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Improving energy efficiency in rental units

Thursday morning, I spoke on Bill 222, a Private Member's bill which looks to improve the energy efficiency of rental units in Manitoba.   My comments, from Hansard, are below:

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, just a few remarks on this legislation. I think that the legislation acknowledges two important items, one of which is the fact that tenants' costs are significant and that we as legislators should be looking very carefully at ways that we can help with the situation in Manitoba where tenant costs have been high and have been rising. And, certainly, if there's things that we can do in that respect, that would be good.

      And reducing the energy costs is certainly a reasonable approach, and certainly, at a time when we're looking at addressing climate change, when we're looking at improving energy efficiency all over the province, that rental units are a good area to be looking at in terms of what the opportunities are for improving the energy efficiency of buildings and for upgrading buildings.
      In order to work, this measure, I think, would need to have some further discussions with landlords. And, certainly, in order to be workable, I suspect that it would be best with some sort of subsidy for rehabilitation of rental units and upgrading of rental units. I think that this is an area where a dialogue would certainly be helpful and that bringing this to committee stage so that we could have that extended dialogue and bring in and to have people who are landlords and tenants come in and talk about this area, which is, I think, a useful area for us to be looking at.
      So I hope that members will bring this forward to committee stage so that, in fact, we can have that discussion. Whether this bill as it is is the right answer, I'm not so sure, but I do believe that having that discussion and looking at this area as an area where we could improve our energy efficiency province-wide is certainly a good idea.
      Thank you.

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