Manitoba NDP want new licence plate for missing, murdered Indigenous women and girls

WINNIPEG — Manitoba could soon have a new licence plate that would raise money for families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

The Opposition New Democrats have put forward a private member's bill to create a specialty licence plate similar to ones that exist for groups such as the Humane Society or causes like cancer research.

Manitoba Public Insurance gives $30 from each specialty licence plate sale to a registered group.

New Democrat legislature member Bernadette Smith says her idea would raise money to ease the financial challenges facing relatives of the missing and murdered.

The Progressive Conservative government says it supports the idea but there are still details to work out, such as setting up a group to handle the money raised.

Smith hopes the Tories will allow the bill to become law before the current legislative session ends next week.

"Our families deserve to have awareness raised, but also funds raised to help support the children that are left behind," Smith said Thursday. Smith's sister, Claudette Osborne, disappeared in 2008.

Opposition bills can only become law with government support. Government house leader Kelvin Goertzen said he likes the idea behind the bill but there are a lot of details to work out.

"They have to have a sponsor. You need to know where the funds are going," Goertzen said.

"I think what we would commit to is looking to see if this can be advanced in the relatively near future, but we are up against a timeline of about four sessional days (before the November break)."

Bills that are not passed into law before the end of the session can be reintroduced when the next session starts. In Manitoba, the next session is slated to start on Nov. 15.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2022

The Canadian Press