The 42nd session of Manitoba's spring legislature is coming to a close with remarks from the Premier.
Premier Brian Pallister is officially calling a close to the third 42nd session of Legislature.
"This session featured the most robust and I think ambitious legislative agenda very likely in decades," Pallister says in a Tuesday press conference.
Pallister says healthcare has been a priority in this session, thanking Ontario and Saskatchewan, as well as the federal government, for their help to care for sick Manitobans.
"Our work to protect Manitobans through COVID-19 and advance Manitoban's futures past this pandemic will continue," Pallister says.
He says the 65 bills brought forward things such as "moving more money to front lines" of operations, "all-time record investments in healthcare, families, and education," a $1.1 billion commitment to PPE, vaccines, and education supports in the pandemic.
Pallister says is proud of his co-workers, staff, and Manitoban's response to past and current COVID-19 waves.
"I am just especially proud of all the people that have followed our health orders, that are going out and getting vaccinated, that are just doing the right things to get us through this thing."
2021 saw the creation of the Department of Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery, which is lead by Minister Audrey Gordon.
In a statement, government house leader Kelvin Goertzen highlighted bills he says "made record investments in health care, education and social services" in its Protecting Manitobans, Advancing Manitobans plan.
“This session we brought forth many important pieces of legislation focused on combating the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting businesses and laying the groundwork for post-pandemic prosperity, and most of all protecting Manitobans and our health-care system,” Goertzen says in the statement.
Some of those 65 bills brought forward include a Manitoba Paid Sick Leave program.
Goertzen is highlighting many bills, including:
- modernizing the child-care system to meet with demand with almost 600 more child-care spaces
- providing more than $248 million in rebates to Manitoba property owners
- eliminating more than 160 requirements and unnecessary administrative burdens for provincial services
- strengthening provincial water infrastructure stewardship to manage and protect flood infrastructure
- providing Manitobans more flexibility by reforming pension benefits to access retirement savings early in case of emergencies
- protecting farm and food processors on the farm, through transportation and processing to ensure Manitoba farmers continue to produce world-class, safe and healthy foods in a humane way
The highly-criticized Bill 64 is being held until the fall session. This Education Modernization is looking to amalgamate all 37 Manitoban school divisions into one excluding Franco-Manitoban School Division.
The official opposition is holding this bill and others such as one regarding liquor sales until the next session.
"They have the right to do that. That's the deal," Pallister says.
The next session is also expected to discuss multi-year Manitoba Hydro rates, which Pallister says is an attractive offer for businesses.
Pallister says he "definitely will be back in the fall."