View From the Legislature

NDP Failing on Election Promises

  • Kelvin Goertzen, Author
  • Member of the Legislative Assembly, Steinbach

In fall, the NDP made a number of promises to Manitobans as they were campaigning for election. But, ever since their election win, a number of these promises have been either delayed, altered, or broken. Early on in their mandate it seems that the NDP may have promised things to Manitobans that they never really intended on delivering.

Only days after assuming government, the new NDP Premier stated that they were dealing with difficult provincial finances and cuts were likely coming. This ignored the fact that the independent provincial auditor had just reported that the province had recorded more than a quarter of a billion-dollar surplus this past fiscal year. It is nearly unprecedented for a new government to inherit a surplus of any kind, let alone one that large.

Days later, the NDP minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro made a statement that the government may not be fulfilling its promise to freeze Hydro rates for the coming year. The excuse they gave was that revenue projections were down over the summer more than they believed they would be. Perhaps that should have been considered before they first made this promise to Manitobans in the fall of 2022.

Next up, the NDP held a press conference indicating that many of their healthcare election commitments were years, perhaps decades away from being fulfilled because the world is dealing with a shortage of healthcare workers. Of course, when the NDP made their healthcare promises the global shortage of healthcare workers wasn’t a secret to anyone. Instead, the new Minister of Health has indicated that she will go on a listening tour. Of course, listening to frontline healthcare workers is important and is something that successive governments have done for decades But, this follows several years of the NDP saying that they had a healthcare plan ready to go based on years of listening. Apparently, that wasn’t the case and now instead of acting on their commitments, there will be more delays.

This past week the NDP also introduced their legislation that is designed to remove, for a short period of time, the provincial tax on gasoline. During the campaign the NDP put forward this as something that would be applicable to all Manitobans equally across the board. However, the legislation that was introduced actually had many exclusions and exceptions which would reduce the benefit for farmers, those in the fishing industry and recreation uses to name a few. Manitoba Progressive Conservatives have been holding the NDP to account for this broken commitment with the hope that the legislation will be changed to reflect what was promised.

Also during the campaign, the NDP said they had a strategy to reduce violent crime. They also committed to making changes at the provincial level to restrict bail even though the bail laws are within the power of the federal government, not the province. Following the shocking mass shooting that resulted in four deaths in Winnipeg this past weekend, the Premier stated he had directed his Minister of Justice to now develop a strategy to reduce violent crime. And there was no mention of the promised bail changes. Apparently, there wasn’t a plan developed after all and now questions remain as to when, or if, one is even coming.

Within just one month, the NDP have broken promises on healthcare, affordability measures and justice initiatives to name just a few. While some of these can perhaps be attributed to the fact that governing is simply harder than the NDP may have understood, others were always unrealistic and designed to provide false hope to the electors.