Manitoba Election

Retail is the largest private sector employer in Manitoba.

Find out why #RetailMatters to Manitobans.


9.8%
of Manitoba’s workforce works in Retail. That’s 66,895 Manitobans.

4,755+
storefronts in Manitoba

64%
of retailers are small businesses

$2.4 Billion
in total annual salaries paid

$23.01/HR
Manitoba’s average hourly compensation in retail

$12.7 Billion
in Core Retail Sales

Source: Stats Canada

Why Manitoba Retail Matters

City of Winnipeg skyline at night in winter. Esplanade RIel and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in view.

When your local candidates knock on your door or you meet them at an event, take time to share your experiences and the pride you have for Manitoba’s retail industry.

Be sure to also let them know that you are part of Manitoba’s largest private employment sector and that retail also has a significant impact on the success of several other industries such as transportation, construction, property management, information technology and financial services.

Here are some ideas that you can share with your candidates while spreading the word about retail:

  • Nearly one in every ten jobs in Manitoba is in retail.
  • Retail in Manitoba pays over $2.4 billion annually in payroll.
  • For every single retail job, an additional four more jobs are created.

Every election provides Manitobans with the ability to shape their government and help to ensure that future members of the Legislative Assembly understand the role merchants play in Manitoban’s lives and our economy.

Where the Parties Stand

voting ballot box

Retail Council of Canada sent a questionnaire to all political parties addressing the key issues affecting retail in the province. Responses will be listed in order of the current number of seats held.

Question

PC

NDP

1. Is your government prepared to enhance convenience for Manitobans by expanding private sector participation?YesNo
2. Would your government be prepared to take meaningful steps to lower the impact of payroll tax rates by reducing the overall rate, raising the exemption rate, and/or indexing it to inflation?YesUnclear
3. Is your government prepared to take meaningful action to increase the Basic Personal Income Tax Exemption, while keeping personal income tax brackets indexed to Manitoba’s CPI?YesYes
4. Would your government support a comprehensive, system-wide review of the province’s tax system?Yes/
Unclear
Unclear
5. Is your government prepared to conduct a review of Manitoba’s retail operating restrictions?Yes/
Unclear
Unclear
6. Are you prepared to maintain the current CPI linked model that is a fair and balanced approach to annual minimum wage adjustments?YesNo
7. Will your party commit to a continued path of fiscal prudence, returning to a balanced budget before increasing operational spending about provincial CPI growth?YesYes
8. Will your party pledge to work with the Retail Council of Canada to develop and implement a retail sector economic strategy?YesNo response

  1. Is your government prepared to enhance convenience for Manitobans wishing to purchase beer and wine to a level enjoyed by most Canadians, and many rural Manitobans, by expanding private sector participation?The Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba recognizes the contributions made by Manitoba’s 170 privately owned liquor vendors, 8 specialty wine stores, and over 250 private hotel beer vendors in our province. In 2017-18 private operators (liquor and beer vendors, on-premises licensees, and specialty wine stores) accounted for 46 per cent of total sales in Manitoba.In April of 2019 our Progressive Conservative Government mandated the Minister of Crown Services and Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries to engage with the private sector to identify opportunities for increased participation in the liquor retail and distribution sectors. Additionally, we have further mandated exploration of ways to encourage the expansion of local brew and distillery pubs in our communities and how to strengthen Manitoba’s public-private partnership model.

 

