doer-climate-change

Former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer speaks to reporters in 2008. ((CBC))

Manitoba will not meet climate-change reduction targets the provincial government set for itself in 2008, the auditor general says.

In a report issued Monday, Carol Bellringer gave the NDP government a failing grade when it comes to meeting standards set by its own Climate Change and Emissions Reduction Act, which came into force in 2008.

Enshrined in law was a promise to meet certain targets set by the Kyoto Protocol by 2012.

'I think the ultimate penalty [in] 2011 will be the defeat of the government.' —Former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer

That promise meant Manitoba would achieve an emission target if 17.5 megatonnes, six per cent below 1990 levels.

Bellringer said that won't happen. In April, Manitoba Conservation forecast a gap of 2.7 megatonnes.

Bellringer also said the conservation department needs to refine its planning, project management and reporting processes.

The news comes at the early stages of an election campaign in Manitoba, as voters prepare to head to the polls next October.

In 2008, then-Premier Gary Doer staked the political future of his government on meeting the climate change targets.

"If we don't achieve it - I think the ultimate penalty [in] 2011 will be the defeat of the government," he told reporters at the time.

Doer stepped down from the premier's job to become Canada's ambassador to the U.S.

Monday, the Opposition leader said voters would punish the NDP at the ballot box for not living up to its promise.

The government responded to Bellringer's report by issuing a statement calling Manitoba a "national leader on climate change, energy efficiency and green-energy initiatives."

It also announced the launch of a new web-based tool to increase the timeliness of emissions reporting to the province.

It can be found here.