MLA Report - April 5, 2021

Delaying bills gives public time to learn about them and raise concerns with government

The Manitoba NDP recently announced that we are delaying five bills put forward by the Pallister government. Delaying these bills gives the public time to learn about them and raise any concerns they have with government in an attempt to change or repeal the legislation. 

The five bills we’ve chosen to delay are: Bill 64 – the Education Modernization Act, Bill 57 – the Protection of Critical Infrastructure Act, Bill 40 – the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Amendment and Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Amendment Act, Bill 35 – the Public Utilities Ratepayer Protection and Regulatory Reform Act and Bill 16 – the Labour Relations Amendment Act. 

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We’re delaying Bill 64 for many reasons but one of the key concerns I’ve heard from constituents that contributed to its delay is that it consolidates all of the Northern school divisions into one. The Pallister government simply doesn’t understand that there are many different Northern communities that have unique needs and that one school division for the entire North simply won’t work. It will make it harder for parents to have a say in their children’s education, close to home.

We’re also delaying Bill 57, as it bans Manitobans’ abilities to protest at so-called “critical infrastructure” sites, including railroads, hospitals, the legislature and more. This bill is an attack on Manitobans’ democratic rights to freely protest. 

We’re delaying Bill 40, which would allow for the private sale of liquor, as it will redirect public money into private hands and will worsen the addictions crisis. This bill would move much of the annual $280 million in profits Manitoba Liquor Lotteries designates for social services, sports and addictions treatment into private hands. 

We’re also delaying bills 35 and 16 to protect Manitoba Hydro workers and Manitoban ratepayers. Bill 35 removes public oversight and reduces accountability by taking away the ability for the Public Utilities Board to set hydro rates and transfers that power to the cabinet and the minister, leaving their decisions unchecked. 

Bill 16 would remove the requirement for binding arbitration if a labour dispute reaches a certain length of time. This bill will increase the likelihoods of prolonged strikes as employers can now simply wait out their employees rather than bargain with them. It will also make it easier to fire workers on a picket line without justification and makes it easier to decertify a union. 

If you’re concerned about these bills or any others, I would encourage you to sign up for bill committees so that you can make yourself heard by calling 204-945-3636 and I also encourage you to reach out to the minister responsible for the bill to outline your concerns. I would also like to encourage all Manitobans to get the vaccine as soon as you are eligible to do so. Getting the vaccine will protect you against COVID-19 and will subsequently protect those who you are in close contact with. 

As always, I can be contacted at Danielle.adams@yourmanitoba.ca or by calling me at 204-677-2744.

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