Insights and Analysis

Manitoba Legislature Resumes for Spring Session

Earlier today the Manitoba Legislature resumed for the 4th session of the 42nd legislature. It started on a sombre note with condolence speeches for members who were recently lost, in particular Danielle Adams. She was first elected as the MLA for Thompson in 2019, and was serving as the NDP critic for child care, housing, disability and poverty matters. Tragically Danielle died in a highway collision in December of last year.

Following the cabinet shuffle in January of this year, today is the first opportunity for new ministers to face off against their opposition critics in Question Period. Healthcare is expected to continue to be a hot topic as Manitoba starts to emerge from the most recent COVID-19 wave. Public Health Order changes that took effect today removed the proof of vaccination requirement, and if current
plans hold on March 15th the indoor mask requirement will be dropped.

A provincial budget is on the agenda for this session, it is expected to be tabled in April. Another large deficit is on the horizon, as the mid-year fiscal report forecasted Manitoba to have a $1.123 billion deficit in the current 2021-2022 fiscal year. While massive, it is an almost $500 million improvement from Budget 2021.  Premier Heather Stefanson has indicated that this budget will include more supports for both individuals and businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.

Manitoba is also just three weeks away from electing it’s newest MLA in the Fort Whyte by-election. The seat was vacated following the resignation of former Premier Brian Pallister. Since the riding was created in 1999 it has been a PC stronghold with the Tory’s winning at least 50% of the vote each time. Running for them this time up is Obby Khan, a former CFL player who owns several
Winnipeg restaurants and is the founder of the online marketplace GoodLocal. Obby also currently serves on the boards of Travel Manitoba and Restaurants Canada.

The by-election features star candidates for all three main parties, with the NDP running Trudy Schroder as their candidate. An Order of Manitoba member, Trudy served as the Executive Director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for 13 years. Prior to that she also worked as the Executive Director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival for close to a decade. The Liberals are running former CFL Most Outstanding Player Award winner Willard Reaves. 

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