Manitoba top-ranking Prairie province on environment report card, but gets a "D" grade

OTTAWA, April 21, 2016 /CNW/ - Manitoba is a top performer in freshwater management, but high waste generation and its poor showing on air pollution measures give the province an overall "D" grade and a 19th place finish out of 26 comparator jurisdictions in The Conference of Board of Canada's How Canada Performs: Environment report card. Released on the eve of Earth Day, this is the first report card that compares the environmental performance of Canada, the provinces and 15 peer countries.

"Manitoba is the top ranking Prairie province on our environment report card but it is a weak performer overall," said Louis Thériault, Vice-President, Public Policy. "These results show that we need to encourage more sustainable consumption. Protecting the environment from damage is a not a problem for tomorrow but a challenge for today."


  • Manitoba earns a "D" grade and ranks 19th among the 26 comparator jurisdictions.
  • Manitoba is the top-ranking Prairie province with neighbouring Alberta and Saskatchewan at the bottom of the pack.
  • Overall, Canada receives a "D" grade and ranks 14th among 16 comparator countries.

Nine indicators were used to evaluate the environmental performance of Canada, the provinces and 15 peer countries. We evaluate the provinces on an additional indicator for which comparable international data are not available, waste generation. The indicators cover performance in four categories: freshwater management, air pollution, waste, and climate change.

Freshwater management:  Manitoba is the top-ranking province and earns an "A" grade on per capita water withdrawals with a 7th place finish, behind Denmark, Germany, the U.K., Ireland, Belgium, and France. The province also performs well on wastewater treatment, earning a "B" grade. Manitoba provides at least primary wastewater treatment to more than 80 per cent of its population.

Air pollution: The province performs poorly on three of the four air pollution indicators. It obtains "D" grades on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particular matter (PM10) per capita emission rates. On sulphur oxides (SOx), which are emitted through the combustion of fossil fuels and other industrial processes, Manitoba gets a "D-" grade and ranks at the  bottom. With an emission rate of over 120 kilograms of SOx per capita, the province has the highest SOx emission rate among all comparator jurisdictions. Manitoba gets a "C" grade on per capita nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission rates.

Waste: With over 850 kg of waste per capita, Manitoba is one of the lowest-ranking provinces and gets a "D" grade. Annually, the province produces over twice as much waste per capita as Nova Scotia, the top-ranked province.

Climate change: Manitoba scores an "A+" on low-emitting electricity production as it generates most of its electricity from hydro sources. However, it gets a "D-" grade for having an energy intensity greater than that of the lowest-ranked country, Finland. Finally, Manitoba produces 17 tonnes CO2 equivalent per capita and receives a modest "C" grade on GHG emissions.

How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. Six performance domains are assessed: Economy, Education and Skills, Innovation, Environment, Health, and Society.

Released today, and building on previous How Canada Performs analyses, the Environment report card is the fifth of six to be produced on Canadian and provincial socio-economic performance. To date, the Economy, Education and Skills, Health, and Innovation report cards have been published.

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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

Video with caption: "Video: Spotlight on Canada's GHG emissions". Video available at:

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For further information: Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail:; Juline Ranger, Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail:


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