Official Opposition NDP Stand Up for Health, Education as Session Resumes

October 3, 2018

NDP Leader Wab Kinew will hold the Pallister government to account on two key issues as the 3rd Session of the 41st Legislature resumes today.

Kinew vowed to stand up for one of the most important issues for Manitoba families—health care. He noted that after a year of vehemently denying cuts to healthcare the Pallister government recently released hard data that proves they made absolute funding cuts to emergency rooms, hospitals, clinics and personal care homes. What’s more, these cuts have created longer wait times, fewer services and poorer quality health care for Manitoba families.

“Two years into Pallister’s mandate, the consequences of his ‘cut first, ask questions later’ approach is hitting families hard,” said Kinew. “Emergency room wait times have increased by nearly 13% since last year, there are fewer hospital beds for patients, fewer spots for seniors at personal care homes, less surgeries being performed and less diagnostic imaging.”

Under Kinew’s leadership, the NDP will renew focus on K-12 education this session. The Pallister government has already reduced funding for school divisions to below the rate of inflation and cancelled a small class size initiative. Pallister and his new Education Minister (who laid out millions in health care cuts as the former Minister of Health) have indicated that more cuts are coming as they undertake a review of the K-12 education system.

“We understand that K-12 education is the next frontier in the battle against Pallister’s cuts,” said Kinew. “Every child deserves the opportunity to be successful in school. That means they need individual attention from their teacher, plenty of resources in the classroom and affordable tuition as they transition to university and college.”

The NDP will resume debate on the five government bills that were held over in the winter. Among them are a bill to implement Pallister’s carbon tax, which lets the largest polluters off the hook while charging regular families more in gas and heating.

“Our Official Opposition was proud to delay the carbon tax and save Manitoba families $60 million. His tax will do nothing to help regular families make green choices and reduce their carbon footprint,” said Kinew.

Other bills include legislation to prevent the social services appeal board from hearing charter challenges, a bill to end the requirement that key government notification appear in newspapers and a bill to prohibit complaints against landlords who charge in-guideline rent increases. The NDP also delayed a bill that gives Pallister and his cabinet minister a 20% pay increase for the second year in a row.