Last week, the Legislative Assembly finished its spring sitting and after three long months, I am excited to be meeting constituents this summer. There is so much that has happened in this recent session and I want to give a brief overview of some of the most important issues.
While Premier Stefanson used the spring sitting to recycle Brian Pallister’s bad legislation, the NDP fought back against health care cuts, stood in solidarity with flood-affected Manitobans and demanded the government make life more affordable for families.
Hospitals in Manitoba and understaffed and underfunded. Many facilities are struggling to provide care for patients. Wait times for care are going up everywhere. We also raised that the Thompson hospital was unable to even access hot water for many patients.
We need investment in our hospitals, but unfortunately, the Progressive Conservative (PC) government is taking the wrong approach. They have chosen large tax breaks to out-of-province corporations over investments in the things we need, like health care. They also introduced legislation to privatize liquor sales, a move that would see millions in public funding for health care lost. The Premier also admitted she was fine with Manitoba having the lowest minimum wage in the country and refused to immediately increase it as the NDP has long called for. We have been pushing this government to raise the minimum wage to a living wage and will continue to do so in the future.
During the spring sitting, the NDP used our powers as Official Opposition to block the passage of legislation that would weaken public oversight of Manitoba Hydro and raise rates by as much as five per cent a year. We also delayed a PC bill which would make it easier to spray harmful pesticides in areas where children and communities gather. The NDP also introduced a resolution to update policies that protect kids in sports from abuse, but the PCs refused to let it pass.
On May 14, I attended the opening of the new Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) office in Flin Flon. While a local subgroup of the MMF has been meeting often throughout the year, the office means that services and programs specifically for Metis people, including receiving Metis citizenship cards, can be done quickly and locally. With my constituency office being a couple doors down on Main Street, I am looking forward to working more closely with the MMF and to see the positive impact their advocacy will have on our community.
I am also looking forward to getting out and travelling around the constituency. This summer, you may meet me knocking on your door and attending many events like Flin Flon Pride, York Boat Days at Norway House, the Blueberry Jam Music Gathering, the Flin Flon Trout Festival and others.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 204-687-3246 or Tom.Lindsey@yourmanitoba.ca.