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Canada down to one NDP government as Tories take Manitoba

by Greg Klein | April 19, 2016

The Orange Wave once predicted for Canada took another fall April 19 when Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives brought the New Democratic Party’s 17-year reign to a decisive end. At ResourceClips.com press time other media outlets stood in for the still-silent Elections Manitoba by proclaiming a Tory majority. Last time around, in 2011, the score was NDP 37, PCs 19 and Liberals one.

That leaves Alberta as Canada’s sole remaining NDP jurisdiction, one that’s increasingly at odds with its federal counterparts over their radically resource-restricting LEAP Manifesto.

Canada down to one NDP government as Tories take Manitoba

A former teacher, founder of a financial services
company and federal MP, premier-elect
Brian Pallister represents a Winnipeg riding.
(Photo: Manitoba Progressive Conservatives)

Manitoba’s NDP failure was easier to predict than the federal party’s lackluster performance in October’s national election. Some observers date the downfall to 2013 when NDP premier Greg Selinger raised the provincial sales tax, breaking budget legislation as well as an election promise. Brian Pallister’s PCs promised a PST rollback.

On mining issues, the NDP pledged to increase the province’s Mineral Exploration Assistance Program, support the Manitoba Geological Survey’s work with explorers, improve mining investment and tax credit processing “and make sure companies open up more exploration on undeveloped leases.”

Somewhat platitudinously, the PCs promised to create a “framework” on the duty to consult natives and to “build respectful and effective partnerships” for resource development.

The night before the election, the Tories returned to the “Hydro jobs for votes scandal,” citing a “just-filed lawsuit [alleging] that Greg Selinger released highly sensitive financial and business information to benefit a third party in December 2015.”

But it was Selinger who faced heavy criticism for “desperate” attacks against Pallister, in which the former cast aspersions on the latter’s Costa Rican real estate and, “in light of the Panama Papers,” his personal income taxes.

Manitobans face a clear choice: Brian Pallister’s plan to cede our province to Saskatchewan and turn us all into Roughriders fans, or our plan to see 42,000 more Manitobans cheering on the Jets and the Bombers.—An April 1 jest
from Manitoba’s NDP

Even so, the NDP campaign wasn’t without levity. On April 1 the party announced a plan to annex Kenora, Ontario. “Manitobans face a clear choice: Brian Pallister’s plan to cede our province to Saskatchewan and turn us all into Roughriders fans, or our plan to see 42,000 more Manitobans cheering on the Jets and the Bombers,” the NDP spoof quoted Selinger. “We’re going to keep growing Manitoba’s economy—whether it’s through investments, immigration or expansion.”

According to government figures released in January, mining comprises Manitoba’s second-largest primary resource sector and serves as one of the north’s largest employers of natives. The 2014 production value of metals and industrial minerals surpassed $1.3 billion and created over 3,200 jobs.

The province’s six mines produce all of Canadian cesium, 11.9% of nickel, 23.6% of zinc, 5.5% of copper, 2.4% of gold and 5.6% of silver.

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