Cabinet Shuffle Signals More Cuts for Manitoba Families

Swan: Brandon, Parklands and the North Shut Out of the Premier’s Cabinet

August 1, 2018

Andrew Swan warned Manitoba families further cuts to health care, education and front line services are on the horizon after the Premier announced major cabinet changes today.

“Manitoba has been suffering from some of the biggest health care cuts in a generation, and sadly Minister Friesen’s appointment as Health Minister signals there are more to come,” said Swan. “Rural health care is expected to receive several more blows, with the closure of Emergency Rooms across the province, the announcement of plans to close dozens of ambulance stations and the move towards Lifeflight privatization.”

The attack on health care was spearheaded by Kelvin Goertzen—who will now move to the department of Education and Training. Swan noted that department is about to initiate a major funding review of school divisions, property taxes and teacher supports.

“We know that Mr. Goertzen was tasked with delivering the Premier’s cuts to front line health care services, so it’s clear what the Premier’s long term vision for education is,” said Swan. “Our NDP Opposition is concerned about what further cuts will do for a system that is already overcrowded, underfunded and undervalued.”

Swan was particularly disappointed in the lack of representation from Brandon, the Parklands or the North in the Premier’s new cabinet.

“These communities make important economic contributions to our province. For the third time, the Premier decided that the people of Brandon East, Brandon West, Dauphin, Swan River, Riding Mountain and Thompson don’t deserve a voice at the Cabinet table. Clearly he doesn’t value those communities and will not prioritize investing in the services those families need.”

This is the third shuffle under the Pallister government, marking the midway point in their term and after key failures in all of the affected departments. Swan noted that a shuffle of this size hints that the Premier is not feeling confident in his team.

“I wish the Ministers luck in their new portfolios, but they have been dealt a difficult hand by a Premier obsessed by cuts,” said Swan. “Unfortunately, it seems the Pallister government’s attack on the services families depend on is just getting started.”