Manitoba

Manitoba Liberals promise $15 minimum wage, poverty-fighting programs

Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont says he would increase the minimum wage and develop programs to fight poverty if his party were to win the Sept. 10 provincial election.

Liberals would also establish a guaranteed minimum income

Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont speaks about his plan to eradicate poverty at an announcement Tuesday morning at Bonnycastle Park. (Ian Froese/CBC)

Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont says he would increase the minimum wage and develop programs to fight poverty if his party were to win the Sept. 10 provincial election.

Lamont says Manitoba has some of the deepest poverty in the country with 71,000 people on welfare.

He says that within two years, he would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour from the current $11.35.

He says he would revamp the province's employment and income assistance, which hasn't increased the social housing allowance for more than 20 years.

He would also create a voluntary jobs program that would pay unemployed people to do jobs in the public interest as an alternative to taking unemployment insurance.

Lamont also says he would base minimum basic income on a "negative income tax" model to top up people's income.

"This is a province with enormous opportunities and resources and there is no need for anyone to be living in poverty when there is so much work to be done," Lamont said in a release Tuesday.

"We have an opportunity and an obligation to end poverty in Manitoba and to provide people with tools and opportunities to lift themselves up."

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