Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Extra PST revenues to go to core infrastructure

  • Print

After taking a beating from critics over its decision to hike the provincial sales tax, the Selinger government has redefined how it will spend the new tax revenue bonanza.

In today’s throne speech, the NDP vowed to restrict the $278 million in extra annual revenue from last summer’s PST increase to core infrastructure such as roads, sewers, bridges and flood protection.

Overall, the province promised to spend $5.5 billion over the next five years in these areas. The new plan, which will be detailed in next year’s budget, will allow the province time to secure matching federal dollars, the government said.

Included among the projects highlighted today:

— Reconstruction of Highway 75 to U.S. Interstate standards to ensure the road stays open except under the most devastating floods;— Provincial funding to widen by one lane the underpass on Pembina Highway at Jubilee Avenue as part of the expansion of rapid transit.— Upgrades to Highway 1 between Winnipeg and the Ontario border;— Resurfacing of Highway 59 from Brokenhead First Nation to beyond Grand Beach, leading to the future twinning of that section of the highway; and— Phased reconstruction of the southwest Perimeter Highway and creation of a new bypass around Headingley to divert heavy truck traffic.

In a briefing with reporters before Lt.-Gov. Philip Lee read the speech in the legislature, kicking off a new legislative session, Premier Greg Selinger said every dollar raised from the PST increase would flow to core infrastructure.

That is in contrast to the message the government delivered last spring, when it indicated that the additional PST revenues would also go to things like new schools, day cares and personal care homes.

That angered business and municipal leaders who had been ready to back an increase in the sales tax as long as the province spend the money where it would do the most good — on roads, bridges, sewer and water.

"Our new multi-year infrastructure plan will build on core, strategic and economic infrastructure. And every dollar raised from the new point of PST will be fully dedicated to new infrastructure investments over and above what we’re already doing," Selinger said.

Details of the renewal of Highway 75 will be unveiled at a news conference on Wednesday, the premier said.

Meanwhile, the government announced it will update the Language Arts curriculum for all K-12 students, focusing on improved literacy skills and the ability to think critically and communicate effectively.

The government will also take further steps to fight school bullying. New reporting requirements, a new provincial disciplinary code of conduct and more prevention measures will be unveiled in the next year.

And the province will do more to provide opportunities to high school students to prepare for future careers by increasing opportunities for them to earn post-secondary credits, expanding co-op and work placement credit options, and upgrading shop classes so students can get a head start on apprentice training in the trades.

In the coming weeks, Manitoba will host a national conference on diabetes. At that time, the province will release a new plan in support of renal health and for guarding against complications from diabetes and kidney disease.

Also in the throne speech, the province said it would:

— Establish a transportation authority to lead efforts to diversify and market the port of Churchill;

— Introduce livestock price insurance to protect Manitoba beef and hog producers;

— Introduce grants to help young entrepreneurs purchase equipment for technology-based start-up companies;

— Provide further reductions in school property taxes to seniors in the new year;

— Bring in further safeguards to protect consumers when buying cars purchasing cable, Internet or phone services.

MANITOBA THRONE SPEECH
History

Updated on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 2:06 PM CST: Photo added

2:29 PM: wordcloud added

6:17 PM: adds videos of Pallister and Bokhari response, and Selinger laying out infrastructure spending plan

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Maria Aragon performs new single "Nothing but a Beat"

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A nesting goose sits on the roof of GoodLife Fitness at 143 Nature Way near Kenaston as the morning sun comes up Wednesday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 07- Web crop-May 09, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS BUSINESS - cow on farm owned by cattle farmer Lloyd Buchanan near Argyle Wednesday afternoon -see Larry Kusch's story  January 04/2006

View More Gallery Photos

Ads by Google