NDP leadership hopefuls debate poverty
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 | 11:01 AM CT
The two Manitoba NDP leadership candidates squared off over the topic of poverty during a public forum Monday night.
Thompson MLA Steve Ashton told a package house at the University of Winnipeg that if he becomes the party's leader, and by default the new premier, he would introduce legislation to bring in poverty reduction targets that government must meet.
"I'm not talking about doing a top-down approach; I'm talking about engaging the community. In fact, I've already committed to a summit on housing and a summit on poverty within the first three months of being premier," he said.
The other candidate in the leadership race, St. Boniface MLA Greg Selinger, said talking is one thing, but it has to be backed up in the budget.
"I'm completely fine with having a separate piece of legislation for poverty reduction, but I really think the bottom line of what a government stands for is what they put on the bottom line in the budget," he said.
Both Selinger and Ashton resigned from cabinet positions to seek the leadership when outgoing Premier Gary Doer announced in August that he would be stepping down. He has since been named Canada's next ambassador to the U.S.
NDP delegates will choose their new leader at a convention Oct. 16 and 17.
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