Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - ONLINE EDITION

Province unveils five-year infrastructure plan

From left: Chris Lorenc, Manitoba Heavy Construction Association;  Transportation Minister Steve Ashton; Jobs and Economy Minister Theresa Oswald; and Diane Gray of CentrePort.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

From left: Chris Lorenc, Manitoba Heavy Construction Association; Transportation Minister Steve Ashton; Jobs and Economy Minister Theresa Oswald; and Diane Gray of CentrePort.

The Selinger government put more meat on the bone today on its five-year plan to use PST revenue to spend $5.5 billion on fixing and improving Manitoba’s crumbling infrastructure.

Much of what the province will fix has already been announced--improving Highways 75 and the TransCanada, for example. The plan also comes a day before Finance Minister Jennifer Howard tables the government’s budget for the coming year.

What it doesn’t do it outline how much money Ottawa will contribute under its own Building Canada Fund. Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald said the province has yet to sit down with senior Manitoba MP Shelly Glover on what Ottawa’s share will be.

Oswald said the province’s plan is based on how much money the federal government has contributed in past years to infrastructure projects.

Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton said the plan wouldn’t be what it is without last year’s one point increase of the provincial sales tax to eight per cent.

"The next five years will have a significant increase over the last five years and the difference is the one cent on the dollar," he said.

The NDP also recruited the Conference Board of Canada to vet the five-year plan. The board said the plan will create a total of 59,900 person-years of jobs, lift Manitoba's economy by $6.3 billion and generate $1.4 billion in retail sales.

Ashton also said the plan represents how the NDP differ from the opposition Progressive Conservatives, offering a glimpse at how the NDP will fight the next election campaign in two years.

"I think over the next period of time (Manitobans) are also going to see that there’s a clear choice," he said. "Certainly, our political opponents have made it very clear what they would do. They would cut the one cent on the dollar. They would end up cutting a lot of programming, but they would also cut the investment in infrastructure."

Opposition Leader Brian Pallister said the province should not be using revenue from the PST for infrastructure, but instead fund it through general revenue like every other province.

"It’s the only province that’s jacked up the PST," Pallister said. "It’s inflicted the highest back-to-back tax increases on Manitobans of any Canadian province and of any government in the history of Manitoba, and now it’s trying to tell Manitobans that that’s a good thing? I don’t think so."

Pallister’s Progressive Conservatives are challenging the PST increase in court without a referendum. The first court date is April 25.

 

History

Updated on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 12:13 PM CST:
adds sidebar

Updated on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 2:18 PM CST:
Adds comment from Brian Pallister.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 1 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

Five year plan? I guess our NDP admires communist China as much as Trudeau.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media