TREATY 1 TERRITORY, WINNIPEG, MB - The PCs Throne Speech pays lip service to the health and economic crisis caused by the Pandemic while reintroducing the same tired ideas.
Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface, said Pallister has been boasting about how little he has spent-essentially admitting the PCs have done the bare minimum during this pandemic. The PCs response has been slow, reactive, and the result has been a serious second wave where back-to-school, personal care homes, and many businesses are all facing huge challenges.
"This is a government that invokes the Depression while referring to the pandemic, but is still following the same mindless right-wing social engineering we saw before the pandemic," said Lamont. "The PCs entire plan is to dismantle and defund the very institutions that were created to get us out of the Depression. This is not vision. It is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."
The Speech had a number of "whoppers" and false claims about the government's record -especially on health care, vulnerable people, and First Nations.
The Province's own books show that actual spending on health care was virtually frozen from 2016-2019, even as federal transfer payments and health transfers grew and costs rose.
Throne Speech Lowlights:
The PCs are claiming to defend vulnerable people, even as they are facing a Human Rights complaint for denying access to students with disabilities in public schools
The Pallister PCs claims that federal health care transfers are "lower than ever" is false
The PCs claim that they have invested $2.3-billion in pandemic assistance is false. Instead of going by the province's own books, the PCs are relying on an estimate by the federal Parliamentary Budget Office. Manitoba's pandemic assistance is 8th.
In the middle of a pandemic and high unemployment, the PCs are still bent on gutting post-secondary institutions when no one knows what the labour market will look like
The PCs plans to reduce property tax cuts while running a deficit, which means Pallister will be adding to the debt for everyone else while borrowing to finance tax reductions for the richest Manitobans.
"Pallister has added hundreds of millions of dollars to Manitoba's debt to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest Manitobans, including himself. If you ran a business, would you take on debt to lower prices for your wealthiest customers? That's what the PCs are doing, and it means the rest of us will all end up paying more," said Lamont.
The throne speech actually includes a promise of political interference in the operations of Crown Corporations, while stripping away oversight and democratic accountability from planning for municipalities and the City of Winnipeg.
It also includes policies that Lamont said were clear racist dog-whistles designed to blame First Nations and Indigenous hunters for night hunting, as well as introducing new legislation that targets protests around rail blockades.
"When I heard that there have been issues with protests in the last months, I thought the government might be referring to Proud Boys, but it was a reference to Indigenous protests around railways," said Lamont. "This is a racist dog-whistle crafted to pit Indigenous Manitobans against non-Indigenous Manitobans. We can all be better than this."