Manitoba's PC caucus sworn in Wednesday

After the remainder of Brian Pallister’s PC caucus was sworn in at the Manitoba Legislature on Wednesday, the premier faced questions about the size of the provincial deficit.

Premier Brian Pallister faced questions about the provincial deficit after ceremony

Manitoba's newly-elected PC caucus

7 years ago
Duration 2:03
The remainder of Premier Brian Pallister's Progressive Conservative caucus was sworn in Wednesday at the Manitoba Legislature.

The remainder of Premier Brian Pallister's Progressive Conservative caucus was sworn in Wednesday at the Manitoba Legislature.

The ceremony involved swearing allegiance to the Queen and taking their seats in the province's legislative assembly.

In a media scrum after the ceremony, Pallister faced questions about the size of Manitoba's deficit, questions he said he was unable to fully answer at this time.
The remainder of Manitoba's newly-elected PC caucus was sworn in on Wednesday. Premier Brian Pallister and his cabinet were sworn in on May 3. (CBC)

"I'm hopeful we're near discovering how deep the hole is," said Pallister.

"It's kind of like peeling an onion a little bit, it's a bad analogy, but then again it's not bad because it does kind of make you cry if you're not careful about it."

Pallister said while the deficit is large, he cannot yet say whether it surpasses $1 billion. He said members of the civil service are in the process of tallying the province's books.

The premier said he hopes to pass a budget before the summer recess.

The PCs swept to power in Manitoba on April 19, ending 16 years of NDP rule in the province.

Pallister and his cabinet ministers were already sworn in at a ceremony on May 3.

Here are two things to watch for in the coming months under the new political leadership:

1. Throne speech scheduled for Monday, May 16

This will be the first throne speech for the new PC government, and they're expected to outline their agenda for the next four years, including reiterating promises they made during the campaign.

The election of the Speaker will happen that day as well – and the PCs have already signaled they plan to elect long-time PC MLA Myrna Driedger.

2. First budget 'signature' event of session

The Tories are expected to table their first budget before the session closes on June 1, but the session could be extended to allow for budget deliberations.

The first session should see the Tories work on a litany of "First 100 Days" promises.

Pallister made several commitments, while campaigning, including reducing various health care wait times, ending a public subsidy for political parties and starting a massive review to cut government costs.

Read more:

with files from CBC's Sean Kavanagh