Manitoba wants to charge extra $25 to register off-road vehicles

A new bill introduced in Manitoba would charge people an extra $25 a year to register off-road vehicles.

The Off-Road Trails Safety and Maintenance Act, introduced by the Environment, Climate and Parks Minister Jeff Wharton on Thursday, would see that fee take effect in late 2023 if the bill becomes law, the province said in a news release on Thursday.

“This will help provide Manitobans with safe recreational opportunities, while also attracting off-road vehicle enthusiasts from outside the province and generating economic development opportunities for small towns and businesses,” Wharton said after introducing the bill in the legislature.

The bill also proposed introducing changes to give people more convenient ways to access things like short-term passes online, the province’s release said.

Manitoba Public Insurance would collect the extra fee with each off-road vehicle’s annual registration. The charge wouldn’t apply to vehicles exempt from registration under the province’s Drivers and Vehicles Act, the release said. 

The money collected would go to organizations like Snowmobilers of Manitoba (Snoman) and the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Manitoba (ATVMB), which already manage the province’s trail networks.

That money would help ensure their work isn’t limited by increasing costs for labour and fuel, aging equipment or reduced volunteer capacity, the province said.

The user fees would help support things like trail development and maintenance, emergency trail repair and rehabilitating lands damaged by unauthorized use of off-road vehicles. 

The money would also go toward education, training and promotion around off-road vehicle safety and the operations and administration of Snoman and ATVMB — and if there’s enough, some cash could be used for trail capital projects, the province said.

Both organizations were quoted in the news release saying they were pleased with the proposed user fees for trails in Manitoba.

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