Manitoba’s largest union is not convinced that Premier Heather Stefanson’s provincial budget is anything more than an attempt to bury the harm the Conservatives have caused to public services in Manitoba.

“After two terms of active attacks on public services, the Conservatives think that they can buy themselves the next election,” said Gina McKay, President of CUPE Manitoba. “Manitobans won’t be fooled or bought, and the clock is ticking down for Stefanson’s PCs.” 

It is no secret that the Progressive Conservative government has spent years eroding our public health care system, underfunding our education system, and neglecting the social service and child care workers who support those most in need.

“The damage that Stefanson’s government has done to our public services isn’t going away because of an election-year budget,” says McKay. “Manitoba workers have struggled under this government’s ideological agenda, and the only way forward is for Manitobans to vote them out.”

McKay also expressed concern that this election-year budget offered no real long-term commitment to improving public services and supporting front-line workers in the years to come, especially with the rising costs associated with inflation. Instead, the provincial Conservatives are taking the billion in new federal dollars that are intended for public services and spending it on tax cuts to buy votes.

“People are struggling across Manitoba to make ends meet, and this government has spent its time in office cutting health care, privatizing services, and failing to meet the needs of our schools and universities,” says McKay. “The government tried to freeze workers’ wages and push Manitobans further behind—how can anyone trust them to provide real support that keeps up?”

CUPE Manitoba believes the only way to improve Manitoba beyond the government’s cynical 2023 budget is to vote for the Manitoba NDP in October. 

“There is only one clear path forward to undoing the harm caused by the Pallister and Stefanson governments, and that is to vote them out and elect a government that actually cares about our public services and the workers who provide them.”