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2004 News Releases

Winnipeggers get the message – need for a New Deal

WINNIPEG - JANUARY 30, 2004 - Winnipeggers may not like all of what they heard, but most continue to support key parts of a proposed New Deal, a Prairie Research Associates survey indicates.

A majority of those surveyed (75 per cent) stated they’d heard, seen or read something about a New Deal, while an equally strong percentage (77 per cent) agreed Winnipeg needs to make some radical changes if it’s going to attract and retain people.

The random telephone survey, done in December for the City of Winnipeg, tested citizen opinion following nearly two months of public consultations on some “early ideas” for a New Deal. About 600 individuals were interviewed, providing a margin of error of +/-4.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

“It’s rare that you have that many people (75 per cent) aware of an issue. The New Deal has caught the interest of the Winnipeg public,” Prairie Research partner Kerry Dangerfield said.

A report on the public consultations, which went to City council today, indicates 2,800 Winnipeggers came out to the seven Town Hall meetings. An additional 2,800 people took part in some 68 community workshops. A total of 21 position papers were submitted to a New Deal wrap-up session in early December.

According to the Prairie Research survey, respondents showed the greatest support for a portion of the current federal sales tax (85 per cent) and a portion of the current provincial sales tax (84 per cent) being used to support city services.

There was also strong support (83 per cent) for a portion of the current gasoline tax being used to maintain and repair roads.

Of proposed news taxes, Winnipeggers were solidly behind a liquor tax (76 per cent) to help fund police services. A majority were also in favour of an increase in the gasoline tax of three cents a litre (63 per cent) and an increase in the sales tax of half a percent (60 per cent).

However, support fell for many specific tax proposals included in a similar poll conducted last September, prior to the early ideas on a New Deal being made public.

“It’s easy to get people to agree in principle, but it’s harder to get the OK to pay for those principles,” Mayor Glen Murray said.

General support remains high for such taxation principles as:
· Giving citizens more control over the taxes they pay (85 per cent)
· Making people who live outside the city help pay (83 per cent)
· Allowing people who are more environmentally friendly to pay less (80 per cent)
· Making those who benefit from a service pay for it (76 per cent)
· Being equitable – based on ability to pay (83 per cent)

“Despite some specific concerns, Winnipeggers continue to buy-in to the overall objective,” Murray said.

In total, 59 per cent of respondents support reducing property taxes and shifting to other forms of taxation and fees.

“We heard you, and this poll confirms what we heard you say at our Town Hall meetings and in community workshops. Now, we are taking those ideas, building a Newer Deal and about to start serious negotiations with our provincial and federal counterparts,” the Mayor said.


Last update: 30.01.2004

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