Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Six questions for the leadership hopefuls

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Ashton: The province would be willing to be partners with other levels of government and other funders to ensure the present stadium is safe. The Bombers are an important part of our community.

Selinger: I want to find the best way possible to proceed on this project as quickly as possible so as to minimize costly repairs for the old stadium.

2Ashton: I am totally committed to having a one-member, one-vote system implemented before the next leadership convention.

Selinger: There needs to be a change in the process of selecting leaders that is acceptable to NDP members. I would like to see a process that deals with the technical flaws in the current system but continues to ensure grassroots participation. One member, one vote is one option to consider.

2Ashton: I believe that we have established a fixed election date and we should stay with it.

Selinger: I have no plans to call a snap election. It is my intention to serve the mandate.

2Ashton: We have zero-deficit legislation that requires the government to balance the budget over four years. Under present circumstances I do not see any need for Manitoba to raise taxes.

Selinger: A global economic downturn is a bad time to raise major taxes.

2Ashton: We would insist that the federal government rent the housing units to the provincial government for $1 a year until the legal status is defined. This could be as many as seven years away. The government would rent the houses as mixed middle-income and low-income housing to alleviate our present housing shortfall. It is unacceptable that a large number of perfectly good houses are sitting empty, being maintained and heated at taxpayers' expense at the same time that we have a housing shortage.

Selinger: I want to see the federal government put this property back into public use as quickly as possible and I will work to ensure it lives up to that objective. We need the housing with our growing population.

2Ashton: Yes, the convention centre needs to be almost doubled in size to attract large trade shows and conventions. It was built in 1975 and it's now showing its age. The province was there to build it then and we need to be there now to expand it.

Selinger: The convention centre plays an important role in Manitoba's economy. A good business plan, and partnerships with other levels of government would be the way to move forward.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 17, 2009 A5

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