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This article was published 16/9/2015 (924 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Candidates from Winnipeg South and Winnipeg South Centre attempted to woo members of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.

Literally.

Candidates from all the parties spent their afternoon at a "speed-dating" event sponsored by the Chamber. Candidates were put in the hot seat as chamber members made the "candi-dating rounds."

Loren Remillard, executive vice-president of the Chamber, said picking an MP can be a lot like picking a date.

"First impressions matter, then you kind of decide if you want to got on a second date and if you want to make an investment in this relationship," he told Free Press Wednesday at the the Centro Caboto centre. "Sometimes missteps cost you this second date."

The Free Press picked out Chamber member Laura Mikuska, principal of the Miskuska Group Inc., a non-profit consulting group, to see which candidate would earn a second date.

The Winnipeg South resident questioned her riding's candidates about what they will do for low-income citizens.

Here’s what they had to say:

Gordon Giesbrecht, Conservative, Winnipeg South:

"The universal child care benefit is money given to everyone and that is a progressive benefit, because low-income families have a very low percentage they have pay in income tax. The Conservative government and there is no question about it, and they say it straight up, they are really focused on trying to make life better for families with children...We don’t have direct things to benefit singles that I am aware of, but a strong economy and prosperity for middle class folks whether you are single or married, you still have a significant benefit."

Matt Henderson, NDP, Winnipeg South Centre (Winnipeg South NDP candidate Brianne Goertzen was not present):

"One of the main things the NDP is going to do is to introduce universal child care, so that is not only $15 a day, but more spaces. If you want to talk about seniors, (Canada) Pension Plan, old age security. Guaranteed income supplement have been obliterated, Veterans Affairs also. So I think we need to invest in things like making sure the GIS is restored, CPP is restored, and OAS is brought from 67 to 65."

Terry Duguid, Liberal, Winnipeg South:

"We have our child benefit, which particularly benefits low income families. We have the universal child care benefit...some of them were mailed out to millionaires (in July). We know they don’t need that kind of support. We believe it should be income tested and it should be directed at the families that need them. Also we have the new infrastructure program, which will give a good jolt to the economy and create jobs and improve income coming to families, which will also lift people out of poverty."

Adam Smith, Green, Winnipeg South:

"We are proposing the guaranteed liveable income...which is the most effective way to get rid of our confusing tax system and turn it into one simple formula where if you fall below a certain income, they receive money, instead of paying income. So there is a guaranteed minimum level that you cannot fall below while living in Canada."

Here’s what Mikuska said in response:

Since I am asking about low-income Canadians, I’d vote for the Green Party. Their guaranteed liveable income pledge, and child care spaces, the pharmacare programs, all speak very strongly to me. Unfortunately, they probably won’t form the government. I do have a lot of respect for Elizabeth May, my second choice would be the Liberals. I don’t think he (Giesbrecht) had a very good grasp on the issues that are of interest to single low-income Canadians. (The NDP) didn’t really have a good grip on the seniors portfolio, and the CPP, GIS still exists and he kept saying they were obliterated, that’s not right. So he has some homework to do.

Comments edited for length and clarity.

kristin.annable@freepress.mb.ca

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/special/federal-election/wpgcentre/Candi-dating-with-the-Winnipeg-Chamber-of-Commerce-327957131.html