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Pallister stepping down as Premier

This Wednesday, Manitobans can expect a change in leadership after Premier Brian Pallister announced he would be leaving office “effective 8 a.m., Wednesday, September 1, 2021,” as written in a statement put out by his office.

The news comes as no surprise after the Premier made his intentions clear in a public statement on August 10th. He expressed his desire to not seek reelection in 2023, thus resulting in the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba leadership race set to end on October 30th with the election of the next party leader.

The reasoning behind Pallister’s early departure from office is, as he explained, “to ensure the election of my successor can continue to take place free of any perception of any influence from the Office of the Premier.”

As of August 30th, three candidates have put forth their candidacy for the premiership, Hon. Heather Stefanson, MLA for Tuxedo and Minister of Health and Seniors Care. Hon. Shelly Glover, former Conservative Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface (now Saint Boniface-Saint Vital), and Shannon Martin, MLA for McPhillips.

Throughout his time as Premier, Pallister’s government faced successes and challenges. The government kept its promise of cutting the PST by one percent, making it seven percent. This move had a positive effect on the communities of Manitoba, keeping more money in the pockets of Manitobans. There was also an increase in investment by two million dollars made for communities outside of Winnipeg for water and sewer demands and a reserving of $20 million to invest into addictions and mental health.

In 2017, there were daily border crossings from the United States into Manitoba made by refugees seeking Canada’s safety, the provincial and federal government coordinated a solution to relieve the pressure on immigration agencies and on solving the immediate needs of the people crossing the border. Support was also given in the form of funding to the refugee communities.

The same year, the CBC reported that Pallister asked for an increase in funding from the federal government to deal with health care inequity that affects indigenous communities. $19 million were invested into helping Indigenous people with diabetes. Some of the money was also spent on improving health care and training more personnel in the communities that need it.

Kelvin Goertzen replaces Pallister as interim leader until the party picks its next leader.

Michael Spivak, U Multicultural

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