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This article was published 31/5/2019 (964 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Manitoba NDP will introduce a private member's bill Monday, the last day of the spring legislative sitting, that would ensure the province maintains emission reduction targets in keeping with the 2016 Paris Agreement.
At an election campaign-style announcement on the legislative grounds Friday, NDP Leader Wab Kinew was surrounded by members of his caucus and future candidates. He acknowledged his bill won't become law, but is part of a broader party stance on climate policy, which he will unveil during the coming months.
"We are looking forward to making this an important ballot-box issue," he said. "And I think because the premier has made it very clear that we're in pre-election mode now, this is one of the markers that I want to put down in the leadup to the coming provincial election.
"We need to have science-based targets and we need to have a government that's committed to reaching those targets, and also a plan for how are we going to put people to work in Manitoba to achieve those targets."
The NDP laid out broad strokes of its action plan, such as keeping the province on track to do its part in the battle against global warming.
The party would put a price on pollution (as the federal government already has) and if elected, Kinew said he would work with Ottawa to make its carbon tax plan more fair to Manitobans.
If Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is elected prime minister in October and decides to scrap the federal carbon tax, the Kinew said he would consider other pricing options, which might include cap-and-trade policies.
The NDP would also look to electrify Manitoba's transportation networks and end subsidies to the oil and gas industries.
Asked about what enforcement policies the NDP would put in place for those who fail to meet targets, Kinew deferred to the next generation.
"The penalty, I think, is the accountability that comes from young people, that comes from family members. This is one of the reasons that I got into politics and so this is something that I'm very serious about fighting for and pushing forward," he said.
Courtney Tosh, a Grade 11 student at Miles Macdonell Collegiate and member of Manitoba Youth for Climate Action, delivered a speech to NDP caucus members before Kinew spoke. She thanked them for taking her generation's climate concerns seriously.
"Lots of young people that I know, including me, have trouble sleeping at night because our futures are being taken from us right in front of our eyes. So I think I speak for our whole group when I say thank you for acknowledging our fear and thank you for hearing us and listening to us, too," Tosh said.
After the event, the teen said she hoped the NDP would follow through with its promises.
"You have to be careful a lot of the time in politics with believing what they're saying. What (Kinew is) saying, I really like it and I think it's great," she said.
"These are the actions that we need to take. And of course, it is possible that they're not going to follow through with all of them, but I'm optimistic. I think you have to be optimistic in this fight, otherwise we're not going to get anything done."