Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 04/23/2013 12:56 PM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 04/23/2013 1:34 PM | Updates
The NDP could get more bang for its buck on a PST-hike referendum by adding two more questions, Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister said today.
Besides asking whether the majority of Manitobans supported a one per cent increase of the provincial sales tax to eight per cent, Pallsiter said voters should also be asked whether they supported the scrapping of the Taxpayer Protection Act and Manitoba Hydro being expanded by the NDP to export more electricity to customers in the United States.
"These are major issues that matter greatly to the future of our province," Pallister said. "I think there’s a lot of merit in letting the people of Manitoba make decisions on issues of this nature."
Pallister said the additional two questions would make a referendum more cost-effective. A ballpark cost of such a referendum is about $10 million.
Pallister said Manitobans should have a say on all three issues instead of being left out of the debate by the NDP.
"I trust the judgment of Manitobans and fundamentally don’t think it’s right to create a false sense of urgency and emergency based on the government’s own lack of preparedness," Pallister said. "Now they’re telling you they have to raise PST and other taxes for things they ignored for 13 years."
But the chances of a such a multi-question referendum being held are nil.
The Selinger New Democrats say they need the new tax hike to put about $300 million in full-year revenue into their coffers and they need to have it effective July 1 and without a referendum. The NDP has introduced Bill 20 to do away with a Tory-inspired provision in the Taxpayer Protection Act to hold a referendum on major tax increases.
The NDP says they plan to use the money to boost infrastructure spending at a time when Canada’s economy is starting to slow and to build new flood protection projects in western Manitoba. The NDP has also said it wants to erase its half-billion dollar deficit by 2016-17.
The NDP also supports increasing the generating capacity of Manitoba Hydro over the next decade to increase export sales to the northern U.S. The roughly $20-billion plan includes building the Keeyask and Conawapa dams in northern Manitoba and the Bipole III transmission line down the west side of the province.
Updated on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 1:34 PM CDT: updates with quotes from Pallister
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.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Free sneak peek advance tours of Human Rights Museum
Bombers hope to break ten-year Labour Day tradition
Nepinak calls for memorial to Hall
Gord Steeves wants to give Winnipeg's police drones
Woman hurt in collision dies; man to be charged
'Cops' crew member killed in Omaha police shooting
The NDP will launch a national inquiry into native women murders if elected
Bombers name four to hall of fame
Tim Hortons the conquering hero this time
Newborn found in trash on ventilator; mom arrested
Police intercept mailed gun and ammo
Downtown gas leak closes streets, forces evacuation
Israeli premier, Hamas declare victory in Gaza war
B.C. man says others responsible for serial murders
Shooting by 9-year-old girl stirs debate over guns
Paula Havixbeck unveils plan to deal with frozen pipes
Man dies in vehicle rollover
Mayoral wannabes spew clichés at forum
Museum rejects St. Germain
Libya's UN envoy warns of 'full-blown civil war'
Camper missing for three days found on remote road
U of W researchers involved in projects getting $5 million in funding
Canadians pay $500M+ a year for paper bills: report
Canada Post reports profit in second quarter
US official warns Ebola outbreak will get worse
Missouri governor names new public safety director
NHL says 'nothing new' on expansion
Inquiry on premiers' agenda
Fans roar for Katy Perry
Still some summer heat left
Judicial review useless for family
Fallon to lead honours as Leno wins top humour prize
Spanish chain pulls kids' shirt after outcry
Spy thriller leaves us unshaken, unstirred
Landmarks to light up for cancer telethon
Advocates want to see NFL act on domestic violence
Rogen stages comedy special for Alzheimer's
Syrian rebels seize border crossing with Israel
Earthquakes rock Iceland volcano