Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew was in Brandon Tuesday afternoon, attending his first Ag Days as leader of the province. He was part of a funding announcement for the Manitoba Farmer Wellness Program, and afterward spoke with reporters about a variety of issues.
The Federal Government's Carbon Tax was quick to come up, and Kinew stressed the N.D.P is doing all it can, provincially, to alleviate the burden.
"Our government brought the provincial fuel tax down to zero on both gasoline and diesel, because we do know the cost of living, the cost of business, has been a big stressor for people," noted Kinew. "We know that government might not be able to do everything, but at the provincial level, we're doing something. We're doing what we can. So, I think there is that bigger picture conversation we're going to continue to have about what else can we do, what can be done to ensure there's a fighting chance for people to succeed here in the province, and we know inflation's been a burden on everybody."
When pressed further on the carbon tax issue, Kinew had this to say.
"We're doing what we can at the provincial level," he said. "In the past, there's also been a lot of finger pointing, but then nothing being done provincially to help the average person, to help producers, to help the economy. We're taking steps right away. We brought the provincial fuel tax to zero on gasoline, on diesel. We made sure the ag industry was included in the steps we took. When it comes to the carbon price, I think Manitoba has a very strong case that could be revisited in our province, because of the investments we've made in the Manitoba Hydro grid over the years, because of all the other steps that have been taken."
Kinew indicated the N.D.P. will continue to do what they can provincially, while also working at other levels, too, regarding the carbon tax.
- With files from Betty Sawatzky -