Party leaders throw jabs, land none

By Scott Billeck

There were a lot of words but hardly any with substance in Monday morning’s leaders’ debate hosted by 680 CJOB/Global News.

Premier Greg Selinger, Progressive Conservative leader Brian Pallister and Liberal leader Rana Bokhari traded barbs with each other during the 90-minute long debate.

Some of the main points of contention were tax hikes, including the controversial PST hike by the NDP. Other topics included balancing the budget and the role of Manitoba Hydro in the province.

Many of the questions devolved into attacks on Selinger and the past 16 years of NDP rule in the province.

“I’d say no to tax hikes, and I think a fair question for Mr. Selinger would be would he?” Pallister quipped. “I haven’t heard any commitment by him, well, I’ve heard hundreds of promises in areas that would costs hundreds of millions from him in the last few weeks, not followed by a budget by the way, so it’s hard to believe he takes these promises seriously like most Manitobans do. These tax hikes have hurt.”

Bokhari choose to try to appeal to younger voters, attacking Pallister at one point for choosing one social media platform over another.

“Brian, I appreciate you talking about Skype, but in the 21st Century, it’s Snapchat,” she said.

She also attacked Selinger for his backing of Fort Rouge NDP candidate Wab Kinew, who has been under fire over the past week for homophobic and misogynist tweets he sent out in the past. Kinew has repeatedly apologized for his wrongdoings.

Manitoba’s election is slated for April 19.

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