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Tories slam MPI plan to pay for road repairs

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Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives are not impressed with a plan by Manitoba Public Insurance to pick up the tab for certain road and street repairs that would boost driver safety.

The PCs message to MPI and the Selinger government: Don’t go down that road.

MPI president Marilyn McLaren told Free Press columnist Dan Lett last week that it makes sense for the public insurer to invest in projects that might reduce accidents – and insurance costs. MPI will likely roll out some pilot projects next year.

But the Tories today called this plan at best ill-conceived and at the worst deceptive.

"Manitoba Public Insurance has a specific mandate and that is to provide Manitoba drivers with insurance, period," said Brandon PV MLA Reg Helwer, who is his party’s critic for MPI.

The PCs’ infrastructure critic, Mavis Taillieu, was similarly unimpressed. "There is need for improvements to infrastructure in Manitoba, and it is the government’s responsibility to fund them. However, squirrelling more out of drivers is deceptive," she said.

Last year, the government increased fees on vehicle registrations and bumped the gas tax at a cost to Manitobans of $72 million a year, the Conservatives said.

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