Manitoba

Pallister makes it official: Manitoba election is Sept. 10

Manitoba's 42nd provincial election campaign officially kicked off Monday afternoon, with the vote set for Sept. 10.

Progressive Conservatives seek 'a new mandate to keep moving Manitoba forward'

Manitoba Progressive Conservatives lined the lawns at the legislature Monday as Premier Brian Pallister announced the issuing of the writs, which officially sets off the campaign for the Sept. 10 vote. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

Manitoba's 42nd provincial election campaign officially kicked off Monday in a sea of blue on the legislature grounds.

"I've just come back from visiting Her Honour the lieutenant governor, and I've asked her to dissolve the legislature and issue the writs of election for Tuesday, Sept. 10," Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister said in front of the Manitoba Legislative Building.

"It's time for a new mandate to keep moving Manitoba forward."

After months of speculation, Pallister made the election call Monday afternoon while surrounded by party members.

A year ahead of schedule

Pallister announced in June that the election would be moved from its scheduled date in October 2020 to Sept. 10, but the official campaign could not begin until the formal issuing of writs, after Pallister asked Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon to dissolve the legislature. Tuesday would have been the last possible day to issue the writs for a Sept. 10 election.

All the major parties have been campaigning for weeks, and the Opposition New Democrats and Greens have released their platforms in broad strokes.

Pallister's Progressive Conservative government is seeking a second term, after defeating the NDP in the 2016 provincial election.

The opposition parties are focusing their attacks on the Progressive Conservatives' health reforms, while the Tories say the election is about keeping taxes low, attracting business investment and ending a string of deficits that started in 2009.

Pallister took the opportunity Monday to launch into his party's campaign. Much of his speech was aimed at slamming the previous NDP government for its spending record.

"Manitoba needed to change direction, and in the last election we most certainly did," he said.

"The question every voter has to ask themselves in this election is, who do you trust to keep their word to you and your family?"

Progressive Conservative supporters gather for Pallister's announcement. (Austin Grabish/CBC)

The next government will work to build a better Manitoba, he said.

"It takes time to change things for the better," Pallister said, hinting at criticisms his government has faced over the past three years.

Platform pledges

In his speech, Pallister spoke about five guarantees his party is campaigning on, which build on initiatives the current government is working on.

The PCs rolled out a five-point plan of their guarantees — many of which were previously announced — to roll back taxes, provide strategic health-care funding, create more jobs, build more schools and make a made-in-Manitoba green plan.

"Progressive Conservatives want a Manitoba that is more affordable, more secure and more prosperous for us all," he said.

"And we will deliver on that vision for Manitobans, as we have been delivering each and every year of our first mandate."

Marking the ballot

Registered voters can expect to receive a voter information card in the mail, Elections Manitoba said. Potential voters have until Aug. 22 to register or update their voter information.

New electoral boundaries will be in place for this year's vote. 

More information on voting can be found at the Elections Manitoba website.

Candidates gear up for election, Tuesday, Sept. 10. 2:21

With files from The Canadian Press

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