'Lots of work to do,' says Brian Pallister as he holds 1st caucus meeting after Manitoba election win

Manitoba premier-designate Brian Pallister says he's still working out who will be in his cabinet, after met with his caucus on Wednesday for the first time since they were elected to government.

Premier-designate says he's still working out who'll be in his cabinet

Manitoba premier-designate Brian Pallister says he's still working out who will be in his cabinet, as he met with his caucus on Wednesday for the first time since they were elected to government. 1:46

Manitoba premier-designate Brian Pallister says he's still working out who will be in his cabinet, as he met with his caucus on Wednesday for the first time since they were elected to government.

The 61-year-old Progressive Conservative Party leader won a majority government in the Manitoba election on April 19, ending nearly 17 years of the NDP in power.

Brian Pallister told his 39 fellow elected Tories on Wednesday they must focus on reducing waste, finding innovative ideas and boosting the economy to make what he called a Manitoba miracle within eight years.

He also announced that his government's first sitting of the house will begin May 16 with the speech from the throne. 

While Pallister and his government — cabinet and deputy ministers — will be sworn into office on May 3, he said he's still determining who will be in his cabinet.

With 40 of 57 legislature seats, the new PC caucus is one of the largest in Manitoba's history. Pallister said all his elected MLAs will be involved in the new government.
Brian Pallister spoke with his new caucus members saying, "this is our chance to leave a legacy" 0:54

"There's lots and lots of work to do. There'll be lots of opportunities for people to contribute," he told reporters.

"Some of them will contribute by sharing the responsibilities of being in a cabinet and others will contribute in other ways, but there is important work to be done and everyone will have a job, I assure you."

The caucus will be officially sworn in on May 11.

Pallister said his government will table a budget a few weeks after the throne speech, but he would not commit to a specific date.

He said the province's finances are in a mess, with the government's rainy day fund drawn down to what he said are unacceptable levels.

The government's priority, he said, is "finding lower-priority spending and eliminating lower priorities."

"Without that, we're not secure in our own household budgets and we won't have any small businesses that prosper and we won't have an economy. So these are not going to be easy, easy decisions to make," he said.

Brian Pallister sits at the head of a long table of caucus members. The PCs won a majority government with 40 seats. (Pierre Verriere/CBC)