Province Should Step Up On Addictions, Transit

Pallister asleep at the switch, not dealing with pressing issues: Kinew

March 23, 2018

NDP Leader Wab Kinew welcomed action on public safety and transit announced by Mayor Bowman in his State of the City Address today. Missing in action were any concrete initiatives from Brian Pallister to partner with the City of Winnipeg to electrify transit or stop the meth and opioids crisis.

Over the next ten years, Manitoba will get $181.6 million in federal funding to help Manitobans struggling with mental health and addictions, but to date we’ve seen no plan on how to use those resources. Similarly, Manitoba has $66 million in federal funding as part of the Pan Canadian Framework on Climate Change, and has specifically citing transit electrification as a priority. But, Pallister refuses to make any commitments to partner with the City and make investments in transit.

“Today we saw encouraging signs from the Mayor. But Pallister is asleep at the switch,” said Kinew. “He’s not interested in partnering with the City to help build a better transit system, or deal with the meth and opioid crisis. He can’t even live up to his own agreements with the City to share the costs of ambulances or build rapid transit. Pallister is not listening to Manitobans, and he’s leaving it to the Mayor to deal with these issues alone.”

Kinew questioned whether Brian Pallister has the best interests of Manitobans at heart.

“Over the past few days we’ve seen more clearly than ever before that Brian Pallister can’t work with others. He won’t work with the Mayor of Winnipeg, he can’t work with teachers, doctors and nurses, and he can’t even work with his hand- picked board at Manitoba Hydro,” said Kinew. “So the question is what is Brian Pallister spending his time doing, and how is he serving the best interests of Manitobans?”