Manitoba needs climate leadership now
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/08/2021 (655 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
This summer our beautiful blue prairie sky has been largely hidden by the dull, grey haze of forest fire smoke.
Forest fires affect all Manitobans. Those near the fires live in constant fear of losing their homes and being forced to evacuate. For many this summer, that fear has become a reality. Those of us in urban areas such as Wolseley are also affected, though in different ways.
Many of us love to spend our summers in nature. Whether hiking, camping, or going to the cottage is your passion, fires restrict where we can travel and what kind of activities we can engage in.
Many people think Manitoba is relatively safe from the impacts of climate change, but this is not the case.
Fires have been burning out of control in all corners of the province this summer, as we experience Manitoba’s worst drought in decades. We are already beginning to see more extreme swings in temperature and a dramatic reduction in precipitation, which is causing this drought and contributing to forest fires.
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, released last week by the United Nations, makes it clear that climate change is happening at a rate far greater than scientists predicted, partially because action on addressing climate change and pivoting away from fossil fuel to cleaner alternatives such as hydro power, has been slow.
Unfortunately, Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government has proven it is not up to the task. It has been largely silent during this disastrous drought, emissions have continued to rise, and it is still wasting time and money fighting the federal carbon price in court.
The climate crisis is one of the most important challenges of our lifetime but the PCs continue to cut Hydro subsidiaries like Manitoba Hydro International and raise rates instead of focusing on the environmental potential of Hydro. It’s time for the PCs to take the climate crisis seriously and work with Hydro to make it easier for families to make more sustainable energy choices – like purchasing electric vehicles.
Climate change will prove to be its own public health crisis, not just from smoke but also the risks posed by more intense heat waves. The consequences will only worsen as climate change progresses. That’s why Manitobans need a government that takes the climate crisis seriously, but the PCs just aren’t rising to the challenge. Manitobans deserve better.
You can reach me anytime by calling 204-792-2773 or emailing email@example.com. Stay safe and stay hydrated.
Wolseley constituency report
Lisa Naylor is the NDP MLA for Wolseley.