The Tories have now had a year to ferret out the problems and the problem-makers in government. It’s now time to roll out the remedies and set Manitoba on a fast track to recovery.
It’s summer and you’d think it was time to put all those nagging issues away for a while and concentrate on sunshine, flowers and the beauty of nature. Still, issues don’t go away – issues such as that troubling downgrade by Standard and Poor’s and what it means for and about our provincial economy.
Premier Brian Pallister made us a promise when he came into office to officiate “the most improved province” in Canada at the end of his rule. I suspect that the downgrade is a message that our lenders expect more. Continue reading Time to get tough→
We are a resourceful people here in Manitoba so when things go wrong the first thing we do is try to fix it ourselves using our own ingenuity and resources, but maybe it’s time to take another tack.
Peter Holle writes in this issue about his vision for a province of three million people, where relaxed regulation and more opportunity for enterprise abound. I heartily endorse this and I have a thought about how we can do this using third party resources. Continue reading Foreign investment in Manitoba→
Removing the barriers from Winnipeg’s most famous corner would remove the psychological barriers that have seen us shrink from being Canada’s fourth largest city to its eighth.
Mayor Brian Bowman has vowed to reintroduce Winnipeg foot traffic to Portage and Main, a pledge that I heartily support. This iconic intersection represents the heart of our city and the barriers that were erected in 1979 represent more than three decades of decline.
Are the two related? I have no empirical evidence to back this up, but the heartbeat of our city seemed to slow around the same time. We entered a period of very sluggish, almost non-existent, growth as government manipulation tried to asset the path forward: the very expensive deal with Trizec being the first (it is estimated that the enticement offered by the city equalled the investment by the company), then the white elephant that is Portage Place coming on in 1987, killing three blocks of local free enterprisers who had made shopping downtown a pleasure for a hundred and more years. During that period we fell from being the fourth largest city in Canada to its eighth, just ahead of Hamilton! Continue reading Opening up Portage and Main→
The National Pensioners Federation just released a response to the latest federal budget, citing the fact that Canadian seniors, now more numerous than kids under 15, were mentioned only 20 times in the budget as opposed to “women (276 mentions), children (79 mentions) and First Nations (181 mentions)”. Even veterans out-distanced seniors with 90 mentions.
While the Pensioners Federation went on to outline a number of deficiencies in dealing with the needs of low income seniors, the above statistics sharply illuminate a systemic attitude against elders by the youth-first approach of the Trudeau government. Continue reading Ageism creeping into Canadian dialogue→
Cost cutting is only half the story, but a critical half
It has been 9 months since Brian Pallister and his Tories gathered up the reins of government and so far, so good.
Their first task has been a careful operational assessment as, inch-by-inch, the new government tries to find the path to sustainable management. They have begun dismantling the overload and overlap in government departments that were bloated by 17 years of New Democrat management. Boards of crown corporations are being replaced by purposeful and competent members who don’t park their brains at the door before each meeting and who are ready and able to rescind previous self-indulgent decisions. Continue reading The next step for the Pallister government→