  1. Would your government be prepared to take meaningful steps to lower the impact of payroll tax rates by reducing the overall rate, raising the exemption rate, and/or indexing it to inflation?We are committed to lowering taxes and future taxes in the form of deficits, to make Manitoba a more competitive jurisdiction with other provinces, and we are doing so with a balanced approach as we repair our services and rebuild our economy. Our commitment to tax relief is the reason our government indexed the Basic Personal Exemption and all of the personal income tax brackets to the rate of inflation in Manitoba, eliminated the profits tax on credit unions, and increased the small business income tax threshold to $500,000 to align with other provinces and provide tax relief to small business.We are committed to making life more affordable for all Manitobans, for this reason we kept our promise to reduce the PST to 7% saving Manitobans and businesses $325 million annually.We will continue to make announcements and changes to reduce the tax burden on Manitoba families and businesses during this campaign. So far, we have announced the elimination of PST on professional fees associated with will and tax return preparation, home insurance premiums, haircuts, and personal care services. We have announced the end of the death tax by eliminating probate fees. In contrast Wab Kinew wants to increase estate taxes on grieving families, he said so on the floor of the Legislature.More recently Mr. Kinew released the NDP platform, which pledges to increase income taxes and levy a $300 per tonne carbon tax on Manitoba families and businesses. The NDP’s high-tax agenda will do nothing to strengthen the economic position of Manitoba families who are subject to some of the highest taxes in the country because of 17 years of NDP waste and mismanagement that came to an end in 2016.The Health and Education Tax Levy was another tax introduced by an NDP government and we recognize it is a poorly designed tax. Once we bring our budget into balance and make further progress in repairing our services, we will be looking for other ways to reduce the tax burden on Manitoba families and businesses, and will certainly be including the NDP payroll tax in that review.

 

  1. Is your government prepared to take meaningful action to increase the Basic Personal Income Tax Exemption, while keeping personal income tax brackets indexed to Manitoba’s CPI?Our Progressive Conservative Government has indexed the Basic Personal Allowance (BPA) and tax brackets, saving Manitoba families at the median income level approximately $230 in income taxes by 2020 and removing over 7720 taxpayers from the tax rolls so far. This amount will continue to grow every year as the brackets and the BPA automatically increase at the rate of inflation. This annual increase to the BPA and the tax brackets is now law and will continue into the future.We are committed to making Manitoba the most improved province when it comes to tax relief and we will continue to review our tax system looking for ways to reduce the tax burden on Manitoba families including further increases to the BPA to reduce income taxes on Manitobans. We will do so in a balanced and responsible manner while we repair our services and reduce the NDP legacy of deficits and debt.

 

  1. Would your government support a comprehensive, system-wide review of the province’s tax system?Our PC Party Platform pledged to reduce Red Tape and provide tax relief to Manitoba families and businesses. Over the past three years, we have conducted extensive reviews and consultations on ways to reduce the burden of red tape, and were recognized as the national leader in red tape reduction by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.We are committed to lowering taxes and future taxes in the form of deficits, to make Manitoba a more competitive jurisdiction with other provinces, and we are doing so with a balanced approach as we repair our services and rebuild our economy.We have been reviewing our system of tax credits over the past three years which resulted in improvements to tax credits such as the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit, the Film and Video Production Tax Credit, the Book Publishing and Cultural Industries Printing Tax credits and the Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit.Once we bring our budget into balance and make further progress in repairing our services, we will be reviewing other ways to reduce the tax burden on Manitoba families and businesses.

 

  1. Is your government prepared to conduct a review of Manitoba’s retail operating restrictions?The Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba recognizes that Manitobans have diverse opinions about the rules for holiday openings for retails businesses. There are a number of different views on the topic and our government will continue to listen to what Manitobans have to say, including small business owners and employees. Premier Brian Pallister has commented publicly with respect to this issue saying he agrees with business owners that some shops shouldn’t be forced to close while casinos and liquor outlets are allowed stay open.

 

  1. Are you prepared to maintain the current CPI linked model that is a fair and balanced approach to annual minimum wage adjustments?The Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba recognizes that minimum wage is an important public issue and believe that changes to the minimum wage should be implemented in a predictable way from year to year.In June of 2017, our government introduced legislation to establish a method for setting the minimum wage based on the consumer price index (CPI). Minimum wage is now adjusted each year on October 1st, making change known in advance to employees and employers.A re-elected Progressive Conservative Government would maintain the current CPI linked model to approach minimum wage adjustments.

