Manitoba Wildlands Pre-Election Survey 2007

Response by the Manitoba PC Caucus, March 2007



Will your government:

  1. establish an energy plan for Manitoba? YES

    ·Plan should include renewable energy (e.g. biodiesel and ethanol where feasible); hydro development depending on market demand; and reduced reliance on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitting generating stations.

  2. report on progress on the energy plan every two years? YES

    ·      The extent of the progress report would depend on specific or broad-based guidelines and benchmarks.

  3. establish public licensing/assessment standards for new renewable energy projects? YES

    ·      The procedures that provide for licencing and assessment standards already exist. However, consistency and equitable treatment tend to be lacking under the current government.

  4. undertake consultations regarding renewable energy projects before any are licensed/ constructed on crown lands or waterways? YES

    ·      This would be part of a consistent approach to environmental assessments for all projects likely to have some measure of impact on the environment.

Manitoba Hydro


Will your government:

  1. require Manitoba Hydro to report to the Crown Corporations Committee of the Legislature annually? YES

    ·      We have consistently called for more regular meetings of the Hydro Committee in the past.  We are on the record supporting a stronger committee system.

  2. post all current Manitoba hydro water power licences and environmental licenses online? YES
  3. act on Clean Environment Commission recommendation to review and license existing hydro system in Manitoba, through a public process? NO

    ·      Except in the event of compelling evidence of environmental impact that can be mitigated.

  4. require Manitoba Hydro to publicly file its technical reports, data, and scientific findings? YES however ...

    ·      Some documentation will be exempt if their disclosure would be contrary to the public interest for reasons that include, but are not limited to security and commercial confidentiality

  5. require regular, independent external audits of Manitoba Hydro (finances, policies, contracts, and negotiations)? YES

    ·      To the extent that we can improve upon the current system of reviews and audits, including PUB and Legislative Committee reviews.

  6. ensure Manitoba Hydro makes development intentions public? YES

    ·      We have committed to have Hydro take its capital projects to the PUB.

  7. require environmental assessment/license for retrofitting, upgrading, or changing existing hydro dams? YES but...

    ·      … only where such projects are anticipated to have significant environmental implications.

  8. make notifications for changes in water levels, from generation stations public, at least 2 weeks in advance? NO but...

    ·      … we would want Hydro to provide the earliest possible notice based on logistical realities.

  9. make sure Manitoba Hydro settles all outstanding compensation claims? YES

    ·      Subject to establishing that claims have merit.


Climate Change


Will your government:

14.     report publicly on actions since the 2002 Climate Change Action Plan, and 2001 Climate Change Task Force report? YES

15.     establish third party, independent auditing of climate change actions/ reporting by government and industry in Manitoba? YES

16.     establish public posting of emissions data for large emitters in Manitoba, starting at 100,000 tonnes of emissions per year? YES

17.     post publicly Manitoba air pollution sources, especially including particulate matter? YES

18.     make all Manitoba Hydro emissions and carbon loss public, rather than 'private information' in greenhouse gas inventories? YES

  1. establish a public inventory of carbon held in Manitoba soils, forests, lands and waters? YES

·      Subject to the adoption of an acceptable science-based methodology for assessing carbon held in Manitoba soils, forest, and water.

20.     adopt a 'no net loss of carbon and no net gain in emissions' policy? YES

21.     incorporate emissions reduction objectives into environmental licensing and operations standards for all public works? YES

22.     mandate renewable portfolio standards and renewable energy quotas with specific targets and deadlines for Manitoba? YES

Parks, Protected Areas, World Heritage Site


Will your government:

23.     continue to use the definition for protected areas reflected in public policy, legislation in Manitoba since 1990? YES

24.     complete the network of protected areas in Manitoba's natural regions started in the 1990's? YES

  1. uphold the principles of the First Nations protected areas MOU? YES

    ·      Consultation with First Nations would be a part of any sustainable development initiative affecting aboriginal and treaty rights.

  2. establish new protected areas before a new forestry license, mill or hydro (dam and transmission project) license is issued? YES but …

    ·      … we will strive to balance economic development with environmental protection through the goal of identifying appropriate Protected Areas as part of the licencing process, and a concomitant commitment to establish them at the earliest opportunity.

  3. protect traditional lands nominated by First Nations for inclusion in the proposed World Heritage Site? YES but …

    ·      … designations will be made with consideration to the needs of affected communities and Manitobans in terms of transportation and economic opportunities.

  4. retain and act on the more than 100 protected areas candidates in Manitoba? YES

    ·      based on the factors discussed above.

  5. priorize action for significant protected areas in our forest regions? YES

Public Access to Information & Consultations


Will your government:

  1. make public all materials used or filed in public hearings, legislative committee hearings, or similar events? YES

    ·      unless such disclosure would be contrary to the public interest.

31.     make public speeches and presentations by ministers and Premier? YES

32.     make maps and data sources for government public? YES

33.     direct government staff to respond to information requests, and while avoiding these becoming freedom of information requests? YES

34.     adequately staff the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act? YES

35.     make public review comments for any consultation or public policy/regulatory/license review? YES

36.     adequately resource the Public Registry so it includes, on a timely basis, planning, policy, licensing, and regulatory review files from all government departments? YES

37.     set up an online Public Registry, to contain paper public registry files? YES

38.    make a complete government phone, address directory available to Manitoba citizens, updated regularly? YES

Environmental Licences


Will your government:

39.     maintain up-to-date listing and online copies of all environmental licences under The Environment Act? YES

40.     make public for comment alterations, additions, or grandfathering steps under environmental licenses? YES

41.     require cumulative environmental impact assessments when renewing Class 2 & 3 licences (such as logging, mills, mining, plants, hydro, etc)? YES, where reasonable.

