The PST changes coming soon: Manitoba Throne Speech 2019
WINNIPEG -- Manitoba’s 2019 Speech from the Throne includes promised tax relief, protection for crime victims and measures to tackle addictions and drug dealers.
Many of the pledges stem from campaign promises made during the election.
The government says it will move ahead with tax cuts announced during the campaign, starting in 2020.
The PST will be removed from salon services over $50, as well as from will, tax return and probate fees. On July 1, vehicle registration fees will be cut by 10 per cent.
The speech also re affirms the province’s plan to begin the elimination of education property taxes over a ten-year period once the budget is balanced.
There is no mention of the campaign pledge to eliminate the PST from home insurance.
To help women in abusive situations, the speech says a new law will ensure women can access information about their partner’s past history of domestic violence. It also says changes to the employment standards code will extend leave protections to all survivors of sexual violence.
Elsewhere on crime, the speech is re-announcing plans to make downtown Winnipeg safer and $10 million to crack down on drug dealers. The speech also pledges to expand the criminal forfeiture process to make it easier to seize and liquidate drug money and assets.
On prevention, the address says a cross government hub will help direct “youth in trouble with the law” to proper programming.
“Your government is deeply concerned about the escalating rates of crime…” says the speech.
On addictions, the document outlines a number of initiatives:
-Medical sobering facility for up to 20 patients
-24/7 drop-in centre
-Flexible length withdrawal services in Winnipeg
-HSC emergency room expanded, 12 treatment beds and waiting spaces
-A “modernized” drug prevention curriculum
On health care the speech says the reconstruction of the St. Boniface Hospital emergency room will begin immediately. The speech also contains previously announced goals for 200 new nursing positions by 2023, and 80 new rural paramedics as part of the Tories’ “$2 Billion Health Care Guarantee.”
Following the property department scandal at Winnipeg city hall, where the city fired a number of building inspectors for allegedly slacking on the job, the speech contains a promise to speed up the permit system at the regional and municipal levels.
“Doing so will boost new investments representing $5.1 billion per year,” says the speech.
The document says a new law will exempt all veterans’ organizations from municipal taxes.
On climate change the speech reiterates a promise to consult with businesses to eliminate plastic bags. The province says it will investigate how to electrify Manitoba’s transportation infrastructure.
In response to Quebec’s controversial Bill 21, the speech says a resolution is coming to “affirm” citizen’s rights to wear religious symbols or clothing.
Other measures include:
-Eight new conservation officers to help enforce the night hunting ban
-Legislative changes to allow restaurants to deliver wine directly to customers
-Lifting Sunday and holiday shopping restrictions
-Creation of a dedicated infrastructure fund
-Highways budget to rise from $350 million to $400 million
-Financial arrangements for IG Field “restructured” to be more “suitable for taxpayers”
-New Public Service Act to reflect “modern workplace standards and values”
-13 new schools over 10 years
-New program for people with disabilities separate from EIA
-A portable child care benefit
-“Operation return Home” for Lake St. Martin evacuees