Week in Review: Save Lake Winnipeg, Fair Tax Review, No Privatizations

Dear Friend, A Manitoba Liberal Government will end decades of NDP/PC neglect of Lake Winnipeg and act to save the lake, as well as Manitoba’s other waterways, by helping the city of Winnipeg and other municipalities upgrade infrastructure.  For years, Lake Winnipeg has been at risk of becoming a “dead lake” as massive blue-green algae blooms grow in the Lake, fed by fertilizer run-off and waste from municipal sewers. The algae threatens the health of the lake and washes up on beaches where it can make people and animals sick. Lake Winnipeg is home to a fishery worth tens of millions of dollars a year. Thousands of Manitobans depend on the Lake for a living, drinking water, and tourism. For decades, raw sewage and undertreated water have been flowing into our lakes and rivers, and NDP and PC provincial governments refused to help cash-strapped municipalities solve the problem. We want to leave a better Manitoba to our children than the one we inherited. In order to do that, saving Lake Winnipeg and restoring it to health needs to start now. Manitoba Liberals say if the City of Winnipeg agrees, a Manitoba Liberal Government will fund the process that could cut the North End Treatment Plant’s emissions of phosphorous by 70%. The process, adding “ferric chloride” to water, has been recommended by both the Lake Winnipeg Foundation and the International Institute for Sustainable Development as a lower-cost means to bring the city quickly in line with environmental guidelines for $5-million.  While the Red River supplies less than 10% of Lake Winnipeg’s water, it accounts for nearly 60% of the phosphorous. The largest point source of all, 5%, is the City of Winnipeg’s North End Treatment Plant.  In addition to the ferric chloride treatments, a Manitoba Liberal Government will:  Work with Conservation districts and the Lake Winnipeg Foundation’s existing network to map and target phosphorous “hotspots,” in Manitoba and work to eliminate them.

Create new wetlands and restore old ones, including the Netley-Libau Marsh, where the Red River flows into Lake Winnipeg, to naturally clean the water flowing into the Lake.  Commit to making upgrades to green infrastructure a priority, including funding for an “innovation” stream to build and test small-scale pilot projects for new or different technologies.  Use sound science to track fish populations in Lake Winnipeg so we can manage the fishery with certainty for the future.  The funds for what needs to be done are available, but the PCs have chosen to delay action, even if it hurts the environment and Manitobans. After years of decline, we want to see Lake Winnipeg get better.


WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Manitoba Liberals declare war on algae blooms; Lamont unveils rescue plans for lake, wetlands WINNIPEG SUN: Liberals to invest $505M to help clean up Lake Winnipeg CTV WINNIPEG: Manitoba Liberals vow to save Lake Winnipeg as algae washes up on Grand Beach



AN INDEPENDENT, FAIR TAX REVIEW A Manitoba Liberal Government will create an independent commission to review Manitoba’s tax system, as has been requested by The Winnipeg and The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. Over the years, NDP and PC governments alike have used the tax system as a way of handing out political goodies at election time. This has resulted in a two-tier system that favours the well-to do, is difficult and expensive to administer, and has created growing deficits and debt. Manitoba Liberals want to ensure we have a province with fair taxation, where everyone pays their fair share. Canadians for Tax Fairness and other advocacy organizations have argued that many governments in Canada could shrink their deficits without raising taxes — simply by making sure people and companies pay the taxes they owe and by reducing loopholes that make it legal for people to avoid paying taxes.  A Manitoba Liberal Government will: Establish an Independent Commission to review Manitoba’s tax system and make recommendations on how to make Manitoba’s tax system more fair, effective, and progressive - while ensuring everyone pays their fair share. 

