The 20-page document, in its French version, is the first throne speech delivered by Manitoba’s new Lieutenant Governor Anita Neville. After a territorial recognition, the text was a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September.
The speech declares the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in Manitoba.
Today, Manitoba stands at a crossroads. As we enter the first post-pandemic phase, immense opportunities lie aheadreads the speech, before highlighting the challenges of inflation, healthcare and crime.
The document stresses the need to put an end to this
an ever-increasing rate of violent crime.
He promises to work with law enforcement and other levels of government to make more resources available to police officers. The document also highlights previous investments in roaming.
Our government will continue to address the underlying issues of homelessness, addiction and mental health issues by better supporting frontline law enforcement agencies through technological tools, specialized training, increased police presence and increased officer ranks.
State commits to funding
to assist the police in law enforcement related to serious street crime, gangs and organized crime.
Few places for indigenous peoples
Likewise, the province promises to revitalize the Conservation Officer Service
Fight against dangerous activities like poaching, night hunting and hunting from the streets. The night hunt was hot spot for former PM Brian Pallister as he competed against Indigenous groups in the province.
While Ms. Stefanson’s previous speech from the throne focused on reconciliation with indigenous peoples, this one mentions it only briefly. It is an obligation that is cited at the beginning of the document, as well as security or the cost of living, but unlike them, no section of the speech is devoted to it.
The province pledges to develop a provincial suicide prevention strategy targeting high-risk youth and communities and addressing violence against Indigenous women and girls. It also undertakes to seek reconciliation
Money for hospitals and an opening to private care
The progressive conservative government also shows promise
multi-year, multi-billion dollar investment in hospitals in Winnipeg, without giving further details.
The province is also committed to improving the delivery of health services, including reducing the process backlog caused by the pandemic. Stefanson gave a taste of that legislative agenda last week by pledging to spend $200 million on hiring and retaining healthcare workers.
Manitoba’s healthcare system is struggling with a staffing shortage made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. The province notes a shortage of doctors in rural areas and a general shortage of nurses. Burnout is a leading cause when it comes to attachment issues.
A wave of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, is currently overwhelming the healthcare system. Facilities that look after children are particularly affected.
The document also shows an openness to private sector healthcare:
Partnerships are key to finding solutions and are encouraged when they benefit all Manitobans. Other provinces have proven that a public-private delivery system workssays the document.
Other things to note:
- Heather Stefanson’s government recognizes the rising cost of living and states so in the speech
is a direct result of rising inflation and the federal carbon tax.
- The province promises to increase funding for the Public Services Board and
stabilizeManitoba Hydro’s Financial Condition
- An increase in childcare utility grants in 2023 to boost workers’ wages.
- Establishment of a register of teaching staff and an independent supervisory body to deal with cases of teacher misconduct.
- Developing a strategic plan for adult education based on Manitoba’s workforce needs.
- Launch of a new income support program for people with severe and long-term disabilities in the spring.
- The province is working on a
northern transport corridorstretching from the Rocky Mountains to Hudson Bay.
- A temporary reduction in agricultural land rents in the Crown of nearly $4 million from 2023 to 2025.
- Creating a strategy for accessible, high-quality hiking trails and announcing them
big investmentsInvestments in provincial parks.
- Modernize the waste diversion and recycling framework to divert more waste from landfills.
Low approval rating
Ms Stefanson is still working to differentiate herself from an administration where she has held key ministerial roles. In this speech from the throne there is no sign of former Prime Minister Brian Pallister’s failed education reform.
Since Heather Stefanson came to power last year, she has not been popular in opinion polls. According to a recent Angus Reid Institute poll, his approval rating is 22%, the lowest rating among provincial premierships in Canada.
The survey, commissioned by the company, was conducted online between September 19 and 21 among 370 adult Manitobans who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. Because this is a non-probability survey, it is impossible to calculate a margin of error. Just for comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size would have a plus or minus 5% margin of error 19 times out of 20.
Ms. Stefanson’s approval rating has changed little since she took office.