Today, the Manitoba Legislature resumed for the 3rd sitting of the 42nd Legislature. A brief sitting of just six days, this session is largely intended for government to focus on housekeeping business. This brief session breaks from tradition by not proceeding with the five designated bills that were held over from the spring sitting:
- Bill 16, The Labour Relations Amendment Act
- Bill 35, The Public Utilities Ratepayer Protection And Regulatory Reform Act
- Bill 40, The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Amendment and Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Amendment Act
- Bill 57, The Protection of Critical Infrastructure Act
- Bill 64, The Education Modernization Act
Leaving these five most controversial bills was done in order to give the new Premier a clean slate on whether or not they’ll proceed with these legislative changes. Bill 64 in particular has received the most attention as hundreds of Manitobans signed up to speak at the committee stage of the bill process this fall. Both candidates for the Progressive Conservative (PC) leadership have said they won’t be bringing back Bill 64.
With just under two years to go to the next scheduled provincial election, recent polling from Probe Research shows the New Democratic Party (NDP) with a 7% lead over the PC party. In Winnipeg the NDP lead grows to 23%, with the PC’s holding a 19% lead outside of Winnipeg.
Later this month, the PC’s will hold their leadership vote to decide which candidate will become Premier and lead the Party through the next election. Shelly Glover and Heather Stefanson are the two declared candidates. The leadership election is scheduled to take place on October 30th by mail-in ballot. The deadline to sign up new members has now closed and over the next three weeks the intensity of the leadership campaign will continue to heat up.
On Monday this week former Premier Brian Pallister also resigned his seat as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Fort Whyte. Traditionally a very safe PC seat, former Premier Pallister represented the riding for just over 9 years. He was first elected as the MLA for Fort Whyte in a 2012 by-election, succeeding his predecessor as PC party leader Hugh McFadyen who represented the riding for 7 years. Under provincial law a by-election will now have to be held within 6 months.
This session begins as Manitoba starts to see COVID-19 cases creep up, although still maintaining low levels compared to other prairie provinces. Manitoba remains open to fully vaccinated individuals with a mask mandate still in place, however in advance of Thanksgiving the government has put in place further gathering restrictions for unvaccinated individuals and further capacity limits in regions with higher case numbers in an effort to try and stop the spike.
- Oct 5, 2021 News Release: Manitoba Legislature resumes to complete budget 2021 process, protect Manitobans
- Oct 1, 2021 News Release: Province steps up preparedness for COVID-19 fourth wave, moves to restricted (orange) level on pandemic response system; Backgrounder
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