The spring session in the legislature recently came to a close and I wanted to update you all on what happened.
My NDP colleagues and I continued to fight against the PCs’ regressive legislative agenda by delaying five of their bills which impact education, workers’ rights, hydro rates, liquor sales and the right to peaceful protest. This will allow Manitobans to have time to understand how these bills will negatively affect them and what they can do to let their voice be heard.
Here are some of the PC government’s actions that we fought against and will continue to fight against:
• Mishandled the pandemic response and failed to protect northerners from COVID-19
• Sent Manitobans out of province for ICU care due to their previous cuts to healthcare
• Failed to provide nurses with a fair deal, despite the fact that they are working harder than ever and haven't had a contract in four years
• Failed to fill vacancies in our healthcare system (especially in the north) and actually made them worse
• While the premier blamed the federal government and Joe Biden for a lack of vaccines, he failed to have a plan, particularly in the north, for the vaccine rollout
• The premier covered up $5 billion in Manitoba Hydro contracts while simultaneously freezing hydro workers' wages, leading to a strike and claiming Hydro was in a poor financial position and also hiking your hydro rates without an independent review.
• Issued final licenses for Manitoba Hydro's Churchill River Diversion and Lake Winnipeg projects without doing meaningful consultation with affected communities
• Failed to prioritize teachers for vaccines and instead asked them to travel down to North Dakota for a vaccine … a plan which never happened
• Cut the education budget, forcing school divisions to make impossible financial decisions
• Cut renters’ property tax credits
• And much, much, more
On the other hand, the NDP team introduced many bills such as: Bill 212 which requires all provincial employees to take anti-racism training, Bill 206 which requires judges to complete sexual assault training, Bill 213 regarding sexual assaults training and kits being available, Bill 238 which would return the 1:1 apprenticeship ratio, and Bill 220, which I introduced, that would require the government to establish standards for clearing snow from provincial roads, Unfortunately, the PCs did not allow any of this legislation to pass other than Bill 213 for which I congratulate my fellow northern colleague, The Pas-Kameesak MLA Amanda Lathlin, on her work on getting this bill passed.
In light of the discovery of 215 children's graves at a B.C. residential school we should all mourn this dark chapter in our past but more importantly we must all learn more about it so we can all advance the path to reconciliation.
Even though the next session is not until fall, rest assured that I will keep working on behalf of my constituents and the North. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to reach out by phone at 204-687-3246 or email Tom.Lindsey@yourmanitoba.ca.