Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister outlined his plan for guaranteed strategic infrastructure investment during his address to the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association and the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association today.
“Strategic infrastructure can and should provide an economic return for Manitoba families and businesses,” said Pallister. “To achieve this, a new PC government will be a focused, sustained and reliable partner for the long-term.”
Pallister announced PC strategic infrastructure investment would exceed that of the current government’s yearly average in their last term. The PC plan commits to long-term, assured and targeted investment of no less than $1 billion per year. This would exceed the NDP’s infrastructure spending over the past four years. The plan would institute return on investment as part of the criteria in choosing projects for our five-year and 10-year plans.
“Too often infrastructure is used to serve short-term political convenience rather than long-term economic necessity; building projects where votes are needed rather than where a road is required,” added Pallister. “Infrastructure is too important to our future prosperity to be used to buy votes at election time or as a desperate attempt to explain away broken-promise tax hikes.”
Selinger’s NDP underspent the infrastructure budget by an average of 28 per cent in every year of its last term with the exception of the year leading up to the election, diverting more than one out of every four dollars promised for roads, bridges and flood mitigation to other departments.
It took almost a full year and a steep drop in the polls before Selinger’s NDP decided their PST tax grab and removal of voting rights had anything to do with strategic infrastructure. Even then, tens of millions collected from the NDP PST hike was diverted from infrastructure to other priorities.