Tories issue inflation-relief cheques


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Eight months out from an election, Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government is breaking out the chequebook to help the public cope with inflation.

Nearly 700,000 cheques will be mailed out to Manitobans over the next six weeks, Premier Heather Stefanson announced last Thursday at a supermarket in Winnipeg.

“Food and transportation costs have risen dramatically in the last few months, putting pressure on family finances,” she said. “But every family’s circumstances are different, and they will know how to best spend this money to help them make ends meet.”

Seniors, couples, and individuals with or without children who lived in Manitoba on Dec. 31, 2021, and whose net family income was less than $175,000 on their 2021 tax return, will receive a cheque.

Individuals will get $225 while couples will get $375. For couples, the cheque will be sent to the lower income earner.

Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index for Manitoba peaked at a 40-year high of 9.4 percent last June. By December it had fallen to eight percent but was still the highest among Canadian provinces.

Stefanson dubbed the cheques the Carbon Tax Relief Fund, and used the occasion to reiterate her call for Ottawa to nix the carbon tax, which the federal government offsets with tiered rebates.

The province is sourcing the $200 million cost of the cheques from taxation and Manitoba Hydro revenues, and from a pending increase to federal equalization payments.

The cheques are part of a larger $850 million package intended to address the financial pinch facing the health-care system, municipalities, and industry.

The municipal component, announced Friday, included an unspecified amount of provincial funding for two local projects: a water treatment plant expansion in the RM of Springfield and a new water treatment plant in Letellier. Provincial spokespeople did not respond to a request seeking the dollar amount of the funding.

The cheques will be automatically mailed to the address used on one’s 2021 tax return. To update that address, visit and fill out the online form before Friday, Feb. 10.

Eligible individuals who don’t receive a cheque by March 31 should contact the Manitoba government inquiry line at 1-866-626-4862.

The cheques won’t be considered taxable income.

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