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Speaker scolds MLAs for acting up in QP

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Fewer MLAs were in attendance owing to a blizzard and unsafe travel, but the legislative assembly was no less raucous Wednesday, one day after the Progressive Conservative government tabled its budget.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/04/2022 (294 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Fewer MLAs were in attendance owing to a blizzard and unsafe travel, but the legislative assembly was no less raucous Wednesday, one day after the Progressive Conservative government tabled its budget.

In question period, the NDP accused the PC government of carrying out former premier Brian Pallister’s austerity agenda.

The PCs shot back by accusing the New Democrats of being “jealous” because they don’t have a plan.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS “I was hoping today would be quieter with a lesser number of people, but I’m seeing that’s not happening,” Speaker Myrna Driedger said.

The volume of the heckling in the house raised the hackles of the Speaker.

“I was hoping today would be quieter with a lesser number of people, but I’m seeing that’s not happening,” Speaker Myrna Driedger said.

After calling for order several times, she stopped the clock to bawl out the feuding MLAs.

“Democracy will only happen if all of us respect each other in here and bring forward our ideas carefully and listen to them carefully,” said Driedger. “Whether you like what’s being said (or not), doesn’t give you the right to be shouting across (the aisle) or this incessant heckling that tends to happen.”

Then, the Speaker was heckled while she stood to call for order.

“This is just the utmost in disrespect,” she said

“I’m stunned that I hear somebody heckling when I’m trying to deliver this message here,” she said in the house where a number of members participated in question period virtually.

NDP Leader Wab Kinew, who was in the chamber, said health care funding increases in Finance Minister Cameron Friesen’s budget are far below the rate of inflation.

“It’s Brian Pallister 2.0… big announcements that we know are going to be followed by cuts,” the member for Fort Rouge told the house. “We’re talking about Year 7 of a failing plan that isn’t just damaging the popular opinion polls when it comes to the PCs, we’re talking about Manitobans’ lives,” he said. “That’s why this plan is shameful…Why don’t they listen to the message that Manitobans sent them and abandon Brian Pallister’s agenda?”

Premier Heather Stefanson suggested the NDP leader has agenda envy.

“Perhaps he’s just jealous because he doesn’t have his own plan for the future of our province,” the premier said.

She said she’s proud of the budget that “strengthens health care for those who need it, when they need it and is making life more affordable for Manitobans.”

“We have a plan for a better, brighter future. The members opposite have no plan,” said Stefanson. She asked why the NDP leader doesn’t present an alternative budget.

“What is his hidden agenda? Perhaps his agenda is to make life less affordable for Manitobans by jacking up taxes.”

Kinew said the NDP does have a plan: “fix the damage the PCs have caused to our health care system.”

Rather than an alternative budget, the NDP traditionally presents an alternative throne speech every fall just before the start of the session, Kinew told reporters after question period.

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Legislature reporter

After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.

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