Pallister's Conservatives' first session was a disappointment for families and an indication that this government is not only out of touch with the needs of Manitobans, but willing to mislead and exclude them, said Interim Opposition Leader Flor Marcelino.
“Our NDP caucus worked hard to hold this government to account, and together we exposed the fine print of Mr. Pallister’s commitments that he tried to hide from Manitobans,” said Marcelino. “This session demonstrated his willingness to mislead Manitobans if it benefits those at the top. They repeatedly dismissed calls to be more inclusive, diverse and tolerant. This is an exclusionary government.”
Pallister’s greatest hits from his disappointing first session include:
- li>Failing to account for $122 million in so-called savings, refusing to table details after promising to do so, and much later producing a questionable list only adding up to $108 million;
- Cutting investments that build our schools, our hospitals, and train our future leaders in order to justify their false claims of savings;
- Refusing to raise the minimum wage for the first time in almost two decades, while giving themselves a big raise;
- Halting infrastructure projects, cutting jobs, reversing Manitoba’s economic strength, and baffling the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association;
- Failing midwifery students and jeopardizing midwifery care by pulling funding for the UCN/University of Manitoba Midwife Program and blaming it on the universities and College of Midwives.
- Muzzling midwifery students from speaking to media and trying to silence these students when they fought for their future;
- Embarrassing Manitoba on the national stage by turning their backs on a national CPP plan;
- Shamelessly promoting the sale of MTS to Bell, even though Manitobans overwhelmingly know it would result in higher fees with little chance of improved service;
- Clawing back the Seniors’ School Tax Rebate from Manitoba seniors after promising not to;
- Failing to uphold Manitoba’s proud history of leadership in the fight against the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls;
- Abolishing the department of Labour and making it harder for workplaces to unionize;
- Leaving out Northern Manitobans, Indigenous Manitobans, newcomers, women, seniors, and many others from their Throne Speech and Budget;
- Failing to present a strategy to invest in the child care spaces Manitoba families need, and blatantly dismissing the recommendations of the independent Child Care Commission;
- Claiming to be the most diverse and inclusive caucus while failing to appoint a diverse cabinet, failing to put any women on Treasury Board and failing to meaningfully support the LGBTTQ* community across the province.
“This premier has shown that his real agenda—his hidden agenda—is based on cutting strategic investments, misleading Manitobans and taking care of the people at the top,” said Marcelino. “This Premier has already turned his back on Manitoba families. Those families are realizing this is not the kind of change they wanted. We will continue to work every day to hold his government to account and help protect the services Manitobans depend on.”