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Taxpayers Federation weighs in on city elections with platform proposals

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Colin Craig, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation's prairie director, revealed a full menu of platform ideas today to help spur some discussion among municipal candidates considering a run in the election this fall.

"At this stage, it's hard to know what the candidates are thinking. They haven't really said much," Craig said.

"We're trying to be proactive, to do something positive. We've got a whole bunch of different ideas to help people working on their platforms. So by all means, we encourage them to help themselves and start integrating some of these ideas into their platforms."

The CTF's policy menu includes 25 main ideas. There are additional ideas from years past found on taxpayer.com.

Craig emphasized two specific areas of interest: improving accountability and transparency at City Hall and stabilizing labour and pension reform.

"It's not reasonable for some city employees to be retiring in their forties with a full pension while most people in the private sector don't even have a pension. So instead of raising taxes to keep paying for those benefits, we should look at pension reform," Craig said.

Other ideas offered by the CTF include incorporating evening council meetings to the city's regular schedule, having an independent panel review Winnipeg's photo radar program for efficiency and ending the practice of giving severance pay to city employees who quit their jobs.

The CTF will not endorse any of the municipal candidates regardless of how closely their policy ideas align with their own, Craig said, adding they might still consider endorsing a candidate's economic plan.

One important item Craig said he doesn't want to hear from any of the candidates is platitudes.

"We don't want to hear candidates simply saying, 'Vote for me, I'm going to improve City Hall.' We want to see concrete ideas. We want to see some good policies and outside-of-the-box thinking."

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