Manitoba election: Greens vow to grow green economy, implement guaranteed income

Manitoba Green Party Leader James Beddome says if elected, his party would tackle poverty, move away from fossil fuels and and grow the green economy.

Moving away from fossil fuels presents 'tremendous economic opportunities,' James Beddome says

Manitoba Green Party Leader James Beddome unveiled his party's platform Tuesday morning in Winnipeg. (CBC)

Manitoba Green Party Leader James Beddome says if elected, his party would tackle poverty, move away from fossil fuels and and grow the green economy.

"The challenges that confront Manitobans are great and they demand equally great responses if we are to meet our responsibilities to this and future generations," Beddome said in a statement Tuesday, adding turning Manitoba into a "carbon-free economy" is a priority for the party. "It is the right thing to do environmentally and it offers tremendous economic opportunities."

The Greens promised to introduce a guaranteed annual income in Manitoba that would help "cut poverty rates in half," strengthen local organic agriculture and improve relations with First Nations and Métis peoples.

​​Beddome said the party would invest in wind and solar, make riding transit free and focus on developing energy-saving programs.

The party would also penalize polluters through a new $50/tonne carbon tax, the revenue from which would be put toward green projects and used to reduce income tax rates for low-income earners.

The Greens oppose the proposed Energy East Pipeline project that would snake through southern Manitoba, Beddome said. The party would also temporarily suspend any new Manitoba Hydro dam construction projects, ban mining in provincial parks and transform Manitoba's voting system from a first-past-the-post to a proportional representation system.

A recent poll out from Insight Manitoba suggests the Greens have the support of about five per cent of Manitoba voters.

Manitobans head to the polls April 19.