Manitoba

More trail routes and outdoor summer jobs if re-elected, PCs pledge

At the tail end of the campaign trail, the Tories pledged Saturday to add to Manitoba's trail network and provide more outdoor summer jobs if re-elected.

Squires said the PCs also plan to improve Manitoba's recycling program if they're re-elected Tuesday

Rochelle Squires, the Progressive Conservative candidate for Riel announced a plan to increase Manitoba's trail network, add more summer jobs in parks, and improve recycling in the province Saturday. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

At the tail end of the campaign trail, the Tories pledged Saturday to add to Manitoba's trail network and provide more outdoor summer jobs if re-elected.

Rochelle Squires, the Progressive Conservative candidate for Winnipeg's Riel riding announced the Tories plan to invest $30 million to add 120 kilometres of new active transportation pathways to Manitoba's trail network, most of which would be in Winnipeg.

"That will increase the number of Manitobans using active transportation and reduce their reliance on cars," she said.

A re-elected PC government would also work to grow the province's Enviroteams to include 2,200 young Manitobans to maintain the existing and planned future trail network.

Squires said Enviroteams would be made up of mostly summer workers in city and provincial parks. the teams would be responsible for several jobs including clean-up, tree planting and riverbank stabilization.  

Squires also announced a re-elected Tory government has the ambitious plan of making Manitoba a "world leader in recycling."

"Concretely, this means expanding the scope of existing programs to include more waste products such as coffee cups and commercial waste," she said. 

Squires added the plan would also include setting up new recycling programs for organics and banning the dumping of recyclable materials in landfills. 

Squires didn't provide a timeline for the plan.

Ken Friesen, the executive director of the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association hopes more can be done to address the problem of open cup littering in Manitoba. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

"A huge litter issue"

Ken Friesen, the executive director of the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association, was at the announcement and said he was most intrigued by the recycling plan.

He says coffee cups and open cups, like fountain drinks are creating a "huge litter issue" in the province.

"What's really missing in Manitoba is proper coffee cup recycling," he said. "When we look at our litter overall, our litter rate has gone way down for beverage containers, but not for coffee cups." 

Friesen said producers of sealed beverage containers have taken some responsibility for ensuring their recycling, but open beverage container producers haven't yet. 

"We'd really love to see the coffee companies take responsibility and help clean up and deal with this problem as well. We're open to being part of that solution," Friesen said.

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