Kinew: Pallister Must Back Off Plan for More Job Cuts

April 30, 2020

Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB –Wab Kinew, Leader of the Official Opposition, called on the Pallister Conservative government to reverse their plan to force thousands of layoffs and wage cuts after they revealed a plan to re-open the economy.

“On one hand Mr. Pallister is telling Manitobans it’s time to return to work, but on the other he’s saying thousands of people will have to be fired or have their wages cut in order to survive this pandemic,” said Kinew. “It doesn’t add up. The Premier owes it to Manitobans to tell the truth: how many Manitobans will see their salary cut or will lose their job?”

In the last two months alone the Pallister government has overseen more than 6,500 public sector layoffs in universities, municipalities, Crown Corporations and schools. Combined with the 23,800 private sector jobs lost last month, more than 30,000 Manitobans have been laid off since March. Local economists and business leaders have criticized the Pallister government’s approach, warning job cuts “will badly damage our economy”.

The Pallister government has indicated the Legislature will return Wednesday, May 6th. Kinew said his Official Opposition plans to make the Premier and his Cabinet answer for their job cuts and wage reductions in Question Period and during the Estimates process of Budget debate.

“Mr. Pallister doesn’t get to just fire 6,500 people without having to explain himself. It’s a leader’s job to help in a crisis—but instead of protecting jobs and supporting families, our Premier is making cuts,” Kinew said. “Manitobans deserve a leader that will fight for their job and put their family ahead of his own agenda.”