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A Green New Deal for Manitoba

In the face of our current climate crisis, as well as economic and social issues facing our province, our mission is to call on the Manitoba government to reduce emissions and to leave no one behind. 

This moment of systemic crisis in our province and across the world calls for systemic change - from all levels of government. We need a broad plan to avoid climate, social, and economic catastrophe, and grow a just, equitable, and prosperous future for everyone. 

Indigenous teachings and scientific evidence tell us our window to act is closing fast. We have less than 11 years to cut our emissions in half while protecting our remaining cultural and biological diversity.  Otherwise, we face catastrophic impacts and this crisis moving beyond our control. This will require changes and innovations in all aspects of our province. 

This is also a great opportunity to address the climate crisis, reduce emissions, while leaving no one behind. The prospect of what’s possible is exciting.

Aligning with the federal demands made by the Manitoba Youth for Climate Action, we call on the provincial government to meet these seven demands within our province - A Manitoba Green New Deal.

The policy proposals under each demand come from the May 2019 Manitoba Green New Deal Town Hall, and community feedback and discussions. As well, they bring together existing provincial calls to action from across diverse movements, in solidarity with organizations, coalitions, and groups who have been leading this work in Manitoba for years.

This is a living, working document - an initial vision for Manitoba’s just transition for all communities. It is intended to be built upon and shaped through continuous community conversation, feedback, and ideas both during and following the 2019 Provincial Election. 

We understand that Indigenous land stewardship has preserved the majority of the earth's biodiversity and to follow Indigenous leadership means respecting Indigenous nationhood and right to self-determination and that recognizing the rights of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people will do more to protect life on earth than any government measures.

The provincial government's Green New Deal should be written through a meaningful co-creation process with citizens, community groups, experts, and marginalized communities who have been underrepresented in government consultation to date.

  1. Bold Emissions Reductions Targets
  2. Separation of Oil and State 
  3. A Just Transition
  4. Environmental Rights 
  5. Indigenous Rights 
  6. Conservation of Biodiversity 
  7. Protection for Vulnerable Groups 

Download the PDF document.

Is something missing? Or have something great to add? Use this Google Doc to suggest edits, make amendments, or add ideas under each of the 7 theme areas. Or, email questions or comments to mbadults4climate@gmail.com


1. Bold Emissions Reduction Targets:

Legislate greenhouse gas emission reductions of 65% of 2005 levels by 2030, reaching net zero emissions by 2040.

Manitoba Calls to Action:

  • Manitoba must legislate greenhouse gas emissions, with reduction targets of 65% of 2005 levels by 2030 and 100% by 2040 for all sectors. This includes emissions from agricultural equipment and vehicles.
  • Manitoba must help fund these emission reduction goals via a moving, progressive carbon tax.
  • Manitoba must (re)fund rural, and inter-community mass transit, as well as municipal public transit.
  • Manitoba must take action to enhance carbon sinks (e.g. ecosystems, agricultural practices) and mandate the introduction of universal municipal composting.
  • Manitoba must halt expansion of natural gas infrastructure for all new buildings, thereby using only green new heat immediately, and must support the retrofitting of existing fossil-fuelled buildings. 

2. Separation of Oil and State:

Reject all new fossil fuel infrastructure development while expanding renewable and low carbon energy infrastructure, eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, and Manitoba Hydro must be made more accountable to the public and Indigenous populations. 

Manitoba Calls to Action:

  • Manitoba must implement recommendations in the 2018 report by Conflict of Interest Commissioner Jeffrey Schnoor, in the interest of modernizing Manitoba’s conflict-of-interest legislation; must eliminate all union and corporate campaign donations. 
  • Manitobans must identify and make public all forms of subsidies - direct and indirect - to the fossil fuel sector.
  • Manitoba must reject fossil fuel infrastructure development while expanding renewable and low carbon energy infrastructure.
  • Manitoba must expand its democracy to feature proportional representation, and citizen assemblies.
  • Manitoba Hydro must be kept public, stop the augmented flow program, and be made more accountable to the public and Indigenous populations. 

