget-related, the province also needs to ensure there is a structure for ensuring climate is considered throughout all legislative and budgetary decisions.
- Establish and fund a new climate unit at the most senior level of the provincial government.