NDP Pushes Back Against Harmful, Self-Serving Government Bills

Kinew: Bills would move Manitoba in the wrong direction

April 20, 2018

NDP Leader Wab Kinew was joined by caucus critics and community members to oppose government bills that would move Manitoba in the wrong direction, and delay them until the fall sitting of the Manitoba Legislature in a move announced Thursday.

After hearing extensive opposition from communities across Manitoba and organizations like the Manitoba Community Newspapers Association, the NDP delayed Bill 8, which would strip Manitobans of the opportunity to get essential provincial and local government news from their community newspaper. After Brian Pallister’s decision to threaten a news outlet for their reporting on his tax situation in Costa Rica, Bill 8 represents yet another attack on the media in Manitoba.

“We need open, transparent government, and this would take us in the wrong direction. We’re going to push back against any attempts by this government to attack the freedom of the press and the public’s right to know about what their government is doing,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew.

Also delayed yesterday was Bill 27, which would let cabinet ministers get lump-sum paybacks of salary that was deducted because of deficits in their department if the government is able to balance the budget by 2024-25. The payback would take place even if the current government falls, or if a current minister is shuffled or leaves office.

“It’s bizarre,” said Kinew. “It should be simple: you run a deficit, you take a pay cut. This is the third attempt by this government to change the balanced budget law to make it easier for themselves to take home bigger paycheques. Every time we debate the Premier’s salary means less time for us to talk about the real issues affecting Manitobans: health care, hydro rates and jobs. ”

Bill 24 was the third bill delayed Thursday. It would make changes to Manitoba’s social benefits tribunal, the Social Services Appeal Board, to prevent hundreds of Manitobans who appear before the board each year to seek a review of decisions made about their EIA, rent assist, disability payments or other matters based on violations of their Charter rights.

“This government is trying to take away the constitutional rights of vulnerable Manitobans,” said Kinew. “We’re going to give Manitobans a chance to weigh in and send a message to this government: we will not stand by while you take our province in the wrong direction.”

Kinew has previously announced that Bill 16, which would put a carbon tax on Manitoba families without any plan to help them transition to greener lifestyles, and Bill 12, which would take away the right of renters to object to unjustified rent increases, would be delayed until the fall sitting of the Manitoba Legislature.

For more information on Bills 8, 24 and 27 visit http://web2.gov.mb.ca/bills/41-3/index.php