Some selected tweets from the Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Center:
So a $0.25 increase this year
Still cheaper than driving downtown. Last I figured it, it cost me $15 just in gas and parking to drive, vs current price of $4.20 for the bus.
I don’t really mind this, as long as this goes towards rapid transit vs the “black hole of general revenue”
Swandel has a point – shit or get off the pot. And it puts pressure on the Province to put up or shut up, since they have been conveniently been pointing fingers at the city for not completing the route. Of course the province’s response was that it was premature to increase the rates.
Councillor Gerbasi went on record decrying the lack of consultation and not consulting with transit. News flash, this is to build a reserve for capital improvements, they don’t have to consult with transit, it’s not to cover operational expenses.
Overall, I have no problems with this as long as the money goes where it is supposed to. I mean you could argue that everyone should pay for RT (property taxes), since it indirectly benefits everyone. But I’d also like to see it done before I’m in a nursing home.
The Canadian association of food banks released their annual report on food bank usage in Canada yesterday:
On top of that, David Northcott of Winnipeg Harvest was on CJOB yesterday morning. I caught just a little bit of his interview, but the numbers are certainly nothing to be proud of. The report linked above provides easy to read statistics, but I’ll focus on Manitoba.
- Manitoba has the highest % of children using food banks than anywhere else in the country.
- Manitoba’s per capita % usage of food banks is second highest in the country only to Newfoundland and Labrador, and almost double the rate in the next highest province
- The % increase from 2008-2011 is the third highest in country only following Alberta and the Territories
- The Per Capita % increase in Manitoba from 2001-2011 is the highest in the country.
And yet we have had an NDP government during that entire time. An NDP government that positions itself as the champion of the working class
Now from the bits and pieces I caught from David Northcott’s interview, some interesting information, specifically the following points:
- The % of people using food banks in Manitoba on Social Assistance is relatively the same as the rest of the country.
- Northcott said ‘the growth has come from the working poor’
The working poor using the food banks? NOT MINIMUM WAGE EARNERS
The working poor. Those that earn marginally more than minimum wage. Those, that when the NDP says “look at us we’re helping by raising minimum wage”, see no benefit and see a decrease in purchasing power if business owners have to raise prices to compensate for minimum wage increases.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that Manitoba takes the most provincial income tax from low income earners in the country and also has the second highest rate of food bank usage in the country.
Raise minimum wage. But also reduce the tax burden on the working poor, and unlike refundable tax credits you’ll put more money in people’s pocket in each payday, and I’m sure you’ll see a decrease in food bank usage. But then again neither of those result in increased government revenue.
And neither result in reduced dependency on our provincial government.
Wanna get rid of food banks and make a difference? A real tangible difference? Increase the basic personal exemption to $20,000. Heck, increase the high end tax bracket by 1% to compensate if you have to.
Do that, and I’m sure you’ll see food bank usage drop.
There is often a knock on the provincial NDP that they are a party composed of teachers and social workers. But is this really true, or a knock on the NDP by the non-NDP?
I decided to see if the facts bore this out. My methodology? I looked at the bios and of the candidates that the NDP and Conservatives fielded in the last election. I’m looking only at candidates as opposed to elected MLAs as this is probably more representative, since MLA professions will be skewed by geographical representation ( Conservatives = rural, NDP = urban).
So is it true? Is the NDP a party of teachers and social workers? In a manner of speaking, yes.
- The highest % of any profession listed is that of teacher at 19%, followed by Bureaucrat (public service employee/ career elected representative/non-profit exec director, employee of crown corp or provincial gov’t.) at 14% and business owner/business person at 12%
- When broken down by party, the top three NDP professions are Teacher (30%), Bureaucrat (12%), Lawyer (9%). Social Worker is tied for fourth with 7%. The top three Conservative professions are Business Person (19%), Bureaucrat (16%), Farmer (11%)
- The Conservatives have a larger breadth of candidates than the NDP (19 distinct professions vs 15)
- There are 5 professions listed by the NDP that do not appear in the list of conservative candidates (Political party worker, Union executive, Engineer, Welder, Economist)
- There are 9 professions listed by the Conservatives that do not appear in the list of NDP candidates ( Priest, Athlete, Doctor, Accountant, Pharmacist, Real Estate, Financial Advisor, Promoter, CEO)
- While the numbers in each category are similar if they both have candidates in that category, there are marked differences in a few. 17 NDP teachers vs 5 Conservative. 11 Conservative business people vs 3 NDP, every other category is within 3.
- There are labourers in both NDP and Conservative candidates.
- The Conservatives had more candidates employed in health care (4 to 2)