Brian Pallister, Manitoba's incoming premier, prepares to lead government
He plans to unveil his cabinet in 2-3 weeks and table a budget by summer
Manitoba's incoming premier, Brian Pallister, is getting his government ready a day after his Progressive Conservatives swept into power.
The PCs won an unprecedented 40 seats in Tuesday's provincial election — ending 17 years of NDP rule.
"My dad used to say business should go where it's wanted, and we wanted the business and we asked for it and now we have to come up with results, and I think that's what Manitobans want," Pallister told reporters outside the Manitoba Legislature on Wednesday afternoon.
"They want better results and that's what I'm about, so we'll do our very, very best for Manitobans and I thank all Manitobans for the honour of being their premier."
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He then met with outgoing premier Greg Selinger inside the legislature for a ceremonial hand-off.
"We discussed a few files that were of interest to him and I tried to give him some preliminary information, but it was a pretty short and brief meeting," Selinger said.
"Obviously when you're in a transition you want it to be smooth, and we've just offered our hand in co-operation on anything that we can do to help them address some of the issues that they will be facing as they come into office."
Selinger said he and Pallister came up with an official date to transition the government within the next two weeks, but it'll be up to Pallister to announce the date.
While Pallister was mum on who may be appointed to his cabinet, he said he'll unveil the cabinet in two to three weeks, hold a spring legislative session soon after and have a budget tabled before the summer.
Pallister, a former member of Parliament, admitted that his French is "very rusty" and promised to brush up on the language and use it more often.
The Tories' transition team will be led by Eric Stefanson, a former PC MLA and cabinet minister in Gary Filmon's government, and a former Winnipeg city councillor.
'Urbal' and 'rurban' members
Part of the Tories' success came from their gains in Winnipeg, capturing some ridings that were previously held by the New Democrats, in addition to maintaining their usual base outside the city.
The party's success in Winnipeg calls for a new way of thinking for the Tories, Pallister told CBC News earlier on Tuesday.
He said some members of his team who live outside urban areas have to start thinking differently, while city-dwelling Tories have to start considering rural issues.
"I'm gonna go with 'urbal,' because we got a lot of urban members who need to learn about the rural part of our province," he said in an interview.
"That's going to be what we're going to do to build our team. We need 'rurban' people and 'urbal' people too."
Wall to talk New West with Pallister
Meanwhile, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said on Wednesday that he'll talk with Pallister about Manitoba joining the New West Partnership.
New West is a trade agreement between Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
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Wall said he worked well with Selinger's government on harmonizing some regulations for highways and transportation.
Wall said a lot of issues could be resolved for companies on both sides of the provincial boundary if Manitoba joined the trade pact.
One of Pallister's campaign promises was that his government would join the agreement — a point he reiterated on Wednesday.
"We are the only province currently in the Confederation — and it is a confederation, after all — that is not in a trading or a socially beneficial sharing arrangement with another jurisdiction, so I think it's important that we move in the direction of joining the New West Partnership ambitiously," he said.
With files from The Canadian Press