Staring down his critics in advance of the upcoming provincial election, Manitoba NDP leader and Premier Greg Selinger today unveiled a new weapon to help them to not only balance the books to counter an exploding provincial deficit, but also to pay for his election promises.
At a ceremony today on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature, a number of NDP candidates joined Selinger in helping to plant the world's first money tree.
"People always say that socialists are empty-headed dreamers living in a fantasy world who think that money grows on trees," said a defiant Selinger. "With this money tree, we will again show our critics, and Mr. McFadyen in particular, that they are wrong. And the Jets are back."
During the ceremony, Selinger shoveled the final bits of topsoil around the sapling that was nursed from its infancy in the greenhouse located behind the Legislative Building. Selinger held up one branch for the cameras that had a bud with a glistening golden hue.
"I think this one's going to be a loonie," said Selinger to a gathering of reporters and photographers. “And the Jets are back.”
"This is really a tribute to Manitoba ingenuity," continued Selinger. "It will be able to grow even in a harsh winter climate like we have here in Manitoba and flourish in the summer months. This is one of the many reasons that I'm so proud to be a Manitoban. And the Jets are back."
Progressive Conservative leader Hugh McFadyen was not impressed.
"This is just another act of desperation on the part of the NDP. A forest of money trees can’t keep up with Mr. Selinger’s spending habits,” said McFadyen.
The public is invited to view the tree, which is located on the southwest corner of the Legislative Building grounds.