Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle continued the back and forth between the Province and the City of Thompson about the Mining Community Reserve Fund, this time on Facebook.
The PC MLA took time to comment using his own personal account, saying that the City’s request for economic development money was quote vague, and that someone has to protect the taxpayer.
Mayor Dennis Fenske spoke to Arctic Radio News, and said that the Mining Community Reserve Fund doesn’t impact the taxpayer at all, as it is entirely funded by the mining companies operating in Manitoba.
Fenske added that he takes offense to Bindle’s comment that “the City has not presented a plan to come to balance without bailouts over the long term”. Mayor Fenske said that the requested funds ($1M per year for 2019, 2020, 2021) will go directly to offset revenue lost from the Grant in Lieu.
He added that if Thompson can’t make up the money lost in the new GIL, there could be upwards of a 10% tax increase.
Bindle, who serves as the Legislative Assistant to the Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade, said that there are other ways the Province is going to help the City, but they cannot be announced due to the by-election media blackout. He added that the St Boniface by-election was caused when “another NDP MLA quit.”
In his most recent “MLA Report” for The Thompson Citizen, Bindle said that “It’s important to note the depletion of the reserve fund is due to the fact that the NDP did absolutely nothing when it was in government to prepare for the impacts on the mining industry that Northern Manitoba is currently experiencing.”