New licence plates could support conservation efforts
Province: MLA Ted Morton pitches new plates
Friday, Jul 22, 2011 03:53 pm
Albertans would be able to support provincial conservation efforts the next time they renew their vehicle registration, if one Tory leadership candidate has his way.
Last week Foothills-Rocky View MLA Ted Morton proposed the creation of a special license plate with proceeds from the new plates supporting Alberta conservation groups.
“It would be what's called a vanity plate where you'd pay a surcharge to get it,” said Morton.
It would not replace existing license plates, rather it would be available to anyone who wants one.
The design proposed for the plate incorporates a number of provincial icons with a light blue background. It would feature a painted scene of a big horn sheep, Alberta's official mammal, with a mountain background and the provincial motto “Strong and Free.” The license plate would not include the reference to the provincial flower and would not include the phrase “Wild Rose country” which is on the current Alberta plate
Internationally renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman designed the ram motif.
The concept still needs to be approved by provincial MLAs.
Under Morton's proposal, the plate would cost $60 in addition to their regular licensing costs and could be purchased at provincial registry offices.
Proceeds from the plate would support the work of conservation groups.
Half of the $60 fee would go to the Robert Bateman “Get to Know” program.
The program was founded in British Columbia in 2000 to help educate children about nature and the natural world.
Morton said it is offered in schools and helps young people to learn about provincial wildlife.
“It's the first step to caring,” he said. “If you get to know about the wildlife and you care about it, then you pay attention to the habitat that wildlife depend upon.”
The other half of the plate fee would go to a conservation organization of the purchaser's choice. The license plate would also include the web site address for whatever conservation group the plate holder chooses to support.
“In addition to giving them a little money, I think the real value for the conservation groups would be more public visibility,” said Morton.
He said he is not targeting the Wildrose Party with a proposal that would remove the provincial flower from the plate's design. He said it is intended to support conservation groups and it's all up to individual Albertans if they want the proposed license plate.