The Manitoba NDP says its concerned about the Pallister government's increasing use of consultants in formulating health policy.
According to the results of a recent freedom of information request, the NDP found that consultant Braid Solutions has received $1.1 million in fees for a variety of services since 2016.
Braid's Ian Shaw heads the province's Health Transformation Office.
NDP finance critic Mark Wasyliw decried the use of consultants in place of provincial civil servants.
The NDP says the Progressive Conservatives have spent $4.8 million on health-care consultants alone since forming government in 2016.
"We need to be putting this money into front-line services. We don’t need fancy out-of-province consultants, and we need to be trusting our own civil service," Wasyliw said Thursday.
The PCs have reduced the size of the Manitoba civil service by more than 2,000 positions since 2016.
As of March 31, 2019, there were 12,839 civil servants in Manitoba, compared with 14,876 three years earlier.
Health Minister Cameron Friesen said the government relies on both civil servants and external experts to support the planning and preparation of various initiatives as it seeks to modernize the health-care system.
"Contracts with external experts allow us to access specific skill sets and experience that doesn’t exist within the health system, and assist in the delivery of specialized projects designed to improve health-system performance and patient outcomes," he said in a prepared statement.
"Braid Solutions Inc. has provided expert external advice and support to a variety of projects that vary in size, scope and duration. We would note that this particular contractor was also significantly engaged under the former NDP government."
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.