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What do the Major Parties have to Offer Manitobans?

With a looming provincial election, it is time to hear what each of the major parties in Manitoba offer. The Manitoba general election will take place Wednesday, October 3rd, 2023, leaving each party member and leader ample time to share what they will do to ensure Manitoba is an affordable, prosperous place for everyone. 

The Progressive Conservatives 

MLA for Tuxedo, Premier Heather Stefanson, has been the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba since November 2021, following the resignation of former premier and PC Party leader Brian Pallister. 

Stefanson, a former investment advisor, has experience working at the provincial and federal levels, having been an advisor in the Prime Minister’s office. Before becoming Premier, Stefanson was Minister of Health and Seniors Care, a position she was appointed to in January 2021. 

The Stefanson government has made many promises and commitments to various projects in recent weeks and months. Among those is a $1.5 billion rebuild of the Health Sciences Centre, which includes building improvements of the Bannatyne campus.  

“When you improve HSC Winnipeg,” said PC Health Minister Audrey Gordon, “you are improving a foundational piece of our health care system.”

What many have noted about the PC Party of Manitoba since Heather Stefanson became its leader is a willingness to invest in the province. The most memorable part of the Pallister years was the substantial cuts to health care, which left Manitobans waiting longer than ever in ERs and caused nurses to work unthinkably long hours, daily problems in the health care system. Under Stefanson, the PC government has been more willing to support the health care system than the Pallister approach, which entailed stripping the system to cut costs by any means necessary. Just this year, the Progressive Conservatives have directed $8 billion to health care, including over $800 million in tangible upgrades. 

A complete list of the Conservative candidates in the upcoming election, per riding, can be found here

The Manitoba New Democrats 

Leader of the Manitoba NDP and MLA for Fort Rouge, Wab Kinew, was elected leader of the NDP in 2017. Kinew is a best-selling author of four books, including The Reason You Walk, which made the Nonfiction Bestsellers list in the Toronto Star and topped the list of the Globe and Mail nonfiction bestsellers. Kinew is a former journalist who was an administrator at the University of Winnipeg. 

According to the Manitoba NDP website, Kinew is a strong proponent of supporting children’s welfare, specifically mentioning that students should be ensured enough one-on-one time with their teachers, “no matter their postal code.” 

While all parties have high hopes for major investments in the Manitoba health care system, Wab Kinew has promised to invest in the University of Manitoba’s Bannatyne Campus with a $150 million expansion to the medical school. This would allow for more square footage for trains. 

“We’re going to train the next generation, and we’re going to dramatically expand both the capacity and the ability to train those future health care workers,” Kinew told the press the day of the announcement. 

Kinew has also promised to build three new emergency rooms in Winnipeg and one in Eriksdale, reversing the “biggest mistake Heather Stefanson made in health care.” This is in addition to a promise made to invest $500 million in the recruitment and retention of health care professionals. 

A specific number mentioned by Kinew was to create 300 nursing jobs in the province, approximately the same amount of nursing jobs lost in Winnipeg between 2016 and 2022 under the Progressive Conservatives. 

The NDP has also made strong points on issues such as the cost of living increase, to which the NDP has promised a $700 tax credit for those renting in Manitoba.  

In October of 2022, Kinew made a promise to end “chronic homelessness” within two terms by abiding by a system of housing homeless individuals utilized in Houston, Texas. The system used in Houston has reduced homelessness by 63 per cent, housing over 25,000 people. 

A full list of NDP candidates running in the upcoming provincial election can be found here

Manitoba Liberal Party 

The Manitoba Liberal Party is led by Dougald Lamont, MLA for Saint-Boniface, elected in July 2018. Raised bilingual, Lamont taught Canadian Literature at the University of Manitoba and has worked as a lecturer in government-business relations at the University of Winnipeg. Lamont has experience as a writer and editor, as a journalist and in advertising. Lamont also has experience working on funding initiatives for start-ups, non-profit organizations and charities. Lamont has experience advising elected officials and public servants. 

In recent days, the Manitoba Liberals have promised daycare at a cost of $10 per day for all school-age children. Dougald Lamont has attributed the high costs of daycare to a shortage of early childhood education workers. The Liberals have promised to invest in increasing wages and support for training, including expanding training programs offered at the Université de Saint-Boniface to allow for more French-English daycare workers.  

Other promises made by the Manitoba Liberals include reducing record-high wait times in Manitoba emergency rooms and increasing funding for health care in general. Top of the list is pay raises for eligible healthcare workers, especially those working in rural areas. The wage increase is expected to cost between $125 million and $175 million annually. A full cost analysis of Liberal Party promises is expected any day. 

Another promise made by the Manitoba Liberals is to create “same-day housing.” Lamont has said with the help of the federal government, landlords and select non-profits, homelessness in Manitoba can be ended by 2025 with the creation of over 10,000 housing units. Lamont has also spoken out against hefty rent hikes in the province. 

Liberal candidates for the provincial election in each riding can be found here.

The Data

According to a Mainstreet Research poll conducted between July 26th and July 28th, 36 per cent of voters in Manitoba said they would vote for Heather Stefanson’s PC Party if the election were held the day they were polled. Thirty-two per cent of voters said they would vote for Wab Kinew and the NDP, while 9 per cent said they would vote for Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberals. Eighteen per cent of those polled were undecided, while 2 per cent said they would vote for the Green Party or for an unlisted party. 

Five hundred ninety-seven individuals were polled in the survey with a margin of error of +/- 4 per cent.  

Of those polled, 37 per cent stated they were somewhat or strongly in favour of Premier Heather Stefanson. Forty-eight per cent said they held a somewhat or strongly unfavourable opinion of the premier, while 16 per cent reported they don’t know how they feel about Stefanson. Compared to the Official Opposition leader, Wab Kinew, 45 per cent of those polled said they have a somewhat or strongly favourable view of him. Thirty-nine per cent stated they felt strongly or somewhat unfavourably about Kinew, while 17 per cent reported they do not know how they feel. 

– Matthew Harrison, U Multicultural

Community Focus: Manitoba Filipino Seniors Group Promoting well-being among both the young and elderly members of the community while preserving Filipino culture is a key aspect of the Filipino Seniors Group of Winnipeg (FSGW). FSGW hosted the first Seniors Sports Fest last March, featuring popular games, including pool, darts, chess and Filipino Sungka. The efforts promoted socialization,Continue Reading

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