The Pallister government’s decision to cut the PST is reckless and will blow a $300-million hole in the province’s budget.
Out of all the cards in the PC deck that he could have played, Pallister played the one card that could put Manitoba’s finances at risk.
Manitoba is still running a deficit of $340 million. The PCs have been relentlessly dishonest with their budgeting practices. They promise hundreds of millions of dollars, only to cut it or claw it back.
Pallister claims that cutting the PST will put $300 million back on the kitchen tables of Manitobans when the reality is this government will snatch that money back up by forcing Manitobans to pay more for programs and services.
The single greatest increase in revenue for this government has been federal transfer payments.
This budget does not promote growth in our province, and it does not create good paying jobs. What it does do is choke off growth in communities and industries across Manitoba.
FEDERAL HEALTH CARE FUNDING
Premier Pallister continues to mislead Manitobans with false statements regarding federal health care funding.
The federal government has increased health care funding for Manitoba by over $100-million this year alone. The PCs only increased their share of health care funding by $27-million, despite the budget speech stating it was $48-million.
Pallister is like a kid with a cookie jar. He’ll take all the federal funding cookies, but deny that he ate any of them - even though he’s got crumbs all over his face.
This past Wednesday marked the start of Spring Session.
I didn’t waste any time calling out the Pallister government’s inaccurate statements on health care spending and funding.
I also challenged the PCs decision to close the St. Boniface Family Medical Centre.
MANITOBA'S MINING INDUSTRY
This government's policies are choking off growth in Manitoba.
Manitoba's mining industry is a prime example of that.
Manitoba still has huge deposits of nickel and other metals to be mined. But the Pallister government has cancelled its mining exploration assistance program. The mining sector was also basically abandoned by the NDP.
FEARS OVER HYDRO FUNDING
The Mayor of Ritchot, Chris Ewen is questioning how much longer Manitoba Hydro will fund municipalities impacted by Bipole III.
It's a valid concern considering the community currently receives between $100,000 - $150,000 annually from the Community Development Initiative (CDI).
Mayor Ewen said he has heard that Manitoba Hydro can end this agreement at any time.
During Thursday's Question Period, I asked the if Premier if he will make sure that Hydro upholds their end of the agreement.
PROPERTY TAXES DOUBLE UNDER TAX CHANGE
A major change by the Pallister Government to Manitoba’s Education Property Tax Credit (EPTC) has resulted in huge increases in property taxes for some residents in smaller communities.
The government has stripped away protections from low-income seniors and people living in modest homes, and is socking them with a massive tax bill.
The change came into effect on January 1, 2019. The people being hit hardest are those who live in small communities in houses worth less than $60,000.
Last November, the Association of Manitoba Municipalities passed a motion warning of the impact of the change, but it was ignored.
In the community of Rossburn, based on last year's municipality tax roll, 90% of primary residents are affected. The average increase in taxes for 2019, based on 2018, will be $282.97. Eighteen homes will experience an increase of more than $500.00 and another 48 homes will see an increase between $400 and $500.
The total additional yearly tax burden to Rossburn residents amounts to $87,437.40 (approx. for 2019), a significant blow to residents and local businesses they support. If you calculate that amount over 10 years, it amounts to at least $877,000 taken out of the local economy.
This is another example of the Pallister government deliberately making life harder for Manitobans and choking off growth in communities across our province.
2019 Manitoba Chambers of Commerce Leaders Series Breakfast
The 2019 Manitoba Chambers of Commerce Leaders Series Breakfast is just weeks away.
Join me as I share my vision and ideas for growing Manitoba’s economy.
Notice of Annual Regional Meeting and Annual Constituency Meetings
The purpose of the regional meetings are:
To elect a Regional Director to be a representative on the MLP Board. To elect constituency officers for constituencies and conduct annual constituency business. To conduct other business as a region if required. For more information please call or email the party office: Roy Jemison at 204.988.9380 or Executive.Director@ManitobaLiberals.ca
If you believe in what we are doing, please like and share our pages and posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. All the best, Dougald Lamont MLA St. Boniface, Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party