The battle between the NDP and the Progressive Conservatives over the expanded Thompson electoral division continued Sept. 6, when NDP candidate Danielle Adams issued a press release saying that she, unlike PC candidate Kelly Bindle, has visited every community the next MLA will represent.
“Talking with residents across the constituency, the message is clear – Brian Pallister’s agenda of cuts and privatization has failed our north,” Adams said. “We need someone who will stand up for our health care and education, and not stay silent like Kelly Bindle has.”
Adams said she’s heard from residents in outlying communities that Bindle has taken them for granted or refused to meet with them
“It’s no wonder the PC candidate won’t stand up for our north. You can’t stand up for communities you refuse to visit.”
In the broader battle to form the next government, NDP leader Wab Kinew announced Sept. 6 that, if elected, he would work with the federal government to build a hospital-level health centre to serve the Island Lake communities of St. Theresa Point, Garden Point, Wasagamack and Red Sucker Lake, which have a combined population of more than 10,000 people and are only accessible by boat, plane and winter road.
“This election is about health care, and that means health care for all Manitobans including people in the north,” said Kinew in a press release. “The Island Lake communities need a health centre. Residents of these communities are required to travel frequently to Winnipeg, and in some cases even move to Winnipeg, to receive the medical care they need. It’s disruptive to their lives, and is also wasteful.”
The NDP also pointed to a memo from Manitoba Hydro president and CEO Jay Grewal about an external review of the Crown corporation as evidence that the PCs have plans to privatize the utility.
The review, by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, will examine Manitoba Hydro’s operating model, with the first phase, over the next eight weeks, looking at the “efficiency and effectiveness of various elements of the corporation, including our structure, processes, governance, metrics and culture.”
“The Pallister PCs need to come clean on their plans to break up and sell off Manitoba Hydro – something Pallister’s handpicked CEO did in BC when they privatized portions of BC Hydro,” said an NDP press release. “Privatization will raise rates for Manitobans, affect quality of service and lead to more job cuts. The Manitoba NDP stands against all forms of privatization of Manitoba Hydro – and we call on Pallister to come clean on his privatization agenda.”
“I stand with families in Thompson – who reject the privatization of Manitoba Hydro,” said Adams. “As an NDP MLA I will keep Manitoba Hydro public.”