Manitoba will soon set down new vehicle emission
standards similar to those in California, Premier Gary Doer said
The limits, which Doer talked about in last spring's election
campaign, will be part of his NDP government's push to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions to meet Kyoto targets.
``We are looking at it as part of Kyoto. It represents 33 per
cent of our challenge,'' Doer said in a year-end interview with The
``We're just looking at the how-to in our legislation.''
Quebec became the first Canadian province to commit to
California-style emission standards earlier this month. Under the
Quebec plan, automakers would have to ensure the average level of
emissions for their 2010 to 2016 vehicle fleets does not exceed
Several American states have already adopted California-style
limits and automakers are already producing more energy-efficient
vehicles, Doer said, but a national action plan in Canada would be
the best way to ensure emissions are cut.
``It would be easier for Quebec and Manitoba to have a national
standard on California tailpipe emissions because of the sale of old
cars from one province to another,'' he said.
The federal government has promised to impose stringent rules on
fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks starting with the 2011
model year, but the details won't be ready until 2010.
Manitoba's plan is expected to include incentives for owners of
older vehicles, although the details have yet to be worked out.
The government has not yet decided whether the vehicle emission
standards will be included in legislation promised for this spring
that will bind the province to meeting its Kyoto targets. The aim is
to cut the province's total greenhouse gas emissions of 20
megatonnes a year by roughly 11 per cent. Vehicle emissions
represent about one-third of the province's total output.
The vehicle emission limits are part of Doer's overall plan for a
greener province. He is planning to phase out the province's last
coal-fired electrical generating station, in Brandon, in the near
He is also eyeing the development of new hydro dams in the north
which could boost energy exports. He has long talked about having
hydro power do for Manitoba what oil and gas have done for Alberta.
Doer, who with eight years under his belt is Canada's
longest-serving current premier, has made it clear he wants to make
Manitoba more environmentally friendly before he leaves office. And
his departure does not appear to be any time in the near future.
``I've asked for a mandate and I've got a mandate ... and I'm
going to serve the mandate,'' said Doer, who won his third straight
majority last May.
Doer will turn 60 in March, but says he's not thinking about
``It's way too premature to ask the question,'' he said.