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The rising cost of living is increasingly a concern in Manitoba, and it’s an issue I’m hearing more about these days in the Dawson Trail constituency.

Food inflation in Manitoba climbed to 3.3 per cent in March, hiking grocery prices higher here than in Saskatchewan and Ontario. While families are putting food back onto supermarket shelves because they can’t afford it, they’re looking to the premier for leadership. However, they’re not getting it.

Wab Kinew promised last year to lower food prices and crack down on grocers who continue to raise them, but Manitobans are getting only empty promises and false hope from the NDP. The premier’s words alone don’t help families cover the costs of groceries.

It’s the same lack of accountability from the NDP on their irresponsible taxation. Instead of investing properly in education with their new budget, they are pushing school divisions to raise taxes on families in order to pay for the school system. As well, the NDP have capped an education property tax rebate at 2023 levels and ended the previous Progressive Conservative government’s phase-out of education property taxes. The result is a $148-million tax increase on homeowners across the province.

The Seine River School Division has had to raise its property tax by more than five per cent for 2024-25 to begin to erase an accumulated deficit. The NDP’s fiscal recklessness and willingness to raise taxes will increase financial pressure even more on Seine River and school divisions all over Manitoba in the next few years, putting homeowners at risk of further tax hikes.

The NDP’s empty rhetoric on affordability issues also extends to the federal carbon tax. Kinew has publicly changed his mind a few times over whether he would join several other premiers in opposing the tax that increased by 23 per cent in April. The premier’s ultimate refusal to stand with Manitoba homeowners against the tax comes as more than $143 million in carbon tax revenue is owed to over 43,000 small businesses province-wide.

Residents of Dawson Trail need a lot more than the NDP’s brief gasoline tax break, which will end this fall. They need a government that takes real action to lower inflation or to help families handle it. Instead, the NDP are adding to the burden on Manitobans with a $5-billion increase to the province’s net debt by the spring of next year. This growing debt will lead to even more tax increases.

Instead of assistance and accountability, Dawson Trail residents who are struggling with the increasing cost of living are getting only higher taxes and empty promises from the NDP.

Our PC Team will continue to hold the NDP government accountable, and as your MLA, I will continue to advocate for you all and make sure that your concerns and voices are being heard.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my constituency office.

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