Manitoba’s premier hints at another round of affordable assistance, suggesting it will help everyone
The Manitoba government is planning to end another round of affordable assistance as the cost of living continues to rise.
Premier Heather Stephenson indicated Monday that an announcement is coming that will help all Manitobans.
“We’ll have more details on that later this week, but I think we’ve heard from Manitobans that everybody is struggling to make ends meet these days. I think it’s important. That we all look at it as a whole,” Stephenson said later in the morning. news conference in Lloret, where he pledged provincial money to help build a new arena and library in the community.
“We need to make sure we’re trying to accomplish the best for Manitobans, especially those who are suffering the most right now.”
When asked to elaborate, Stephenson chuckles after saying, “Stay tuned,” as reporters ask for more information on what’s to come.
This will be the second round of aid specifically for Manitobans to deal with inflation.
Last year, several provinces, including Saskatchewan and Quebec, cut checks to help people.
Manitoba made a targeted pledge, giving money to certain populations likely to feel the pressure of inflation the most: families with children, low-income seniors and people on income support.
Specifically, Manitoba offers families with children and a household income of less than $175,000 in 2021 $250 for the first child and $200 for each additional child.
Seniors with a family income of less than $40,000 who rent or own a home and claim the Education Property Tax Credit on their 2021 income tax return received a $300 check.
The survey includes questions about support measures.
At the time, Finance Minister Cameron Friesen said Manitoba’s approach distributed benefits “most widely and most equitably” to those in need.
The government has been criticized for some of its measures to provide broader benefits, such as giving checks to all seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A survey currently on the provincial government’s website could also hint at a range of affordable measures the Progressive Conservatives could announce this week and beyond.
The survey, intended to inform provincial budget deliberations, asks people what measures they would support, ranging from testing one-time exemptions to reducing the provincial share of the gas tax to revenue Taxes and provincial sales tax reductions are included.
Asked specifically about lowering taxes, Stephenson suggested Monday that it would take time. He said Manitobans should look to the upcoming spring budget for possible relief.
Adrian Sala, a member of the NDP’s Economic and Affordability Committee caucus, argued that the Tories have contributed to the rising cost of living through electricity rate hikes and tuition hikes.
“It’s important that we provide relief to Manitobans, we need to find ways to do that, but this government has made life more expensive for Manitobans,” said the St. James MLA. LA said.
Sala did not respond when asked if aid should be targeted only to specific populations, but he said low- and middle-income families are particularly struggling right now.
Stephenson said his PC government could strike a balance between financial aid and the need for additional spending in key areas such as health care, education and social services.
The Prime Minister also revealed that she expects another meeting with the Federal Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs, Dominic LeBlanc, to discuss health care funding, this week at the Federal Cabinet. After discussing the matter in the members’ meeting.
Progress on health care negotiation: Stephenson
The prime minister and the federal government have been locked in a battle over funding for years, but the arguments have escalated of late – including a paid advertising campaign run by the prime minister.
However, both sides have said that significant progress has been made toward an agreement in recent weeks.
Stephenson, who chairs the Council of the Federation (consisting of Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial premiers), attributed the development to the prime minister’s willingness to engage with the prime minister.
“There seems to be more willingness to sit down now, which I think is great. I think that’s what Canadians expect from us,” he said.
A sticking point between the two sides has been the reluctance of the provinces to agree to certain conditions set by Ottawa in exchange for additional funding. Stephenson said she wouldn’t agree to strings attached without seeing a new funding proposal from the federal government.
New community center for Lorette
The Prime Minister was in Lloret on Monday to announce funding for a new community center – including an arena, library, walking path and seniors’ center – for the growing south-east bedroom community.
The project echoes a 2016 promise by the previous NDP government to build the multiplex, which then-premier Greg Selinger said was contingent on the NDP being re-elected that year. . The Progressive Conservatives were elected instead.
However, the center will not have as many amenities as the multiplex promised by the NDP. There were plans for a daycare, but the rural municipality of Taché did not include the question in its 2019 application for infrastructure funding through a cost-sharing program between the feds and the province.
Almost seven years after the first promise, the difference now is that the Tory government is delivering on the plan, Stephenson said.
The updated community center will receive $4.4 million from the federal government and $3.6 million from the province.
RM of Taché Mayor Armand Poirier said the municipal council must still meet to determine the final costs. He told the CBC the price could reach $20 million given the rising cost of construction.
The municipality said the facility is still expected to go out to tender before the summer.
Once completed, the community’s existing arena will be closed because its lifespan has exceeded its expected lifespan, the province said.