Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives launched their northern strategy today in part to make inroads in territory traditionally held by the governing New Democrats.
It includes Charleswood MLA Myrna Driedger meeting with business and First Nations leaders in The Pas today, Flin Flon tomorrow and Swan River Friday. She’s accompanied by the PC’s mining critic Spruce Woods MLA Cliff Cullen.
PC Leader Brian Pallister said the party’s Northern Lights, A Progressive Conservative Framework for a Northern Strategy is the beginning of a push by the Tories to develop policies on northern development. The PCs have already set up an advisory council of northerners to provide direction and advice.
Key starting-point areas include jobs and training, mining, healthy living, infrastructure and tourism and culture.
Pallister said he wants Manitobans to tell the party what other areas the party must focus attention.
"The intention is to reach out as broadly as possible," Pallister said. "The goals here are pretty clear: We want to develop a plan for the whole province, not just for one piece of it. The north is a viable, vital part of our economic and social future. We’re looking to develop better ideas. If we have better ideas maybe we earn the support of people."
The five northern ridings have been held by the NDP for nine consecutive elections.
"The reality is no one should govern this province that doesn’t have an idea of what they want to do with northern Manitoba and how they want to help northern Manitoba become stronger and better in the future," Pallister said.
You can view the full proposal below. If you cannot see the document, try this link.