Pallister Government’s First 100 Days Fail Manitoba Families, Put Brakes on Job Creation and Stall the Economy

Brian Pallister promised “change for the better” in his first 100 days in office—what families got instead was a lump of coal and a cold shoulder, Opposition Leader Flor Marcelino said today.

“In opposition, Pallister made sweeping promises about making Manitoba the ‘most improved province in Canada’ but he seems determined to do the opposite now that he’s in power,” Marcelino said. “On his watch the unemployment rate has climbed, investments in infrastructure have stalled, families who need child care are being ignored, the North is being snubbed and the environment is suffering.”

Since taking power, Pallister and his government have:

  • Given the premier and cabinet ministers a big raise, while refusing to commit to raising the minimum wage;
  • Put investments into child-care spaces on hold;
  • Cut the seniors’ school tax rebate;
  • Stated that the new government “is the most diverse perhaps in the history of this country” shortly after appointing an all-white, majority male cabinet;
  • Allowed unemployment to creep up to 6.2 per cent;
  • Devastated the construction industry with an unusually slow start to the road construction season;
  • Aggressively supported the proposed Bell Canada deal to buy Manitoba Telecom Services, which experts say will reduce competition and raise phone rates;
  • Replaced two highly qualified members of the Winnipeg Police Service board, including a prominent Indigenous activist, with his own supporters;
  • Failed to re-introduce the Customary Care Bill or Amendments to the Office of the Children’s Advocate Act to significantly reduce the number of children in care;
  • Cut the only labour representatives from the premier's economic advisory council;
  • Threatened Manitoba’s stable labour-relations climate by failing to defend construction project labour agreements, which were first introduced by Duff Roblin;
  • Introduced Bill 7 (The Labour Relations Amendment Act), which would make it tougher for Manitobans to join a union;
  • Snubbed the North by failing to support the Port of Churchill after Omnitrax shut down grain shipments and laid off workers;
  • Put community benefit agreements at risk, which would hurt remote Indigenous communities;
  • Failed to act when the City of Winnipeg said it didn’t intend to meet the deadline for improvements to the North End Sewage Treatment Plant that would prevent raw sewage from flowing into the Red River and Lake Winnipeg; and
  • Failed to put any women on treasury board, which determines which programs get funding.

“Pallister went so far as to characterize one prominent critic of his actions as ‘irrational,’” Marcelino said. “He is clearly not listening to Manitobans and is ignoring the needs of our diverse population. This will hurt the economy and hurt families.”