The provincial party leaders are all convinced they’re the person to lead Manitoba in the next few years.
This morning they kicked off the election campaign by debating the issues on 680 CJOB.
NDP Premier Greg Selinger, Progressive Conservative leader Brian Pallister and Liberal leader Rana Bokhari batted heads on a number of issues, and Selinger was put on the defensive.
“If your approach, Greg, is to solely go to the two per cent of Manitobans and tax them at 170k, what you’re looking at is pushing more people out of the province,” Bohkari exclaimed. “That does not help people. At all.”
Pallister blamed the Premier for taking too much from Manitobans.
“This is a premier that took $5,000 out of the average household since the last election. Additional taxes on their home insurance, on their benefits at work, you name it.”
The NDP leader didn’t stand down, though, saying that Pallister doesn’t have the guts to make tough decisions.
“A willingness to ask the folks at the top to pay a little bit more so that we can put money in the pockets of working families, low income families and seniors is something that will make a difference in all Manitobans’ lives.”
The subject of the PST hike is something that will likely come up frequently over the next month, and Selinger is defending the move.
“Part of any job is to make difficult decisions when circumstances change. When big businesses and people are sitting on their money because they’re nervous, government has to be there to do the stimulation to create jobs.”
Pallister didn’t say he would not raise taxes, but if he was forced to he would be more up front about it.
“I have stood up for what I believe to be right throughout my political career and a long time prior, and I will continue to. Our plan is to reduce the growth in spending, which is out of control, by one per cent.”
But Bohkari isn’t buying what the other two have to sell.
“Both of you have not put forward a plan. Both of you are not connecting with everyday Manitobans. We need to be creating a way to have more Manitobans have extra dollars in their pockets.”
The election writ could be dropped as early as tomorrow. Manitoba goes to the polls on April 19th.