Can Pallister pull a miracle out of his hat?

Or is his time as premier of Manitoba coming to an end?

Can Pallister pull a miracle out of his hat?Brian Pallister likely knows that his time as premier of Manitoba is coming to an end, even though he leads a solid majority government. Fortunately for Pallister, his party and Manitoba, if he retires soon to open the door for a new Progressive Conservative leader, he could be remembered for making Crown corporations and the…

Manitoba unprepared for coming fiscal, political storms

Manitoba’s provincial government depends on long-calcified federal transfer programs to fund 37% of its budget

Manitoba unprepared for coming fiscal, political stormsAround 1915, Winnipeg was frequently described as a second Chicago, a serious transportation hub with a bustling private economy. In 1921, it was the third-largest city in Canada. In the 1960s, Winnipeg was Western Canada’s corporate headquarters city. Today, Winnipeg is Canada’s ninth-largest city, known more in the United States, if not by most Canadians,…

Manitoba politics are invasive and expensive

The province isn't in much better financial shape than Newfoundland and Labrador

Manitoba politics are invasive and expensiveThe scourge of COVID-19 is slowly being beaten back but Manitoba’s economy was in trouble before COVID-19 and the last 15 months have weakened it even more. Before COVID-19, the province’s economic weakness could be attributed to its big-spending governments. The Liberal federal government, the Progressive Conservative provincial government and Winnipeg’s municipal government continue to…

Prairie provinces debt levels a ticking time bomb

An economic burden for future generations

Prairie provinces debt levels a ticking time bombThe debt in Canada’s Prairie provinces has grown colossally during the COVID-19 pandemic, just as debt has in the rest of Canada and around the world. At the end of 2020, Alberta’s debt was estimated at $98 billion, Manitoba’s was $28.6 billion and Saskatchewan’s was $15 billion. These debts are an economic burden for the taxpayers…

Why private operation of public parks makes sense

Partnerships with private operators bring significant efficiencies and revenue sources for the public

Why private operation of public parks makes senseManitobans shouldn’t be afraid of the government partnering with the private sector to run public services such as provincial parks. Research shows these partnership agreements with private operators are quite common, are often well run, and bring significant efficiencies and revenue sources for the public. In 2020, the provincial government passed a law allowing companies…

Why principals, teachers don’t belong in the same union

New legislation will allow Manitoba to follow the lead of Canada’s biggest provinces, creating clear lines between management and staff

Why principals, teachers don’t belong in the same unionPrincipals and teachers shouldn’t be in the same union. That was a key recommendation of the Manitoba Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education report. Clearly, the Manitoba government has taken this recommendation to heart. Bill 64, the Education Modernization Act, proposes to remove principals and vice-principals from teacher bargaining units. This is a significant…

Plenty of blame to share in Manitoba Hydro debacle

After two decades of political and managerial incompetence, Manitoba is on track to lose the province’s best economic advantage

Plenty of blame to share in Manitoba Hydro debacleFormer Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall’s report on the Keeyask dam and Bipole III transmission line expansion is a damning verdict on Manitoba Hydro’s past boards and executives, and various Manitoba governments. While Wall’s public criticism concentrates on the NDP, there’s much room for the current Progressive Conservative government to share the blame. Premiers former and…

Keep government out of the internet business

Keep government out of the internet businessManitoba’s Opposition New Democratic Party proposes the creation of a new Crown corporation to provide high-speed internet service to rural and remote communities, particularly First Nations communities, in that province. This is a bad idea for several reasons. A host of private-sector and government organizations are launching enormous flotillas of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to…

Manitoba government too involved in insurance business

Unsurprisingly, as a government car insurance monopoly, MPI’s history is marked by politics

Manitoba government too involved in insurance businessManitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is in updating its computer programs and associated practices. Through an estimated multimillion-dollar effort, MPI plans to provide its customers with online services. With MPI’s long-needed revamped technology, licensed drivers and vehicle owners will be able to select insurance options and pay MPI bills without even conversing with a broker. Yet…

The government is not our mom

Leaders are ‘locked’ into a lockdown model that does more harm than good

The government is not our momIn a crushing blow to small business and morale, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has ordered a return to the very lockdown model that the World Health Organization (WHO) warned leaders to avoid. Premiers are being pressured by a prime minister who threatens to withhold money unless they once again shut down restaurants and small businesses…