 

  1. Will your party commit to a continued path of fiscal prudence, returning to a balanced budget before increasing operational spending about provincial CPI growth?Our PC government was elected in 2016 to fix our finances, repair our services, and rebuild our economy. After 17 years of NDP government, we inherited an annual summary budget deficit that was on a path to reach $1.7B this year. We have reduced our deficit to less than a quarter of that amount while investing record amounts in health, education and social services and delivering the largest tax relief in Manitoba history.In 2016 we pledged to balance our budget within two terms of government and we remain on a path to achieve that goal.

 

  1. Will your party pledge to work with the Retail Council of Canada to develop and implement a retail sector economic strategy?The Progressive Conservative Party recognizes the value of working in partnership with all sectors that form the building blocks of our economy. That is why we are committed to ensuring any economic strategy that progresses the interests of the retail sector is included in province-wide economic development planning.A re-elected PC government would work with the Retail Council to develop and advance public policy interventions that are focused on continuing to grow Manitoba’s economy.

 

  1. Is your government prepared to enhance convenience for Manitobans wishing to purchase beer and wine to a level enjoyed by most Canadians, and many rural Manitobans, by expanding private sector participation?The Manitoba NDP is committed to strengthening our Crown Corporations and most importantly keeping them public. We believe we can enhance the services offered by Crown Corporations by keeping them public and not interfering in their operations. What’s more we support innovative offerings like craft breweries as well as rural hotel beer vendors which serve many rural communities across our province.

 

  1. Would your government be prepared to take meaningful steps to lower the impact of payroll tax rates by reducing the overall rate, raising the exemption rate, and/or indexing it to inflation?The Manitoba NDP is proud to have eliminated the small business tax rate – the first province in the country to do so. We are also committing to providing real support to small businesses by raising the exemption rate from $500,000 to $550,000 which will mean approximately 2000 more small businesses will pay no more tax.

 

  1. Is your government prepared to take meaningful action to increase the Basic Personal Income Tax Exemption, while keeping personal income tax brackets indexed to Manitoba’s CPI?We are committed to making life more affordable for families. We have committed to making life more affordable for families by keeping auto insurance and hydro rates low, making college and university tuition more affordable, and eliminating charges for health care brought in by Brian Pallister’s Conservatives. We have also committed to indexing Personal Income Tax brackets and Basic Personal Exemption to inflation.

 

  1. Would your government support a comprehensive, system-wide review of the province’s tax system?Yes – we know Brian Pallister’s Conservatives have built a tax system for those at the top. We will make sure the tax system works for all of us.

 

  1. Is your government prepared to conduct a review of Manitoba’s retail operating restrictions?We think a review of holiday operating hours is timely and appropriate in order to make sure all workplace regulations in Manitoba are inclusive and respectful for all workers and employers, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds.

 

  1. Are you prepared to maintain the current CPI linked model that is a fair and balanced approach to annual minimum wage adjustments?The Manitoba NDP believes no one who works full time should live in poverty – that’s why we support moving towards a $15 minimum wage over the course of our mandate.

 

  1. Will your party commit to a continued path of fiscal prudence, returning to a balanced budget before increasing operational spending about provincial CPI growth?The Manitoba NDP has presented a fully costed platform that details a return to balance by the end of our first term. While reducing the waste introduced by Brian Pallister’s Conservatives who have spent millions on high priced consultants and new bureaucracy in health care we are committed to balancing the budget by making smart investments in health care, infrastructure and education that will keep life affordable and create new jobs for regular families.

 

  1. Will your party pledge to work with the Retail Council of Canada to develop and implement a retail sector economic strategy?No response

 

Manitoba Key Retail Issues

Maintain predictable minimum wage

Manitoba has established a predictable model for calculating annual minimum wage adjustments based on Manitoba’s Consumer Price Index. The approach helps ensure politics are removed from the process, and that increases fairly balance the interests of employees and employers. Dramatic and rapid increases, such as in Alberta have shown to harm opportunities for those with the least experience, especially youth.

