June 1, 2022
Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB – While Premier Stefanson used the spring sitting to recycle Brian Pallister’s bad legislation, the NDP fought back against health care cuts, stood in solidarity with flood-affected Manitobans and demanded the government make life more affordable for families.
“Manitobans were clear – they were done with Brian Pallister’s agenda, an agenda that helped the wealthy get ahead and left everyone else behind,” said NDP House Leader Nahanni Fontaine. “But eight months into Premier Stefanson’s term, it’s clear she doesn't have her own vision for Manitoba. Her government is bringing back Pallister’s plan to raise hydro rates, privatize liquor sales and give tax breaks to wealthy out-of-province corporations while cutting funding to health care and education. While they repeat Pallister’s mistakes, we have a plan for a brighter, healthier and more affordable future for our province.”
This spring session the NDP used their powers as Official Opposition to block the passage of a recycled PC bill to weaken public oversight of Manitoba Hydro and raise rates by as much as 5%. They delayed a PC bill which would make it easier to spray harmful pesticides in areas where children and communities gather. The NDP also introduced a resolution to update policies that protect kids in sports from abuse, but Fort Whyte MLA Obby Khan and the PCs refused to let it pass.
Understaffed and underfunded Manitoba hospitals, some unable to even access hot water, struggled to provide care for patients and watched emergency room wait times increase. Yet despite the need for investments, the PCs continued Pallister’s legacy of handing out tax breaks to wealthy corporations. They introduced legislation to privatize liquor sales, a move that would see millions in public funding for health care lost. The Premier also admitted she was fine with Manitoba having the lowest minimum wage in the country, and refused to immediately increase it despite the NDP helping to procedurally fast track legislation.
The NDP passed three bills in the spring session: Bill 234 to honour caregivers who are grieving the loss of a loved one from an overdose, Bill 228 making Feb 1 – 7 of each year Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and Bill 227 making April 13 Turban Day.
“Manitobans are looking for hope. They believe a brighter future is possible, one where they get the opportunities they deserve, the health care they need and a life they can afford,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “The PCs are stuck in the past—more willing to make cuts and repeat Pallister’s mistakes than help families. The NDP is looking forward and is ready with the solutions families need.”