The Conservatives have attacked Manitoba Premier and NDP Leader, Greg Selinger, for providing a ‘less detailed Fantasy Fiscal Update’ and padding the numbers to hide his plan to raise taxes. According to the Conservatives, the NDP padded its numbers to hide an estimated $180 million gap in its fiscal plan.
The PC Finance Critic and candidate for Morden-Winkler, Cameron Friesen, explained that “the federal budget has exposed Greg Selinger’s deliberate attempt to pad the numbers by claiming massive increases in federal infrastructure money that doesn’t exist,” adding that “this shortfall exposes Selinger’s plan to hike the PST or other taxes to make up the difference.” Whereas on the other hand, the NDP has replied to the criticism by alleging that its finance officials have been modest in estimating the federal revenues that Manitoba will receive. It was explained that the officials tried their best to forecast revenues but will now be reviewing the numbers in detail following the release of the federal government’s budget this past week.
The government spokesman, Andrew Tod, revealed that “based on the federal budget and its commitment to the Building Canada Fund, the Lake Manitoba/Lake St. Martin channels, and Freedom Road, we stand by the numbers estimated by provincial finance officials in the government’s recent Economic and Fiscal Outlook.” He added that the NDP knows that there are funds remaining. It was elucidated that “for Manitoba we know that we have $202 million remaining in building Canada funding to be allocated to Manitoba’s priorities like highway upgrades.”
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