Companies that have been implicated in tax evasion and tax avoidance schemes, whether in Canada or abroad, may be called as witnesses, but will not be part of the Commission.  Publish a comprehensive list of “tax expenditures” - who benefits from tax breaks, credits and more to the Manitoba Government’s public purse. Combat tax avoidance, tax evasion, and Manitoba and Canada being used as tax havens by creating a public, searchable registry of beneficial owners of corporations in Manitoba. The PC Government failed to make such a registry either public or searchable. Call on the Federal Government to be more aggressive in combating tax evasion and tax avoidance, including international tax havens. Both PC Premier Brian Pallister and NDP Leader Wab Kinew have used the same legal loophole to avoid paying taxes — running their income through corporations to avoid paying personal income tax at a much higher rate. NDP Leader Wab Kinew disclosed that he owns a small corporation that receives royalties from his book. This allows him to pay a much lower corporate rate and taxes on capital gains rather than income tax rates. Pallister told a committee that one of several companies he owns, Pallister Financial, was created after he was advised he was holding “too much profit” in his insurance company. Pallister also owns the Pallister Family Trust, Pallister Financial, and a corporation in Costa Rica, which between 2008 and 2012 was a blacklisted tax haven under The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The ultimate goal of the review is to create jobs and grow the economy so taxes can be lowered over the long term. We are focused on good jobs and investment because while tax cuts don’t lead to growth, growth can lead to tax cuts. By growing the tax base, we can lower the tax burden. WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Liberals vow to reform tax system WINNIPEG SUN: Liberals' promise of tax review long overdue: Mba Chambers of Commerce GLOBAL WINNIPEG: Liberals to review Manitoba tax system if elected CTV WINNIPEG: Liberals Call for Tax Review


MANITOBA LIBERALS PLEDGE NO PRIVATIZATIONS After decades of privatizations by both the PC and NDP, it’s time to reconsider the practice of governments selling off public assets for pennies on the dollar. A Manitoba Liberal Government will have a policy of “no privatizations”, in order to protect and preserve public services. The goal of properly run public services is to provide low-cost services to everyone and to prevent price-gouging that can occur with private for-profit monopolies. Manitoba Liberals are focused on creating good new jobs and building strong new Manitoba businesses. Manitoba Liberals want to address the growing gap between wage earners and protect consumers. Privatization of “natural monopolies” means private companies can engage in price gouging. Private companies may boost profits by reducing the pay and benefits of workers while skimping on maintenance.  Loss of local control and ownership is also a major concern. Publicly-owned and run companies are the ultimate form of local ownership because they are owned by all citizens. Privatization may mean “exporting ownership” which means the long-term benefits of profits and dividends all leave the province.  The benefits of public ownership stay local; because MPI, Hydro and MLLC are owned by all   Manitobans, their revenues benefit all Manitobans.  In the 1990s, the PC government sold off the Manitoba Telephone System (MTS). Today, Manitoba has some of the worst cell phone coverage in Canada. Saskatchewan kept SaskTel public and has one of the best cellular networks.  In 2011, the Manitoba NDP partially privatized emergency medical transportation when they signed an untendered 10-year contract with STARS, an Alberta-based company. In 2012 the NDP government rushed the privatization of the Manitoba’s Provincial Land Registry in another untendered and secret contract to an Ontario-based company. The Pallister government has privatized water bombers, the provincial air services, and they put patients in danger by privatizing the Lifeflight air ambulance service. Instead of listening to pilots, mechanics, doctors, nurses, and many others, the PCs ignored the risk and pushed forward anyhow. The PCs also sold off a tree nursery that helped provide low-cost trees to municipalities.  The PCs have justified their own privatizations by saying ‘the NDP did it too,’ which is a terrible excuse. Given half a chance, Brian Pallister will continue to sell off Manitoban’s inheritance — Manitoba Liberals oppose it. WINNIPEG SUN: Manitoba Liberals promise no privatization if elected



Nominated Candidates:

St. Boniface: Dougald Lamont Tyndall Park: Cindy Lamoureux River Heights: Jon Gerrard McPhillips: John Cacayuran Burrows: Sarb Gill The Maples: Deep Brar Notre Dame: Donovan Martin Fort Richmond: Tanjit Nagra St. Vital: Jeff Anderson Fort Garry: Craig Larkins Wolseley: Shandi Strong Dawson Trail: Robert Rivard Fort Rouge: Cyndy Friesen Kildonan-River East: Kathryn Braun Union Station: Harold Davis Borderland: Loren Braul Brandon-East: Kim Longstreet Lac du Bonnet: Terry Hayward Lagimodiere: Jake Sacher Riel: Neil Johnston Seine River: James Bloomfield Waverley: Fiona Haftani St. Johns: Eddie Calisto-Tavares La Verendrye: Lorena Mitchell Flin Flon: James Lindsay PEMBINA VALLEY ONLINE: Liberal Candidate Gearing Up For Campaign In Borderland STEINBACH ONLINE: Hayward Running Again For The Liberals FLIN FLON REMINDER: Manitoba Liberals select former 'Flonner for election


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Dougald Lamont  MLA St. Boniface, Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party

Manitoba Liberal Party

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