Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister held a Conference Call Tuesday, to talk about the speech from the throne that was made in the legislature Monday.
The speech put an emphasis on preserving front line services, and focusing on the province’s finances.
Ultimately though, the Conference Call branched out to various topics, from the New West Partnership Trade Agreement to the Federal government’s proposed carbon-tax.
On the subject of the N-W-P-T, Premier Pallister says he’s looking forward to working with the other prairie provinces, now that they’re on board.
“Being in this trade relationship is a smart thing to do; Manitobans are prepared to compete for the business, prepare to earn the trust of new clients,” Pallister said “and we’re ready to help make our economy work that much better in Canada.”
Pallister went on to say joining the trade agreement not only gives the province the opportunity to do business, but also chip away at the 846 million dollar deficit they inherited from the previous NDP government.
The partnership, consisting of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, creates a combined GDP of more than 750-billion dollars with an open, common market of more than 11-million people.
Moving on to the carbon-tax, a topic that seems to be the hot-button type in the provincial political arena these days.
It’s no secret that Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has been the most vocal opponent to the tax, and Manitoba’s leader seems to share similar concerns.
Pallister says the tax, if implemented, would do more harm to the province’s economy than good.
“I share that concern, that I think all Manitobans have, that we don’t to be paying more taxes and getting less for it” the Premier said.
He pointed to the agriculture and transportation industries as examples of sectors that would be greatly affected by carbon pricing.
“(It) affects frankly the security that we all deserve to have” Pallister stated.
Pallister went on to say the tax would make balancing the books more difficult, given that, the deficit, and the economy’s decline over the last few years.