What’s changing in Manitoba in 2019

What’s changing in Manitoba in 2019, Vladimir Volenyuk

A new year is here, 2019 a year that will see some wallet-hitting changes coming in Manitoba.

Carbon tax:

It was in October when Premier Brian Pallister and the Manitoba government pulled out of a plan to charge a carbon tax, in response to the federal government “not respecting” the Manitoba plan to charge a flat rate of $25-per-tonne on carbon emissions. As of January 1, the federal carbon pricing plan will be in effect on emitters in the province that use at least 50,000 tons of carbon per year.

Cannabis:

Starting October 17th marijuana is legal to grow, sell and to buy throughout Canada. Doesn’t matter if you are using it or not, cannabis is coming, it is already here and as of today, it is sold in your local stores and online. People are still debating if it is good for Canada, what effect will it have on the youth and if it was the right decision to legalize it, we have to face the fact – cannabis is legal.

Businesses across the country, from growers and retailers to the tech and tourism sectors, are preparing to reap a windfall from legal marijuana.

When the federal government legalized cannabis earlier this year, it left the provinces in charge of how the drug will be sold and where consumers can smoke it. Some things are mostly constant across the country: You can’t buy cannabis if you’re under 18 (though you may have to be 19 in some provinces), you can grow up to four plants at home (except in Manitoba and Quebec, where you can’t) and you’ll be able to carry up to 30 grams outside your residence.

You can also share up to 30 grams of cannabis with other adults. The act, however, severely restricts underage people from possessing cannabis. You could face a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail if you give or sell cannabis to a youth, or if you use youth to commit a “cannabis-related offense.” These are new criminal offenses.

It is completely up to every adult now to decide if they would like to buy and use marijuana, even share with adult friends. Let’s all be smart and responsible and make the best out of the cannabis legalization.

Rent:

Manitoba renters may soon be paying more, as landlords will be able to raise rent by 2.2 percent in 2019. This is almost a full percentage point more than the 1.3 percent they were allowed to raise the rent in 2018.

Car insurance:

Fellow Winnipeggers, this will have an impact on all of us and every car owner in Manitoba, you should expect your auto insurance to go up by about 1.8 percent in 2019. 

The Public Utilities Board approved the rate increase on Monday, December 3rd, which is set to take effect on March 1st, 2019. But that doesn’t mean your price will necessarily go up by that much.

MPI says that it will continue to base a person’s premium prices on their driving record, major vehicle class, and the make and model of their car, among other factors. The public insurer initially asked for a 2.2 percent increase in premium rates. They were granted a 2.6 percent increase last year.

No transit hike:

A hike Winnipeggers usually face, but don’t have to worry about in 2019, are increases in transit fares. Because of a $7.9 million surplus recorded by Winnipeg Transit, the city decided to freeze the fees. An adult fare will remain at $2.95.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman says the city transport system needs a major overhaul. The city will buy new buses, many of which are articulated, so they will carry more passengers, at about the same overall operating costs.

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