As you know, Premier Brian Pallister pulled a stunning reversal recently by cancelling plans for a made-in-Manitoba carbon tax, and has now joined the anti-tax and anti-climate crusade of other Premiers across the country. This is completely unacceptable behaviour, and could not come at a worse time given that the latest UN warning says we have little more than a decade to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions or the risks of “runaway climate change” become very real indeed.
What you might not know is that Pallister’s climate change legislation is still proceeding here at the Manitoba Legislature, and that our province is one of the few in the country that allows individual citizens and residents to speak directly to the Legislative Committee that reviews each proposed law. All a person has to do is call the Clerk’s Office at 204-945-3636 and register to speak to Bill 16, The Climate and Green Plan Implementation Act (the name is ironic as it will do very little for the planet and contains no actions). Everyone who registers will get a call in advance from the Clerk’s Office telling them the date of the Committee meeting, which almost always occurs during the week starting at 6pm. Each presenter will have up to 10 minutes to share their views on climate change, receive up to 5 minutes of questions from Committee members (all MLAs), and that’s it! Simple, right?
The sad thing is, we hardly ever hear from young people down here at the Legislature, on anything. With climate change, this is particularly poignant because after 30 years of activism on this issue I’m not likely going to be around to see how this battle ends, but my kids and every young person alive today will be living with that outcome for the rest of their lives. At the moment, there are only 30 people registered to speak at the Committee, and hardly any of them are young people.
The good news is, we have a little bit of time to get more people engaged in this unique opportunity. The date for Committee hearings hasn’t been set yet by Pallister, but it will be during the week of October 22, likely starting on the evening of October 23 or 24 but the Clerks will let everyone know for sure.
If there’s anything you can do to help spread the word about the need for people (of any age) who want real climate action from government to come speak at Committee, that would be hugely appreciated. I can’t guarantee that the Pallister government will listen or change course at all, but I do know with certainly what happens if we don’t try, and that’s just not good enough. Presenters do not have to stick to any particular “party line” in what they say…..ideally ALL the political parties would treat climate change as the urgent priority it needs to be but clearly we aren’t there yet.
I’m available to help any way that I can or to answer questions that come up along the way. I also try to post updates on my FB page at /rob.altemeyer
Thanks again for considering this.
MLA – Wolseley
Official Opposition Critic for the Environment & Green Jobs
P.S. Click here for a comparison between the NDP and Pallister records on climate change.