What does Premier Stefanson mean for Fort Garry?
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/11/2021 (271 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
On Oct. 30, the governing Progressive Conservative party elected a new leader who became premier of Manitoba on Nov. 2 —Heather Stefanson.
But all this means is that nothing has changed. These are the same old PCs, who just don’t care about Manitobans and will keep cutting things that mean the most to you.
For years, Premier Stefanson stood by Brian Pallister’s side as deputy premier and helped cut health care and close intensive-care unit beds — pushing our healthcare system into crisis. She also seconded Bill 64 and continued to cut funding to post-secondary schools every year.
As Premier Stefanson steps into her role, she will be immediately facing a strike at the University of Manitoba as a result of her government’s cuts and interference. The University of Manitoba Faculty Association, which represents more than 1,000 staff, is currently striking as a result of Pallister-imposed wage freezes which are affecting recruitment and retention of great and bright scholars.
The U of M is a huge driver of our economy when it comes to jobs, companies, and technology developed at the university. Currently, the U of M has the second-lowest paid faculty out of the 15 major universities in Canada, which directly affects student’s education and makes it more difficult for them to get their lives back on track after the pandemic.
When professors and students — many of them newcomers who often stay and build lives in Manitoba — leave or bypass our province altogether, we all suffer from the government’s interference and cuts.
During my term as MLA for Fort Garry, I have met countless U of M faculty, support staff, and students who call Fort Garry home. The strike affects many folks in our community. We know that Brian Pallister constantly interfered with the bargaining process during the last UMFA strike in 2016, and we can only hope Premier Stefanson will see the error in those ways.
Premier Stefanson must immediately end Pallister’s wage-freeze mandates at the U of M to ensure a fair and free bargaining process so students can finish their educations and we can recruit and retain staff. Without taking this step, it will show that Premier Stefanson intends to follow the well-trodden path of her predecessor.
I will be watching Premier Stefanson closely and holding her to account. As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on any issues you or your family may be facing by calling 204-421-4241 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Fort Garry constituency report
Mark Wasyliw is the NDP MLA for Fort Garry.