March 18, 2020
Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB — Today Wab Kinew and the NDP Official Opposition ensured over 20 bills of the Pallister Conservative’s agenda would not be guaranteed passage this year.
“As Official Opposition, our job is to stand up for regular families – and the actions we have taken ensure Manitobans can now have their voice heard”, said Kinew. “The actions we took mean students, teachers, educators and Manitobans from every walk of life will have time to properly speak out on the agenda Pallister is trying to force through the Legislature. By blocking the introduction of these 20 bills we are ensuring Manitobans have their say, and we’re preventing the government from hiding their agenda during a health care pandemic.”
The Pallister Conservatives have acknowledged it was their intent to introduce these bills on the same day as the presentation of the budget. Pallister was attempting to ensure these 20 bills would be pushed through in 10 weeks – frustrating the ability of Manitobans to real debate or discuss important pieces of legislation. The Official Opposition used procedural tactics to successfully block their introduction and ensure their passage is no longer guaranteed. Those bills include:
• Amendments to the Public Schools Act and the Public Schools Governance and Financing Act ahead of Pallister’s review of public education;
• Changes to the civil service pension plan;
• Changes to the Public Utilities Board’s oversight on Crown Corporations and its ability to keep Hydro rates low;
• New legislation that follows mandate letters outlining arbitrary targets for universities; and
• Changes to legislation that may further undermine the right to collective bargaining.
The NDP offered to allow the government to introduce their provincial budget multiple times throughout the filibuster, but the Pallister Conservatives repeatedly refused. The NDP supported authorizing over $35 million dollars to fund health care supplies in preparation for COVID-19 as well as other measures meant to ensure the continued functioning of the House