William Neville has been named the province's first independent allowance commissioner.
He is tasked with finding a replacement for a subsidy set up in 2007 that was dubbed the "vote tax" by critics.
Under the system, political parties were eligible for $1.25 annually for every vote they received in the most recent election.
But the move proved to be controversial, and the Progressive Conservatives and NDP refused to accept the money.
Neville served on Winnipeg city council for 10 years and is a senior scholar in political studies at the University of Manitoba.
NDP house leader Jennifer Howard says Neville will develop a fair and transparent method for helping political parties cover their operating costs.