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Manitoba Green Party Leader James Beddome says the tax would raise $20-million a year, which would be put back into health care.Steve Lambert/The Canadian Press

The Manitoba Green Party plans to bring in a tax on sweet drinks if it wins the Sept. 10 election.

The party says it would apply a 20 per cent tax to all beverages sweetened with sugar in an attempt to drive down diabetes rates.

Green leader James Beddome says the tax would raise $20-million a year, which would be put back into health care.

Beddome says he would eventually expand the tax to cover junk food as well.

The Greens have never won a seat in the Manitoba legislature, although they finished a close second in one Winnipeg constituency in the last election.

Beddome says a tax on bad drinks and food could help push people to get healthy.

“We have an opportunity here to encourage Manitobans towards healthier choices, while at the same time saving money in health–care costs and raising additional revenue that can go toward promoting the health and wellness of Manitobans,” he said in a release Tuesday.

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