Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pay for civil servants at risk: NDP's Howard

Says stalling by Tories may turn off tap

  • Print
NDP House Leader, Jennifer Howard

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

NDP House Leader, Jennifer Howard Photo Store

Stall tactics by the Opposition Progressive Conservatives are jeopardizing August paycheques for civil servants, NDP house leader Jennifer Howard said Thursday.

For the fourth day in a row Thursday, Howard tried and failed to introduce a temporary money bill that would keep the government in the black after July 31 when a special funding warrant expires. That interim money-supply bill would put about $7 billion in government coffers.

Howard also asked for unanimous consent for MLAs for a special sitting today to deal with the interim-supply measure, but she didn't get it. Today is a day off for MLAs.

Howard said the government has funding in place to make its payroll July 26, but not for the next paycheque for government employees on Aug. 4.

'This is self-induced hysteria. They have absolutely no ability to manage this so they cause panic'

-- Tory house leader Kelvin Goertzen

"That pay period could be missed," Howard said. "We don't have the PIN to the bank card after July 31."

The delay in the budget-approval and legislative process is mostly due to Tory opposition to Bill 20, which would allow the government to raise the PST without a public referendum. The procedural delays the Tories are using forced the legislature to go into an emergency sitting, which heads into its fourth week Monday. The sitting started April 16 with the tabling of the new budget and was supposed to end June 13, but only Thursday did the first phase of the budget-approval process end. That phase normally takes about three weeks -- it took almost two months instead.

Bill 20 has yet to receive third reading almost three months after it was introduced, although the PST increase of one percentage point took effect July 1. The NDP's anti-bullying bill and another to amalgamate smaller municipalities are also stuck in limbo, with public hearings still to be scheduled.

Howard said there's no logical reason for the Tories to drag their feet on interim supply as PC Leader Brian Pallister has already said his party would support it and not put the day-to-day business of government at risk.

'You don't wait until catastrophe to act. And these guys want to be government? I shudder to think about that'

-- NDP house leader Jennifer Howard

"I don't know why they want to wait," she said. "I don't know how that serves Brian Pallister's political agenda. You don't wait until catastrophe to act. And these guys want to be government? I shudder to think about that."

PC house leader Kelvin Goertzen said Howard's words ring hollow as there is no looming "fiscal cliff."

"This is self-induced hysteria," Goertzen said. "They have absolutely no ability to manage this so they cause panic.

"The only fiscal risk is the fiscal risk of their own making. The only fiscal risk is if this government stays in power."

Meanwhile, the legislature's division bells rang for almost two hours straight Thursday, calling all MLAs to vote on two Opposition motions to reduce ministerial salaries to $1.08, the eight cents symbolically representing the eight per cent provincial sales tax.

The Tories have made similar motions for all NDP ministers, a move that has eaten up a lot of time on the legislative clock as the bells for each $1.08 motion ring for a maximum one hour prior to the vote.

The last vote ended at the end of the day Thursday, but now the house moves on to the next phase of the budget-approval process, opening up a whole new basket of ways the Tories can stall house business, Howard said.

"How is this being responsible to Manitobans?" she asked.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 19, 2013 A3

History

Updated on Friday, July 19, 2013 at 6:54 AM CDT: replaces photos

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

Bowman talks "job number one" in News Café interview

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A squirrel enjoys the morning sunshine next to the duck pond in Assiniboine Park Wednesday– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Susan and Gary Harrisonwalk their dog Emma on a peaceful foggy morning in Assiniboine Park – Standup photo– November 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you surprised the Bombers didn't make the playoffs?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google