When it comes to political platforms, there isn’t much to learn from researching Wab Kinew’s political beliefs and his plans for Manitoba. He seldom says anything of substance about anything, repeating the same old platitudes time after time about P.C. privatization plans (as if that was a bad thing) and what he calls cutbacks, and the Tories call reforms to health care.
Many people are genuinely interested in hearing what the NDP would do if they were in power. While it is hard to discern this from their communications, we know what they won’t do. They won’t allow any new mining projects.
The Manitoba NDP passed a resolution called “Keep it in the Ground,” which was approved by party members at a convention in 2017. This is in line with Wab’s signature on the Leap Manifesto which says, “There is no longer an excuse for building new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future. . . . That applies equally to oil and gas pipelines . . . increased tanker traffic off our coasts; and to Canadian-owned mining projects the world over.”
That pretty much puts an end to the new economy the Progressive Conservative government is trying to help Indigenous communities build in northern Manitoba, supporting new rail access to the north and attracting extraction industry pledged to hiring local FN citizens, send their kids to school so they can enjoy the higher paying jobs, and bolster their local economy and standard of living.
The manifesto also calls for an end to all trade deals except under specific conditions, which would devastate a province such as Manitoba where exports, not only of raw materials but of manufactured goods from heavy equipment to agricultural products, are our lifeblood and the generators of highly paid union jobs to the working populations.
So, if Mr. Kinew is determined (and he has pledged to do these things) on policies that will shut down mining, refuse international trade unless if satisfies his party’s conditions, refuse to allow the transport of Alberta crude through our province (wonder what he will do with the pipeline that already crosses Manitoba’s south) but still somehow find the money to cure the health care ills that his government created over 30 years, and keep people from well-paying jobs, he must have some sort of magic wand that nobody else has.
This is an election year. We know what the PCs stand for and what they will do. Heather Stefanson is very sure footed when it comes to plans for a better economic status for Manitoba. It is up to the NDP to tell citizen where they stand, if nothing other than to reassure their own shaky base of solid old labour supporters who no longer know what party understands them or is actually on their side. For sure the government-based unions are happy but what about all the retail workers, the factory workers, the construction and trucking folks, not to mention the miners?
As they say, this is not your father’s NDP.
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