42.    make loans, incentives, business agreements, subsidies etc. pertaining to projects requiring environmental licences public? YES, subject to confidentiality requirements.

43.     define the geographic scope for significant (Class 2 & 3) projects subject to environmental assessments? YES

44.     initiate a review of 20 year old Environment Act? YES

  1. have developers respond to public comments about their Environmental Impact Statements in advance of decisions about holding hearings? NO

    ·      We are committed to a fair and equitable process for the examination of Environmental Impact Statements and provision of ample opportunities for response.

  2. resume posting public review comments, and responses by developers in the public registry? YES



Will your government:

47.     post and update all boil water orders in Manitoba online? YES

  1. act on recommendations of the 2005 Lake Winnipeg Implementation Report, with public reporting? YES and …
    … we believe all decisions should be based on sound science, with ongoing scientific research.

49.     ensure water conservation is the primary criteria for proposals on new water/wastewater/pipeline projects? YES

50.     post all water permits, licences, and allocations, with updates including infractions? YES

51.     make all water allocations, water reserve, resource permits and licenses public ? YES

52.     act on recommendations in the February 2007 Lake Winnipeg Stewardship report, with public updates ? YES

Land Use Planning


Will your government:

  1. support and fulfill original East Side Planning Initiative principles for land use planning? YES

    ·      We would support the ESPI in principle, although we have concerns with the implementation (or lack of same).

  2. acknowledge that 6 years later only one lands plan is in place among 16 east side First Nations, and provide funding assistance to other communities for lands planning? YES however …

    ·      … lands planning must balance ecological protection with the transportation and economic development needs of the area in question.

  3. continue the current pause in development in the east side 'planning area' until communities' lands plans are in place? YES however …

    ·      … the consultation process must allow development/protection decisions to be made by governments, and be contingent on maintaining a balance ecological protection with the transportation and economic development needs in the region.

  4. honour the lands plans of individual communities? YES but …

    ·      … ensuring they maintain a balance with the transportation and economic development needs of the region.

Environment & Government


Will your government:

  1. appoint an Environmental Commissioner and Auditor for Manitoba, having both a public policy and regulatory auditing role? YES but …

    ·      … we will examine a variety of available options, which could include establishing the role of Environmental Auditor within the office of the Auditor General of Manitoba.

  2. put in place an Environmental Bill of Rights for Manitobans? YES but …

    ·      … following consultation with stakeholders that is focused on balancing environmental protection with economic requirements, perhaps is the course of the review of The Environment Act.

59.     separate environmental inspection, auditing, licensing, policy, hearings, etc. from the department that manages or protects resources? YES

  1. make the Clean Environment Commission independent of the minister, by including it with the Office of the Environmental Auditor? NO but …

    ·      … we believe in examining a variety of options that can provide as much independence as possible and depending on the outcome of our review of The Environment Act.

61.     maintain online archives of public policy announcements, reports, documents regarding lands and waters and the environment? YES

62.     indicate (via notice on departmental website) when a public policy is being retired, updated, or replaced? YES

63.     list current public policies regarding lands and waters and Manitoba's environment in an easy to access, online tool? YES

64.     re-establish and fill all scientist and biologist positions in government as of 10 years ago? YES

65.     fulfill federal/national environmental, water protection, conservation, species standards which Manitoba has signed on to (includes Council of Ministers of the Environment policies, and guidelines, all Ministers' Councils' policies and guidelines)? YES

Clean Environment Commission / Public Utilities Board


Will your government:

  1. increase staff to enable evidence and proceedings from CEC hearings to be readily available to the public? NO

    ·      Electronic copies of all evidence and proceedings will be part of all future CEC hearings thereby being readily available to the public without any additional staffing requirements.

67.     require ministers of the Manitoba government to respond to CEC reports in a public manner within 90 days of their release? YES

68.     make CEC evidence, archives, and transcripts easily accessible? YES

  1. make sure that CEC hearings remain open, easily accessible, providing citizens the right to participate? YES but …

    ·      … it is incumbent upon the CEC to hold hearings respectful of those that have shown interest in a particular proposal. However, it is also incumbent upon the Commission to respect those responsible for proposals. Therefore, to adopt a respectful, productive and cost effective process intervener status would only be granted to those directly affected by the proposal or registered not-for-profit/charitable organizations possessing expertise directly relevant to the proposal under review.

  2. separate decisions as to who receives participant funding for CEC hearings from administration of funds? NO

    ·      Greater accountability in the process will ensure that all relevant organizations will have an opportunity to participate in the CEC public hearing process through access to intervener funding.

71.     make the updated schedule for hearings public, on a daily basis? YES

  1. make sure that all participants receive copies of all documents from hearings? YES

    ·      As presentations can be submitted electronically and made available on line, hard copies will only be provided to those unable to access the electronic versions.