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Pallister announces he will resign as PC party leader, not run for re-election as Premier

tall-guy

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said August 10 that he plans to step down from his post and won't run again for Premier the next time Manitobans head to the polls.

The Premier made the announcement at a media availability in Brandon, saying he plans to step down as the leader of Manitoba's ruling Progressive Conservative (PC) party and won't run for re-election.

“I have informed my caucus colleagues that I will not be seeking re-election as a member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly," Pallister said in the announcement.

"After almost 10 years as the MLA for Fort Whyte, and more than five years as our province’s premier, I believe now is the time for a new leader and premier to take our province forward."

In the availability, Pallister took no media questions and did not say when he would be officially stepping down, whether the PCs will name an interim leader, if he plans to run as an MLA again or if he will stay on for the remainder of his term as Premier. If Pallister chooses to step down before the next provincial election, a new Premier could be elected by PC party members only, similar to how current Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe was first elected in 2018.

Pallister had said earlier in the pandemic that he was unlikely to run again for Premier, but had not made an official announcement about his political fate until August 10.

"That is why I say to you: the only thing better than today in Manitoba, is tomorrow in Manitoba. Thank you," Pallister said, concluding his remarks.

Pallister's announcement comes at a time when opinion polls have him near the bottom of the country's Premiers in overall approval - according to the most recent province-by-province polls by the Angus Reid Institute, Pallister's approval rating was a paltry 33 per cent.  Only Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, owner of a 31 per cent approval rating, had worse numbers.

The Premier had recently made comments about Canadian settlers and Indigenous people that led to the resignation of Indigenous and Northern Relations minister Eileen Clarke.