More cuts, privatization and blame in Manitoba's Throne Speech

“The MGEU/NUPGE and its members will continue to hold the government’s feet to the fire when it comes to decisions and actions that affect Manitoba families. Now is not the time to weaken and cut services. It’s time to support public services and the people who provide them.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President

Winnipeg (09 Oct. 2020) — On October 8, the Pallister Government unveiled a Speech from the Throne in the Manitoba Legislature. This speech is meant to outline and highlight the government’s blueprint for the legislative session, and signal to Manitobans what the government actions will be moving forward. If this Throne Speech is any indication of that, Manitobans can expect more of the same: public service cuts, budget reductions, increased privatization, along with plenty of blame for the federal government.

More of the same from Manitoba government

“Today’s throne speech was a chance for the government to chart a new, caring and responsible path — one that puts people, not ideology, first,” said Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE). “We are in the middle of a pandemic with no end in sight, and Manitobans need public services, like health care and programs that support workers and families in weathering the storm. Instead we’re getting more of the same - cuts and privatization.

“It makes me afraid for the future when I see this government’s dedication to stay the course in the face of COVID-19 and other challenges. It’s time to put people before the dollar," said Gawronsky.

Privatization and cuts headed to public services

Among the announcements that are of interest to MGEU/NUPGE members in this year’s speech are:

  • a focus on eliminating the pandemic deficit 
  • a promise to fund our overburdened health care system
  • expanded private and digital home care
  • further privatization of the public liquor retail and distribution model
  • new fund to support Manitobans living with disabilities
  • reinvestment in infrastructure projects
  • cuts to Employment and Income Assistance for vulnerable Manitobans
  • investments in a portable housing benefit
  • access to federal paid sick leave for workers
  • legislation to control the administration of colleges and universities

“The MGEU/NUPGE and its members will continue to hold the government’s feet to the fire when it comes to decisions and actions that affect Manitoba families,” Gawronsky said. “Now is not the time to weaken and cut services. It’s time to support public services and the people who provide them.”

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE