Manitoba

Manitoba NDP commitments to Charest, Dodge still under review

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is still reviewing commitments made by the former NDP government, including the hiring of a former Quebec premier and former Bank of Canada governor.

NDP had promised to hire former Quebec premier and former Bank of Canada governor for reviews

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says he is looking at a long list of commitments made by the previous NDP government before the April election, with an eye to keeping the deficit in check. (Sean Kavanagh/CBC)

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is still reviewing commitments made by the former NDP government, including the hiring of a former Quebec premier and former Bank of Canada governor.

Pallister is marking 100 days in office, following the spring election win by his Progressive Conservatives.

He says he is still looking at a long list of commitments made by the NDP before the election, with an eye to keeping the deficit in check.

The NDP promised to hire former Quebec premier Jean Charest to look at relocating rail lines in Winnipeg, and former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge to review the province's balanced-budget law.

Pallister says his government is in the process of determining which commitments the province is contractually bound to fulfil, and which ones may be dropped.

He was unable to say whether Dodge and Charest had signed contracts.

"These are two of many dozens of commitments that the NDP made in the run-up to the last election, and so there's a lot of sorting out to be done right now," Pallister said.

"I know David Dodge a little bit. I know Jean Charest very well. They're both very strong, independent and financially secure individuals. I think we can leave them hang for a little while. They'll be fine."

Pallister, who has promised to reduce the budget and has faced a credit-rating downgrade since taking office, reiterated a promise Thursday to protect front-line public-sector workers.

But he stopped short of promising there will be no layoffs.

"My intent is to commit to Manitobans and to the workers who provide front-line services that we will focus on doing a better job on delivering front-line services," he said.

"We are going to be focusing ... on how we can do a better job of reducing the overlap and duplication within our services in the higher levels."