New NDP Caucus Stand against Cuts to Health and Education
Winnipeg, MB—Wab Kinew and the NDP Caucus stood against the Pallister government’s austerity agenda while offering positive alternatives to cuts to health care, education, regressive changes to Crown Land leases and unconstitutional wage freezes for Manitobans as the first session of the 42nd Legislature closed.
“We know Manitobans want more investments in health and education – that means more nurses by the bedside and more teachers in the classroom”, said Wab Kinew, leader of the Official Opposition. “We learned in this session why Pallister refused to reveal his budget to Manitobans until after the election: he underspent health care by over $200 million dollars and we know education is next on the chopping block”.
The Auditor General noted that Manitoba is currently in a surplus position which underlined the fact there is no fiscal crisis in Manitoba that would require wage freezes or cuts to health care and education.
“The Pallister Government has no new plans except for more cuts,” said Tom Lindsey, Labour critic. “The only new legislation they introduced – Bill 2, the Public Services Sustainability Amendment Act - was an attempt to distract Manitobans from their unconstitutional law the Public Services Sustainability Act passed in June 2017. The NDP team is committed to blocking this new legislation and will ensure there is no quick passage for this legislation that is clearly just as unconstitutional as the Public Services Sustainability Act”, said Lindsey.
“It’s time for all Manitobans to get a raise,” said Kinew. The NDP team advocated strongly on this front by calling for a $15 minimum wage, pushing the Pallister Government to take action on stagnating private sector wages and committing today to delay the Public Services Sustainability Amendment Act until at least the fall of 2020 should the Government reintroduce it. “We hope this moves the Government to abandon its unconstitutional wage freeze laws and bargain with workers in good faith,” added Lindsey.
The NDP also successfully forced the Government to back off its ill-conceived plans for Crown Land leases that would have hurt younger producers and family farms.