Coronavirus: Manitoba asks for emergency federal credit fund; says PST won’t be reduced

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Premier Brian Pallister says the province has little choice but to use up the rainy day fund during the novel coronavirus pandemic, and is asking the federal government help the province borrow money.

“Let’s talk about some things that need to be talked about,” he said, adding he wasn’t going to mince words.

“Our revenue is down. Not a little, a lot. Way down.”

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The rainy day fund will likely be depleted within three months, he said.

Pallister said he is calling on the federal government to establish an emergency credit fund in order for provinces to borrow money at a lower interest rate.

The federal government’s credit rating means they can borrow at a much lower rate than the provinces. This would save Canadians billions of dollars annually that could be better spent supporting health-care and the most vulnerable Canadians, said Pallister.

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He’s now calling on the feds to establish a pandemic emergency credit agency

— Brittany Greenslade (@BrittAtGlobal) March 26, 2020

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“The issue isn’t asking the federal government to give us money,” said Pallister. “It’s asking them to let us borrow at their interest rate,” to fund health care.

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“This is about smarter borrowing.”

The premier says borrowing smarter could save billions of dollars.

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