Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Tories continue to eschew taxpayer subsidy

  • Print
Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party Leader Brian Pallister

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party Leader Brian Pallister Photo Store

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives won’t be accepting "free" money again this year.

PC Leader Brian Pallister said today his party wants nothing to do an NDP-inspired political party subsidy the Tories call the "vote tax."

"We’re not willing to take money from Manitobans who don’t chose to support us," he said. "It’s not up to the public to subsidize political parties that are unwilling to go and raise their own money. That to me is what the ‘vote tax’ is all about. It’s a subsidy for laziness."

In 2008, the NDP government under former premier Gary Doer created a taxpayer subsidy, for operating and administrative support for major political parties, to help them cope with the financial hit from an earlier ban on corporate and union donations. Each registered party was allowed to apply annually for a government allowance of $1.25 for each vote it received in the last general election, to a maximum of $250,000.

However, the Tories immediately balked at the payment and have never accepted it.

The NDP hired political scientist Paul Thomas about two years ago to recommend a way for the subsidy to be more palatable for all parties, however the Tories refused to discuss it with him.

Thomas recommended the parties divvy up a $600,000 pot annually based on the number of candidates they endorsed in the last provincial election and the number of votes they received in the past two elections.

Last year, under his formula, the NDP was entitled to $278,811 per year, the Progressive Conservatives $242,712, the Liberals $63,255, the Greens $14,449 and the Communists $773.

But the NDP responded that said Thomas’s plan was too rich, given the government's fiscal position. The NDP accepted its share, but placed it in a "non-interest trust account" until the government decided how much to trim from the overall subsidy.

The NDP later said the subsidy would be trimmed by 30 per cent. It meant they would receive $195,168 for 2012 instead of $278,811.

Pallister said he wants to know what the NDP intend to do for the past year, adding political parties should only be earning their keep through fundraising.

Pallister also said if the PCs win the next election in two years he would eliminate the subsidy.

"Political parties should be agents of the people, not agents of the state," he said. "They need to work for their support and they need to ask for their support. That’s the job of political parties."

History

Updated on Monday, April 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM CDT: adds interactive chart

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

Gord Steeves targets traffic cameras

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Bright sunflowers lift their heads toward the south east skies in a  large sunflower field on Hwy 206 and #1 Thursday Standup photo. July 31,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Weather standup. Sundog. Refraction of light through ice crystals which caused both the sun dog and and fog along McPhillips Road early Wednesday morning. 071205.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you plan on attending any of the CMHR opening weekend events? (select all that apply)

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google