Manitoba Tories plan to put $25M into energy efficiency if re-elected

Rochelle Squires announced the PCs want to put $25M into an energy efficiency program. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck.
Rochelle Squires announced the PCs want to put $25M into an energy efficiency program. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck. Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press

The provincial Tories want to put $25 million into energy efficiency retrofits of existing homes and commercial buildings if they’re re-elected this fall, PC candidate and current Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires said Saturday.

The PCs aim to create a “rebate-type mechanism” to offset costs for insulation, efficient windows, doors and modern appliances, a news release reads.

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It will be managed and delivered by Efficiency Manitoba, the new Crown corporation focused on energy efficiency. Both commercial buildings and private homes will be eligible.

Building retrofits were recommended by Manitoba’s Expert Advisory Council under the Climate and Green Plan, which will reduce Manitoba’s emissions by one million tonnes by 2023.

The PCs say the plan would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 135,000 tonnes over three years.

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“A re-elected Progressive Conservative government will continue to reduce emissions under our Climate and Green Plan,” said Squires in a news release.

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“Retrofits will make our buildings more energy-efficient, reduce emissions and create jobs for hard-working Manitoba tradespeople that will carry out these renovations.”

Meanwhile, opposition NDP criticized the Pallister government’s track record on energy efficiency.

“If you look at Brian Pallister’s record, he cut the advertising to the efficiency program that had been incredibly successful, and a direct result, we’ve seen 25,000 less Manitobans signing up for the program,” said Erin Selby, former NDP MLA and current union boss.

Green Party leader James Beddome thinks improving efficiency is a positive thing, but doesn’t buy Pallister’s climate record.

“It’s kind of suspect for this PC government to make this announcement in the middle of a campaign when they haven’t really done anything… for three years,” Beddome said.

Manitobans go to the polls Sept. 10.

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Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister
Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister