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This article was published 16/3/2016 (2047 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Flanked by New Democrat MLAs, candidates and one very special guest, Premier Greg Selinger has dropped the writ today, signaling the beginning of the election.
Along for the ride was a mascot from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, carrying a sign that said Cut The PST.ca. The mascot followed Selinger on his trek to Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon's office.
A confident and energetic Selinger walked from the legislature to the lieutenant-governor's with Family Services Minister Kerri-Irvin Ross by his side to ask for the writ to drop, then headed over to the statue of Louis Riel on the legislative grounds to speak to media.
With his cabinet and candidates behind him, Selinger warned that a Progressive Conservative government would mean cuts, while the Manitoba Liberals' policies "do not add up."
When asked how he will bring his party back up in the polls, he said that "experience counts," noting his party still has 35 days from the April 19 election to bring Manitobans back to the party.
"I met a longtime pollster and he said back in the day when he started out, elections used to make about a six point difference up or down, he says now elections can change 25 points in three days," Selinger replied. "The reality is people sit back and they look at what the best alternatives are and they evaluate those on a day-to-day basis."
He went on to admit his party "hasn't always gotten it right," a line used in one of the NDP's latest advertisements, in which Selinger apologized to Manitobans.
"Yes, we have been around awhile, but we've also kept an open mind on how to learn from our experience, how to do things better, improve things that have been started," he said. "One thing I know about being in government, if it is going to go wrong, it has gone wrong and then you know how to do it better."
Prior to the writ drop, PC leader Brian Pallister reiterated a pledge to rollback the PST in his first term. Selinger warned the pledge would take the resources away from communities in need of flood protection.
"That is wrongheaded, to say the least," Selinger said.
When asked if his government will be able to roll back the PST within their promised 10-year time frame, he said it is contingent on the economy of both the province and Canada as a whole.
"We believe we can do it, but it is subject to the future economic forecast," he said.
Selinger will later head to Sturgeon Heights Community Centre at 5:30 p.m. today for the NDP's official campaign rally.