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Katz calls for candidates to commit to infrastructure

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Municipal officials say crumbling roads and bumpy sidewalks have been neglected in this fall's election campaign.

This morning, Mayor Sam Katz and Association of Manitoba Municipalities president Doug Dobrowolski called on provincial election candidates to make infrastructure a top priority.

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"What’s the point of investing more money into health care if ambulances can’t navigate our roads? Why pledge more money for community centres if we can’t even walk on our sidewalks?" Mayor Sam Katz said in a press release.

Winnipeg and Manitoba municipalities have been lobbying hard for a greater share of the PST to put towards roads and transit.

Earlier this year, city council approved a plan to ask the province for a one-point share of the existing seven points of PST to be dedicated to infrastructure funding.

Premier Greg Selinger said today a re-elected NDP government would not raise taxes to pay for infrastructure, but look at other options.

"We’ve always been very clear we’re not interested in raising taxes in Manitoba," he said.

He added the NDP are prepared to make the equivalent of a one per cent hike to the PST available to all municipalities.

"That’s $239 million dollars," he said. "It will grow as the PST grows. It’s been growing at about five to seven per cent a year. That’s one of the best commitments in the country for infrastructure."

Selinger also said the NDP administration is now transferring the highest amount of money to the city and other municipalities in the history of the province.

"We’ve made a titanic effort to do that. We did not cut it back in the middle of a recession. We actually continued to expand that.

"We’re very committed to infrastructure. We are not prepared to raise the sales tax."

History

Updated on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 12:08 PM CDT: Adds reaction from Selinger

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