Parties must work together on cost of living
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This article was published 20/07/2022 (317 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
With the cost of food, gas and housing skyrocketing, I know many seniors and families in St. Vital are struggling to get by.
Manitobans work hard so they can support their families, pay the bills, and save for their futures. Right now, the average paycheque isn’t keeping up with the rising cost of living. The provincial government has a role to play in helping Manitobans through these tough times – that’s why my NDP caucus colleagues and I have been calling on the Premier to take the cost-of-living crisis seriously.
We’ve called for the creation of an all-party committee to tackle the crisis of rising food costs. Statistics Canada has shown the average grocery bill has risen almost 10 per cent in the last year, leaving more and more families relying on food banks. Harvest Manitoba and other foodbank organizations have reported a 4 per cent spike in the number of individuals and families in need — this includes families right here in St. Vital. We should all work together to find solutions that make groceries more affordable regardless of which party we represent.
Another way the provincial government can directly impact the cost of living is through Manitoba Hydro rates. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Progressive Conservative government has raised Hydro rates through legislation twice, bypassing the PUB, the independent oversight board they tried to eliminate through Bill 35. I will continue to fight to ensure that rates are affordable in St. Vital and are set through an independent process meant to protect Manitobans. I continue to call on the PC government to ensure that Hydro rates are affordable for Manitobans.
Many renters are also concerned about the cost of housing, as the PCs have allowed the costs of rental housing to soar. That’s why the NDP caucus once again introduced Bill 218 – The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act which, if the PC government supports it, will help to ensure that above-guideline rent increases imposed upon Manitoba renters are fair and manageable.
Lastly, right now Manitoba is on track to have the lowest minimum wage in the country come October. While the cost of living increases, Manitoban minimum wage workers are being left further behind. They deserve better, no one working full-time should earn less than the poverty line. Manitobans deserve a living wage.
As always, please feel free to get in touch with me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 204-219-5407.
St. Vital constituency report
Jamie Moses is the NDP MLA for St. Vital.