3. A Just Transition:

Transition to renewable energy and sustainable transportation and agriculture infrastructure, while guaranteeing opportunity for fossil fuel workers in the new economy.

Manitoba Calls to Action:

  • Manitoba must support the transition of the local agricultural sector and workers from an ecologically destructive practice to a sustainable, regenerative practice. 
  • Manitoba must create high skilled, living wage, low carbon jobs, with equity in employment for all Manitobans, and ensuring training and employment for workers in fossil fuel industries.
  • Manitoba must use local workers to decarbonize industries (transportation, agriculture, architecture).
  • Manitoba must guarantee union representation and cooperative business ownership.
  • Manitoba must increase investments in social enterprises and non-profits which improve conditions for workers and citizens affected by the green transition. 
  • Manitoba must support sustainable and resilient food systems that, for example, reduce food waste, promote local food economies and encourage regenerative agriculture.
  • Support community planning and invest in strategies that increase resilience and protect communities in the event of floods, droughts, heatwaves, forest fires and other disasters that may increase as a result of climate change.

4. Environmental Rights:

Implement enabling legislation and regulation to uphold the Manitoba Environmental Rights Act, and call on the federal government to expand the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to include the right to a healthy environment. 

Manitoba Calls to Action:

  • Manitoba must implement enabling legislation and regulation to uphold the Manitoba Environmental Rights Act.
  • Manitoba must create a legislative body who advocates for the right to a healthy environment.  
  • Manitoba must call on the federal government to expand the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to include the right to a healthy environment.  
  • Manitoba must follow the Precautionary Principle when approving agricultural inputs.
  • Manitoba must provide Manitobans with accurate information to fight environmental injustices and conflicts over environmental decision-making.
  • Manitoba needs to consistently ensure that meaningful, transparent, and fair environmental assessments of proposed resource-development projects are undertaken – specifically when Free, Prior and Informed Consent in Indigenous territory/communities is not upheld.
  • Manitoba must use peer-reviewed scientific findings to support their policies, and commit to funding further research.

5. Indigenous Rights:

The Province of Manitoba must fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples immediately.

Manitoba Calls to Action:

  • Manitoba must support Indigenous initiatives, especially sovereignty, environment, language, culture, and nationhood.
  • Manitoba must build relationships between Indigenous nations and non-Indigenous individuals, non-profits, government organizations, etc.
  • Manitoba must support learning and growth of Indigenous youth within Indigenous frameworks.
  • Manitoba must protect Indigenous land and respect Indigenous sovereignty
    • Meaningfully and thoroughly implement UNDRIP, and FPIC and consultation.
    • Eliminate large-scale Hydro projects that harm Indigenous communities. Diversify the grid through community-owned small-scale projects such as run-of-river hydro, solar, wind, or geo-thermal.
  • Current systems that involve Indigenous communities including CFS, education, health care, housing, food security, life skills, etc. must be improved and/or given over to Indigenous communities, in accordance with the wishes of Indigenous communities
  • Manitoba must act on the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, 2 Spirit, Non-Binary, and Gender Fluid Indigenous individuals. 

6. Conservation of Biodiversity:

Maintain and protect old growth forests, restore cut blocks, reduce habitat fragmentation and strengthen the protection of at-risk species

Manitoba Calls to Action:

  • Manitoba must prioritize the conservation of boreal forests as carbon sinks and as filters for healthy lake water. 
  • Manitoba must restore and protect wetlands, related habitats, and vulnerable species such as polar bears, caribou, and insect populations.
  • Manitoba must implement an effective waste elimination policy, and eliminate toxic runoff through wastewater treatment, sustainable agricultural water stewardship, and monitoring of waterways to trace and eliminate pollutants.
  • Manitoba must limit resource extraction, urban sprawl and protect wild and agricultural lands.
  • Manitoba must ban privatization of water.
  • Manitoba must promote sustainable agriculture through systems such as agroecology, permaculture, local food systems, all with the aim of regenerative practices.
  • Manitoba must continue to invest in smart policies, conservation efforts, and innovative green technologies that create sustainable systems for future generations.

