Under The Dome

PC government remains firm on promises made to Manitobans
During our spring legislative session, which concluded on Monday, June 25, our Progressive Conservative government took several important steps as part of our commitment to fix Manitoba’s finances, repair our services and rebuild the economy.
Budget 2018, which we introduced in March, brings real progress for families in reducing the deficit by $319 million, delivering the largest tax cut ever seen in Manitoba and keeping our government on schedule toward reducing the provincial sales tax to seven per cent by 2020, as we have promised. The budget makes Manitoba’s largest-ever investment in health care and increases funding for the education and families departments, while ensuring we further upgrade our infrastructure.
We are bringing improved planning efficiency to rural municipalities with the Planning Amendment Act, while allowing municipalities to use an evidence-based approach to ensure fair opportunities for development and growth. With separate legislation, our government is also cutting red tape by consolidating the licensing
system for heavy trucks, and we are allowing municipalities to set speed limits on their roads.
As well, we are improving safety on Manitoba’s streets and highways through licence suspensions for the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving. And to prepare for the upcoming federal legalization of the recreational use of cannabis, we are imposing tough sanctions for driving under the influence of drugs.
Our Manitoba government is going further to deal with Ottawa’s planned cannabis legalization, by prohibiting the smoking and vaping of cannabis at outdoor public places such as sidewalks, restaurant patios, parks, school grounds and beaches. This restriction builds on our provincial legislation that bans vaping and smoking cannabis at enclosed public places.
We have given better parental leave options to new parents while extending leave provisions for Manitobans caring for critically ill members of their families. We have, in addition, taken firm steps to decrease the number of Indigenous children in the Child and Family Services system through community-based prevention and customary care, which recognizes the role of Indigenous communities in raising kids while preserving their cultural identity.
We are better protecting whistleblowers in the provincial public sector, as we also restore accountability by ensuring the public disclosure of employment contracts within the provincial government and the disclosure of severance payments to political employees.
When the legislative session resumes this fall, our government will continue debate on our plan to strengthen conflict-of-interest rules for MLAs and on our Wildlife Amendment Act, which would better regulate night hunting to improve public safety.
We remain committed to making Manitoba the most improved province in Canada. The legislative steps we have taken in this past spring session have kept us firmly on that path.
Greg Nesbitt is the Member of Legislative Assembly for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be reached at 204-759-3313, toll-free 1-844-877-7767 or by email at gregnesbittmla@mymts.net.