There was lots of talk but no new ideas or promises at a provincial election campaign debate on infrastructure, Wednesday night.
Candidates from all four parties took part in a forum hosted by CAA Manitoba at the Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe.
Questions focused on everything from fixing the roads to school zone signage to cracking down on distracted driving.
Candidates largely stuck to message throughout the hour long debate.
NDP candidate in Selkirk and former Finance Minister Greg Dewar pitched his parties promise to spent the money generated by the controversial PST hike.
“The Conservatives, completed neglected infrastructure for all the years they were in office. The task fell to us, we’ve taken on that challenge.”
Conservative Deputy Leader Heather Stefanson accused Dewar of promising money to be spent on roads that wasn’t there.
“You just brought forward a fiscal update that had an increase in infrastructure from the normal 52 million to some 316 million. That was the federal transfer to you but the federal budget never had that amount of money in it. Where is this money coming from? You’ll either have to raise taxes again or you have a bunch of broken promises.”
Liberal candidate in Radisson, Scott Newman, spent much of the night promoting his parties plan to give one per cent of the PST directly to municipalities to fix their own infrastructure.
“It looks like a war zone out there, there are bomb craters for roads….this is simply not going to work. The Conservatives and the NDP plan to continue doing the same thing.”
Newman also highlighted a Liberal promise to bring ride sharing service Uber to Winnipeg as a way to cut down on impaired driving.
Green Party leader James Beddome was the only party leader at the debate. He touched on making our infrastructure more sustainable and making Manitoba a world leader in electric vehicles.
“Where are we likely going to build them? The New Flyer plant in Transcona. This as opportunity for us.”
Beddome said his party would offer free bus fare.
After the debate, CAA Manitoba Vice-President of Marketing, Tim Scott said they would continue to push for road improvements throughout the campaign, without endorsing any party.
“It’s how we get around. It affects everybody daily and it covers the province. That’s what we’ve been doing for over 100 years, advocating for proper roads and safety and we will continue to do that.
Manitobans go to the polls on April 19th.