WINNIPEG – The Province of Manitoba recently introduced the Climate and Green Plan Implementation Act, which has been coined a “made-in-Manitoba vision for a greener province.”
The proposed act includes five separate acts that would cover a variety of specific environment and economic areas including a new climate and green plan act that would replace the Climate Change and Emissions Reduction Act and the Sustainable Development Act; a new industrial greenhouse-gas emissions control and reporting act; and amendments to the Water Protection Act, the Income Tax Act and the Fuel Tax Act.
According to a release, the proposed changes would also allow for the implementation of a Manitoba carbon pricing system that balances Manitoba’s environmental and economic realities, and would create new initiatives such as:
- a $40-million climate and green fund available for projects in Manitoba that are dedicated to helping reduce emissions and adapt to climate change, such as public and active transportation, natural restoration such as wetland restoration, energy efficiency for buildings and waste and recycling programming;
- a transparent reporting process for greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions reduction;
- a low-carbon government office to reduce the carbon footprint of government operations; and
- the formation of a new expert advisory council that would provide advice and guidance to reduce emissions in Manitoba and help the province adapt to climate change.
The proposed legislation would establish GHG emission limits for regulated industrial facilities and hold operators accountable if they exceed their established limits, states the release, adding the Fuel Tax Amendment Act would implement the $25-per-tonne carbon tax on fuel products, to be administered through the existing fuel tax system for collection and administration.
The province will return all revenue collected from the carbon tax to Manitobans over the next four years through various measures, which include personal income tax relief, small business tax reductions and rolling back the retail sales tax to seven per cent by 2020, adds the release.