Recommendation

  • Maintain the current CPI linked approach to minimum wage adjustments that ensures a transparent, predictable formula and adequate led time to budget.
minimum wage abstract

Stabilize payroll tax rates

man in front of grocery scale

Manitoba’s “Payroll Tax” has a negative effect on those looking to grow, create jobs or pay their employees more. Manitoba, businesses must pay a tax of up to 4.3% on payroll that exceeds $1.25 million, the highest marginal rate in Canada.

Most provinces have eliminated or are actively lowering this job killing tax scheme, recognizing that this is inherently disconnected to a company’s sales, profitability and success. Further, there has been no adjustment for inflation since 2008, effectively decreasing the exception threshold and obligating more small businesses.

Recommendation

  • Raise and index the exception rate with inflation, and outline a timeline to actively lower and eliminate Manitoba’s payroll tax.

Remove retail restrictions on store hours

Manitoba has the most restrictive retail holiday and Sunday hour rules in the country, having created complex rules and exemptions that create winners and losers within competing sectors. In a consumer centric world of online convenience and evolving cultural diversity, Manitoba is a rarity in its stiff regulations that stipulate when Manitobans can shop in certain stores.

Recommendation

  • Delegate retail operating hour decisions to municipalities, as is commonplace across most of Canada.
business owner hanging open sign

Develop retail sector strategy

Retailer completing card payment

While today Manitoba’s retail sector provides a $20 billion boast to the economy, retailers are facing significant cumulative cost and competitive pressures. In the modern age of retail, there is no certainty of continued success as national, online and offshore channels threaten “brick-and-mortar” Manitoba stores.

Recommendation

  • Work with Retail Council of Canada to develop a proper sectoral policy focus commensurate with the size of the retail industry. While other industries have been the focus of sector strategies and incentives, the retail industry has long been overlooked.

Get Involved

shopkeeper holding retail matters sign

Use these tools to contact your local candidates and make your voice heard.

1. Find your candidates

Use the Manitoba Elections tool to find candidates and their contact info for your riding.

Find your candidates

2. Print your sign

Show your pride in retail by posting a photo of your retail staff holding a #RetailMatters sign or a photo of your store.

#RetailMatters sign

Print #RetailMatters Sign

3. Tell candidates #RetailMatters

Use these links to send parties your staff photos or customized tweets.


You can also send a letter to your candidate

Let your candidates know how important retail is to Manitoba by sending a letter. RCC has created a pre-written template you can use to make sure candidates and elected officials understand retail’s impact in your community and how they can support our sector.


Contributing to political parties – what you need to know

Contributing to a campaign can be an effective way to build relationships with candidates in your riding.

Make sure that you understand the rules before lending your support to a provincial political party and its campaign. Here is a quick summary of things to remember:

Who can contribute?

Only individuals normally residing in Manitoba.

Who can recieve contributions?

The following political entities

  • a candidate
  • a constituency association
  • a registered party
  • a leadership contestant during a leadership contest, or after the contest ends towards a deficit only

Tax receipts for contributions can only be issued by a registered candidate or by a registered party.

What is the contribution limit?

The maximum contribution by any individual is $5,000 total in a calendar year. This includes both monetary and non-monetary contributions to one or more provincial political entities. The only exception is that a separate contribution limit of $3,000 is allowed during a leadership contest period for one or more leadership contestants.

How can a contribution be made?

By giving it directly to a political entity or by giving it to another individual to be forwarded to a political entity. The individual collecting the contributions must be a resident of Manitoba and must keep a complete record of each contribution including the name of the recipient.

What are the restrictions?

Cash contributions are limited to $25. Individuals must use their own resources and no contribution is to be made in expectation of reimbursement or compensation. There are penalties for making prohibited contributions and for the use of force or intimidation to compel another individual to make or not make a contribution.

For more information on political donations and contributions, see the Manitoba Election page.

Contact Us

John GrahamFor questions or to find out more, contact John Graham jgraham@retailcouncil.org or 204-926-8624.

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