Pallister outlines first 100 days, NDP warns he intends to cut


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Brian Pallister's 15 priorities for the first 100 days of a Progressive Conservative government will be strong on task forces and audits.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/04/2016 (2541 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Brian Pallister’s 15 priorities for the first 100 days of a Progressive Conservative government will be strong on task forces and audits.

He told reporters Wednesday morning most of his priorities won’t require spending and “the vast majority don’t require legislation.”

“This is to establish the starting point, not finish it,” said the PC leader. He said his government would not solve anything in 100 days, or in six months, but would set in motion the ways to have government act more efficiently while reducing waste and duplication.

“We’ve got wait times that are unacceptably long,” said Pallister, who said he will establish a wait-times reduction task force that will consult both the public and private sectors.

The Tories’ priorities include moves they say will lower taxes, improve services and strenghten the economy.

Included is a plan to abolish what the Tories call “the NDP ‘vote tax’ subsidy for political parties.”

They promise to restore the rights of voters to vote on tax increases and reduce the size of cabinet.

Cutting ambulance fees, engaging indigenous leadersand having the Public Utilities Board review the Bipole III project are also on the Tories’ agenda.

Pallister did not rule out privatization of some aspects of health care, but he would not be specific. He said Wednesday that he would listen to anyone with ways to make the health care system more efficient and innovative. “There’s especially waste in old, tired governments.”

“I’m not looking at privatization in the sense of our existing system. I’m an innovator,” Pallister said.

He said Greg Selinger’s NDP government has forced people to go to the U.S. for timely treatment, or to avoid taking ambulances because of the fees. He agreed with a reporter who asked whether Selinger uses privatization as “a dirty word.”

“That’s why Mr. Selinger uses it. He’s done more for two-tier health care than any premier,” Pallister said.

The Tory leader said meeting with municipalities to establish a “fair say” policy to let them decide how best to spend infrastructure dollars would be among of the first moves of his government.

The NDP was not impressed.

In an emailed statement, the NDP said Wednesday that, “Brian Pallister’s reckless agenda is becoming more evident every day. In (Tuesday) night’s debate, Brian Pallister made it clear that he is open to privatized, two-tier health care. Today, the Conservatives released the blueprint for their first 100 days of cuts and privatization.

“Within just three months, Pallister’s plan is to strike three different committees to cut services. These are services like health care and child care that Manitoba families depend on, and that make a real difference to working and middle-class people. The last time a Conservative government hired corporate consultants to make recommendations for cuts, Connie Curran’s review of health care decimated our health care system and hurt families,” said the NDP.

“In his first 100 days, he also intends to sit down with the Cities of Winnipeg and Brandon and the Association of Manitoba Municipalities to tell them they will not be getting any new money for infrastructure. Instead, Manitoba is looking at a 25 per cent cut from Pallister to infrastructure funding for fixing potholes, paving roads and building community infrastructure — a cut that would cost Manitoba 20,000 jobs.

“And we know he won’t stop after just 100 days. Manitobans have a clear choice. We build. Pallister cuts,” declared the NDP.

The election is April 19. The next government takes office in early May.

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