Bill 211 has received Royal Assent at this week's spring session of Manitoba's legislature, this one of three Bills proposed by PC government representatives.

Bill 211, sponsored by Riding Mountain MLA Greg Nesbitt, establishes a new specialty Manitoba Parks license plate to support the Provincial Parks Endowment Fund.

"These new license plates will promote Manitoba's natural wonders and drive even more visitors to one or more of our 93 provincial parks," said Nesbitt. "Every dollar raised will be reinvested back into the protection and revitalization of our parks, ensuring that their beauty and ecological integrity for generations to come," he added.

Nesbitt says the designing of the plate is the next step!

"What I have said all along is I want this to be the nicest plate available in Manitoba!  I think with what we have to work with here in Manitoba, whether it be forests, lakes, animals, I think we can make a plate that is truly distinctive and will be a top seller here in Manitoba!"

"I think we all know how much people like their provincial parks," adds Nesbitt, "and how many cottagers there are and parks, and so we really feel based on other provinces' experiences that this will be a top selling plate.  So, we want to make sure we get the design right."

The actual process of designing the new license plate is still in the works, "but I think we want a consensus that we come upon the right design for a plate that reflects all of the parks in Manitoba, all into one plate."

Funds raised through the sale of the new parks plate supports the Provincial Parks Endowment Fund through the Winnipeg Foundation, with $30 from each purchased plate going into this fund.  "So, then that money each year, whatever they grant out of the Endowment Fund from these parks plates will help support infrastructure in parks on top of any provincial government money that goes into parks," explains Nesbit.

Nesbitt was inspired by the British Columbia park plates that showcase the beauty of BC's forest, mountains and lakes.  This initiative in BC began in 2017, with hopes of selling 37,000 plates in the first 5 years. But they sold the first 37,000 plates in the first 6 months!  By the time they reached the 5-year mark they sold 300,000 park plates. In 2023 alone they sold 102,000 parks plates, totaling an astounding 402,000 by the end of 2023.

Please listen to more with Greg Nesbitt below and be inspired to visit your favorite provincial parks this summer and check out the ones you haven't visited yet!

At the end of Monday's session at the Legislative Building, Official Opposition Leader Wayne Ewasko's Bill 201, to recognize Tyndall stone (limestone) as Manitoba's provincial stone was approved. 

As well Bill 202, sponsored by Spruce Woods MLA Grant Jackson, also received Royal Assent on Monday.  The new Bill officially establishes April 26th as Community Foundation Day, recognizing the date when Canada's first community foundation, the Winnipeg Foundation, was established in 1921 by William Forbes Alloway and his wife Elizabeth Alloway.