Hugh McFadyen says the Manitoba NDP, if re-elected, will have to raise taxes to balance the provincial books.

The Progressive Conservative leader spoke to about 100 small business people at the Marlborough Hotel in downtown Winnipeg during a breakfast hosted by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce on Tuesday. 

He said NDP leader Greg Selinger is writing cheques and making so many promises that there's no way he can wipe out the provincial deficit by 2014.

The PCs have promised to get to a balanced budget by 2018.

McFadyen said he is optimistic about the province's economy but is realistic and putting acheivable goals to bring Manitoba into a fiscally sound position in the next few years.

He also used the event to pound away on some of the familiar themes in his campaign so far:  offering tax relief, tax credits for families, warning that the NDP government's plan to put the Bipole III transmission line down the west side of Lake Winnipeg is a wrong decision.

Chamber president Graham Starmer said political leaders are starting to show their vision for the future of Manitoba but he wants to hear more.

"We have to have politicians that are not scared to make bold comments and we haven't seen that yet," he said.

In particular, Starmer said the Chamber wants to hear a clear vision for the future of Manitoba Hydro and that has not been stated by any party so far.