A new specialty license plate is coming to Manitoba that will showcase our provincial parks.

Bill 211 received Royal Assent in the spring session of the Manitoba legislature. It is one of three bills proposed by the Progressive Conservatives. The bill was sponsored by Greg Nesbitt, MLA for Riding Mountain. It establishes a new 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," says Nesbitt. "Every dollar raised will be reinvested back into the protection and revitalization of our parks, ensuring their beauty and ecological integrity for generations to come."

Nesbitt says designing the plate is the next step.

"What I have said all along is I want this to be the nicest plate available in Manitoba," adds Nesbitt. "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."

Nesbitt says the process of designing the new license plate is still in the works. However, he notes there seems to be a consensus out there that the design of this plate reflects all of the parks in Manitoba. 

Funds raised through the sale of the new parks plate support 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 Nesbitt.

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 five years. But they sold the first 37,000 plates in the first six months. By the time they reached the five-year mark, they sold 300,000 park plates. In 2023 alone they sold 102,000 parks plates, totalling an astounding 402,000 by the end of 2023.