Wab Kinew accuses premier of lying over PST
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/04/2019 (1450 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Brian Pallister was accused Friday of being dishonest by suggesting the Opposition could hold up implementation of the government’s planned PST cut on July 1.
NDP Leader Wab Kinew, reacting to an interview the premier gave to a radio station, said Pallister is trying to “manufacture a reason to call an early election.”
Asked on a CBC morning show if he would call an election before July 1, once the flood threat is over, Pallister said: “I don’t think so. But again, I don’t know everything that is going to happen with the NDP. If they try to delay the PST reduction, or not support the (budget implementation) bill, that’s a serious concern.”
Kinew called the premier’s radio remarks “a lie.”
“The premier is somehow suggesting that the timing of an election is up to me. I would just like to clarify that if it’s up to me, we will respect the fixed election-date law,” he said. That would mean the election would be held on Oct. 6, 2020.
“The premier is somehow suggesting that the timing of an election is up to me. I would just like to clarify that if it’s up to me, we will respect the fixed election-date law.”–Wab Kinew
Pallister has said the government could implement the tax cut, as planned, even if the Opposition used house rules to put off a vote on The Budget Implementation and Tax Statutes Amendment Act (BITSA) until fall.
Past provincial governments have instituted tax changes announced in their budgets before the passage of BITSA on the assumption they had the votes in the legislature to implement them. Precedents include the immediate imposition of higher fuel and tobacco taxes.
The government has already spent tax dollars on billboard ads touting the tax cut, Kinew noted.
“Just a few weeks ago, (Pallister) spent $200,000 of your money to put up billboards all over the place saying this PST cut is happening on July 1,” Kinew said. “There’s no asterisk on those billboards. There’s no ‘out’ clause on those billboards.”
Election financing change tied to BITSA
The NDP has until April 17 to decide whether to designate BITSA as one of four government bills it can hold over till the fall for a vote in the legislature. The NDP is able to designate four bills (BITSA counts as two) while the Liberals can designate one.
The NDP may be tempted to delay passage of BITSA until the fall — not because of the government’s PST promise, which it believes is out of its control, but because the omnibus bill also contains a clause that would abolish partial refunds of election expenses to political parties and candidates who gain at least 10 per cent of the vote.
If BITSA were passed in advance of a snap spring election, its controversial new election financing rules could be in effect. The governing Progressive Conservatives, flush with cash, are in better financial shape than either the NDP or the Liberals to contest an election without the taxpayer subsidy.
Meanwhile, Kinew released a letter that he wrote to Pallister this week in response to the premier’s call for ideas on bipartisan initiatives.
In the letter, Kinew said what is urgently needed is an all-party discussion on election financing.
“If there are going to be any changes to election laws in Manitoba, I don’t think that they should be made by one party or by a premier just because they are in power,” the NDP leader told reporters Friday.
“I think they should be forged by consensus, made by all parties working together” along with input from the public, he said.
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.