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Manitoba election: NDP vows to halt gas tax

Click to play video: 'Manitoba election: NDP vows to freeze gas tax'
Manitoba election: NDP vows to freeze gas tax
An NDP government would temporarily halt the provincial fuel tax, the party says. New Democrat Leader Wab Kinew promised to stop collecting the tax if his party forms government after the Oct. 3 election. – Aug 21, 2023

An NDP government would temporarily halt the provincial fuel tax, the party says.

New Democrat Leader Wab Kinew promised to stop collecting the tax if his party forms government after the Oct. 3 election.

“Manitobans need help right now and a Manitoba NDP is going to deliver it,” he said during a news conference across from a Pembina Highway gas station Monday morning.

The tax, which costs drivers 14 cents per litre, would be suspended for between six and 12 months, Kinew said, adding that the freeze would remain as long as inflation remains high.

The Consumer Price Index in Manitoba was 3.4 per cent in May, the lowest it’s been since June 2021.

According to Statistics Canada, Winnipeg’s average price of gas in July was 157.5 cents per litre, one of the lowest average gas prices in Canada. Only Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton posted lower per-litre gas prices at self-serve stations for the month.

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Fuel taxes bring in approximately $340 million a year.

The NDP is also promising to give the Public Utilities Board, the provincial energy regulator, new powers to investigate and regulate retail gasoline prices.

An emailed statement from Finance Minister Cliff Cullen called the announcement “smoke and mirrors.”

“Wab Kinew’s NDP support the punishing carbon tax that is set to rise to 55 cents per litre by 2030. We are the only party fighting to stop it,” the statement read.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation supported Kinew’s pledge to halt the gas tax.

In a statement, CTF Prairie director Gage Haubrich said the average family would save over $200 in six months with the proposed cut.

“Kinew rightly looks at other provinces that have cut gas taxes to make life more affordable,” Haubrich said. “Kinew could go even further and promise to permanently eliminate the gas tax.”

Other provinces that reduced gas taxes include Alberta, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.

with files from The Canadian Press

Click to play video: 'Gas prices to rise as second carbon tax comes into effect'
Gas prices to rise as second carbon tax comes into effect

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