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This article was published 18/3/2016 (2255 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.


 A provincial Liberal government would offer rebates to buyers of low-emission vehicles and introduce legislation to curb excessive vehicle idling.

Leader Rana Bokhari unveiled her party's "drive clean plan" at a news conference Friday at a charging station for electric vehicles at The Forks.

Bokhari said she would set aside $2 million for vehicle-purchase subsidies, on a first-come, first-served basis. Buyers of new electric and hybrid vehicles would qualify for rebates ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. Other fuel-efficent or low-emission vehicles, such as Smart cars, may be added to the subsidized list, she said.

She said the program would be evaluated after one year.

"Manitobans all want to work together to do well for our environment, and this is one step where we can all come together and do this," she said.

Asked what the emissions threshold would be for vehicles qualifying for the rebate program, she said her party had not worked that out. The Liberals would "consult with environmentalists and others," she said, and refer to vehicle emissions charts on the Government of Canada website.

Bokhari was similarly vague on her anti-idling proposal except to note that nearly 70 Canadian jurisdictions have some form of anti-idling law or bylaw including Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

"There are models that we can use, and we can look to see what they did."

Again, Bokhari said, she would consult with environmental groups in the design of any legislation.

As for who would enforce an anti-idling law, the Liberal leader said: "You know what -- there's a lot of organizations who will be able to enforce it, most likely just police services or anyone else who is enforcing other things."

She said she has yet to discuss her plan with local police.

Bokhari suggested a public awareness campaign would likely accompany, or perhaps precede, any new law on vehicle idling.

"We'll start off slow and steady. I think that it will be important to allow people to get used to legislation like that," she said.

The Liberal leader agreed with a suggestion that a driver who keeps their car running in a parking lot in winter while making purchases in a shopping mall would be a good candidate for a ticket.

In addition to announcing her strategy for cutting vehicle emissions, Bokhari planned to make calls and knock on doors in Fort Rouge, where she is in a three-way race with the NDP's Wab Kinew and the Progressive Conservatives' Audrey Gordon. She was also to attend a Manitoba school trustees gala Friday evening.



Larry Kusch

Larry Kusch
Legislature reporter

Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.