Here in Manitoba, we felt the costs of an already-changing climate last spring and summer, when historic droughts sent feed prices through the roof and forced farmers to start selling off their herds. Winter came early, hitting in late spring, burying unharvested fields in snow, and turning $4 billion of crops across the prairies to feed grade. Climate change is real. Manitobans expect their federal government to take action on climate change and transition to a cleaner, greener future with good jobs.
This is why our federal government has made sure that, across Canada, there is a price on carbon pollution, which must be part of any credible climate plan. Unfortunately, the Government of Manitoba thinks it should be free to pollute, and so it has become necessary for the federal pricing system to apply in our province. However, all the money collected through our price on pollution will stay right here in Manitoba – 90% will go back to Manitobans in the form of the Climate Action Incentive (CAI) to offset any increased costs, while 10% will help small- and medium-sized businesses and public buildings to improve their energy efficiency. Every dollar from Manitoba goes back to Manitobans.
When you file your 2018 taxes, you will get your Climate Action Incentive (CAI) rebate, based on the size of your household. For example, a family of four in Manitoba will get $339 back through the CAI. Some of you may have already received the money by now. Almost everyone will be better off through the CAI – 8 out of 10 families will get more money back than they pay. Our federal pollution pricing plan is a practical and affordable way to cut the pollution that is causing climate change.
In addition to pollution pricing, the Government of Canada is also building cheaper and cleaner public transit across the country. In Winnipeg, our federal government has invested in the Southwest Rapid Transitway, which will connect downtown and south Winnipeg. Winnipeggers will be able to get to school, university, and work faster. We are also investing in initiatives to protect nature across our province, including investing millions in protecting Lake Winnipeg.
There are some who prefer to ignore climate change or want to use it to divide us. But the parents, grandparents, and business owners I talk to tell me that they want to tackle the problem, be part of the solution, and cut their pollution. When we work together, across Canada, to find cleaner, smarter, and better ways of doing things, we build a safer, greener and more affordable economy for our children and grandchildren.