The Manitoba Government brings in almost 14 billion dollars in revenue every year. How that money is raised and spent can have a major impact on our environment, both positive and negative. As part of Manitoba 2013 provincial budget consultations, Green Action Centre submitted its list of proposals to the Province to make Manitoba’s economy and budget more environmentally sustainable.
We commend the Province for last year following our recommendation to overturn the 20-year tax freeze on gasoline. However, more needs to be done, including reinstating Provincial Sales Tax to gasoline as well as providing the City of Winnipeg greater power to raise revenue from vehicles to fund roadway infrastructure, as has been requested by Mayor Sam Katz. Our overarching recommendation is to integrate sustainability into government priorities, planning and budgeting, not just as targets, but as a principle that is integrated into all policy decisions.
Specific, policies we recommend include:
- Financing roadway infrastructure through motor vehicle and fuel taxes rather than general revenue
- Financing tax shifting, general public and welfare benefits by implementing a carbon tax.
- Employer cost sharing to encourage workplace transportation demand management.
- Working with municipalities to ensure that landfill levies such as WRARS promote increased waste diversion, especially in the industrial commercial and institutional and construction and demolition sectors.
- Establish a Green Budget Working group
Manitoba requires the addition of an environmental lens to the budgetary decision making process. Too often our province impresses with its bold adoption of sustainability targets. We need policies commensurate with the goals we adopt. Green Action Centre offers the above recommendations as examples of the kind of policies that can provide the right economic environment to achieve our common goals for a more sustainable and just Manitoba.
Download our 2013 submission.