April 28, 2021
Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB—The NDP Official Opposition has introduced legislation that would prevent Premier Pallister from personally signing any rebates to Manitobans, including the Education Property Tax rebate.
“Manitobans know a political trick when they see one—and the Premier’s plan to personally sign cheques is the most transparent trick in the book,” said NDP House Leader Nahanni Fontaine. “It’s not lost on Manitobans that this is more about the Premier’s political fortunes than helping people. When nurses and health care workers were calling for more supports, when teachers were asking for vaccines, or even when small businesses were calling for financial aid—the Premier wouldn't spend a dime. This is nothing more than a vote-buying scheme from an unpopular government.”
The Premier has refused to say if the rebate will include his signature, but last summer he sent a personal letter alongside cheques for Manitoba seniors around the same time he laid off hundreds of public-sector workers and COVID-19 cases climbed Manitoba. That desperate tactic was criticized as “pretty lazy policy” from the Canadian Taxpayers Association.
The Manitoba NDP has moved a reasoned amendment to Bill 71, arguing the rebate should be income tested so that the wealthiest people are not given massive tax cuts and clawing back the rebate for renters would make life less affordable for them.
“Manitobans don’t need the Premier’s autograph. They need him to stop making cuts to hospitals and schools, freezing wages and laying off workers,” said Mark Wasyliw NDP Finance Critic. “Manitobans are smarter than the Premier thinks—they know this a cynical political scheme that will shut out renters and create big tax cuts for the wealthiest people."