April 16, 2020
Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB—The Manitoba NDP worked collaboratively with the provincial government yesterday during an emergency sitting of the House to improve proposed legislation with amendments. The Official Opposition also forced the government to back down from its plan to force through partisan legislation unrelated to the pandemic.
“NDP MLAs returned to the House focused on helping families. Manitoba is the only province that has not provided emergency financial aid to workers, families or small business owners - our number one priority is calling on the Government to provide financial aid rather than try and push through legislation unrelated to the pandemic” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “We refused to let that happen. Not only did we hold back their harmful bills, but we worked with government to make legislation fairer and more reasonable.”
NDP MLAs stopped the Pallister government’s attempt to force through legislation unrelated to the pandemic. Examples of those bills include:
Bill 44 – The Public Utilities Ratepayer Protection and Regulatory Reform Act, which allows the government to increase Hydro and MPI rates without independent oversight;
Bill 8 – The Pension Benefits Amendment Act, which weakens pensions during these difficult financial times.
NDP House Leader Nahanni Fontaine worked with the Government House Leader to approve and pass key amendments to Bill 54—The Emergency Measures Amendment Act:
Limit the length of time orders under the Act can last without renewal from a year and a half to six months, and require any renewal of those powers be approved by the Legislative Assembly;
Reduced the maximum fines for individuals to the original amount specified in the Act and provide protections for Manitoba’s most vulnerable communities;
Kept government accountable by ensuring the province cannot delay deadlines for FIPPA requests.
The NDP Official Opposition remains committed to supporting the efforts of Government to fight COVID-19.