Spring Session Reveals Much
The spring session of the Manitoba Legislature was scheduled to come to an end on Thursday. It was a session that revealed a great deal about the NDP government and perhaps what we can expect from them during the remainder of their term.
The session began with the NDP trying to score some political points by attempting to scare new Canadians about upcoming changes to settlement services. Earlier this year, the province was told that the federal government would soon be taking over the delivery of settlement services since Ottawa paid for 97% of the program and since it delivers the service in almost every other province in Canada. This enraged the NDP and they enlisted high ranking civil servants to stage a rally at the Legislature. Not only did this rally fall flat, it has now sparked an investigation into how the NDP manipulated the civil service to be part of a political rally.
At about the same time, Elections Manitoba reported that the NDP health minister had violated an election law when she held a press conference just prior to last fall’s provincial election. Under election rules, government is not allowed to make announcements within a 90 day window of the election. Despite this ruling, NDP Premier Greg Selinger decided that there would be no repercussions for his health minister and in fact, the NDP Caucus voted against a resolution that stated that they should be held to the same standard as ordinary Manitobans who break the law. In essence, the NDP said they are above the law.
Through much of the session, the 2012 provincial budget was debated. It is the budget that saw the largest tax increase on Manitobans in the last 25 years. There were new taxes placed on everything from haircuts and manicures to gasoline and insurance. In total, there are more than $180 million in new taxes to be collected every year by the provincial NDP government. And that was after Greg Selinger promised Manitobans just last fall that there was no need to raise taxes because the fiscal plan of the NDP was on track.
And to top it all off, how did the NDP respond to a session filled with broken promises, broken election laws and new investigations? The NDP decided that they had done such a good job that they would introduce legislation to extend their mandate by an extra 6 months by moving the date of the next election back from the fall of 2015 to the spring of 2016.
If the spring session of the Manitoba Legislature is any indication of what is in store for the next four years, Manitobans have every reason to be concerned.