In mid-June, the Manitoba government released its Tomorrow Now Green Plan. Priorities identified include building a green economy, addressing climate change, protecting our land and water, preserving biodiversity and educating and engaging Manitobans. Critical to the success of this plan will be the conversation Manitobans have together on how to build a greener province.

“From our experience in community-based environmental education, we know that Manitobans are as ready as anyone to do the green thing,” said Randall McQuaker, executive director of Green Action Centre. “We are pleased to see the Province’s commitment to community engagement and broad public discussion of the measures set out in the proposed Green Plan.”

The government’s eight year plan includes ambitious changes in many important pieces of legislation, including a rewrite of the Sustainable Development Act. The new Green Prosperity Act has the potential to be an important ground breaking piece of legislation – if the province has the courage to take leadership.

Manitoba needs bold action to stave off looming threats to our environment and our future prosperity. Tackling climate change and restoring Lake Winnipeg will require tough decisions and we need all sectors of society involved. Public education will the key for building sustainable communities in Manitoba, through programs Green Action Centre does like Commuter Challenge and Waste Reduction Week, but also through activities that mobilize Manitobans throughout the year. We were pleased that the provincial government included a “Get Green” awareness campaign that focuses on priorities like waste reduction and climate change.

Green Action Centre will certainly have much to contribute on these issues and other aspects of the environment plan as it is developed. You can read the Tomorrow Now plan on the Manitoba government website. You can send in your comments directly. We would also like to hear your ideas. What do you think should be Manitoba priorities for the environment?