NDP Demand Pallister Change Anti-Democratic Legislation

Winnipeg, MB—The Manitoba NDP allowed a vote in the House today to pass the Budget Implementation and Tax Statutes Amendment Act (BITSA) onto committee stage in order to deal with the Pallister’s government anti-democratic election changes. This shows the only way the PST would not be reduced on July 1st, 2019 is if the Premier were to call an early election before that date.

“This bill makes it harder for low income, marginalized and northern or rural people to run for political office. It’s an anti-democratic bill that puts Manitoba’s free and fair elections at risk,” said NDP House Leader Nahanni Fontaine. “By passing this bill along to committee stage we are committing to enhancing our democracy. There is no impediment to the PST’s reduction on July 1st except the Premier himself, who is intent on breaking fixed date election laws for his own political gain.”

The Pallister government introduced BITSA on March 7th, 2019. The omnibus bill proposes to eliminate public financing for candidates and political parties, a move which would make it harder for candidates from low-income or marginalized communities to run election campaigns. The bill also moves the scheduled reduction date for the PST from June 30, 2023 to June 30, 2019.

The Premier has publicly said the PST will be reduced on July 1, 2019 no matter what. The Pallister government spent more than $173,000 on billboard advertising to promote that commitment. He has falsely accused the NDP of blocking the PST reduction and has used it as justification for breaking the fixed date election law.