7. Protection of Vulnerable Groups:

Recognize Manitoba and Canada’s disproportionate role on the global stage in the climate crisis and our subsequent responsibility for the protection of the most vulnerable. 

Manitoba Calls to Action:

  • Manitoba must provide climate aid to rural and Northern Manitoba, which disproportionately experience the impacts of the climate crisis and have less resources for mitigation and adaptation.
  • Manitoba must guarantee disability accessibility and fully implement the Accessibility for Manitobans Act and support the upgrading of existing, non-compliant buildings.
  • Manitoba needs a comprehensive poverty elimination strategy with clear targets and timelines.
  • Manitoba must implement a $15 per hour minimum wage, indexed to inflation.
  • With a fundamental belief in the right to housing, Manitoba must invest build a minimum of 300 new sustainable, quality social housing units per year, using social enterprises where appropriate, and increase investment in affordable rental housing.
  • Manitoba must prioritize community-based mental health support.
  • Manitoba must implement an addictions support strategy, including safe consumption sites, more mental-health supports, withdrawal care, build detox, treatment and transitional housing beds, hire additional addictions counsellors, and create additional treatment spots.
  • Manitoba must provide a Livable Basic Needs Benefit to replace Employment and Income Assistance, as well as a dignified income for adult Manitobans with severe and prolonged disabilities.
  • Manitoba must provide universal, public childcare.
  • Manitoba must support newcomer programming, specifically that which aids newcomers in transitioning to a new and changing climate, and supporting a potential increase in refugees due to the global climate crisis.
  • Manitoba must support community-led development approaches, particularly within inner city, rural, or marginalized populations and communities, that trust local residents as the leaders of their own development.
  • Manitoba must transform our current justice system towards culturally-based restorative justice as the primary means to achieve an equitable and effective resolution to conflict in our communities, courts, and corrections, while ensuring that healing occurs for those harmed and our society is safer through the prevention of recidivism. 

APPENDIX A:

This document has been drafted bearing in mind solidarity with numerous coalitions, organizations, and citizens groups working throughout Manitoba who advocate for addressing climate change, environmental rights, and/or leaving no one behind through social, economic, and community development. Many of these groups have been leading in research, advocacy, activism, and movement building for many years, and we are both in solidarity with them and seek to not duplicate important work already undertaken.

 The following is a list of organizations whose platforms, positions, and/or policy recommendations were consulted to write these demands:

  • $15 and Fairness
  • Aki Energy
  • Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
  • Basic Income Manitoba
  • Bike Winnipeg
  • BUILD (Building Urban Industries for Local Development)
  • Camp MorningStar
  • Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - Manitoba
  • Canadian Community Economic Development Network
  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers
  • Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources
  • Climate Change Connection
  • David Suzuki Foundation/Blue Dot
  • Direct Farm Manitoba
  • Disability Matters Vote/Barrier Free Manitoba
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Ecology Action Centre
  • Food Matters Manitoba
  • Functional Transit Winnipeg
  • Green Action Centre
  • Immigration Partnership Winnipeg
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Lake Winnipeg Foundation
  • Make Poverty History Manitoba
  • Manitoba Association of Newcomer-Serving Organizations
  • Manitoba Cooperative Association
  • Manitoba Eco-Network
  • Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition
  • Manitoba Federation of Labour
  • Northern Healthy Foods Initiatives
  • Onashowewin
  • Onjisay Aki
  • Prairie Climate Centre
  • Restorative Justice Association of Manitoba
  • Right to Housing Coalition
  • Social Planning Council of Winnipeg
  • Spirit of the Buffalo Camp
  • United Way of Winnipeg
  • Wa Ni Ska Tan: An Alliance of Hydro-Impacted Communities
  • Wilderness Committee
  • Winnipeg Indigenous Executive Circle
A Green New Deal for Manitoba
A Green New Deal for Manitoba
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