Manitoba

Tories would once again order Crown corporations to cut 15% of senior management positions

PC Leader Brian Pallister confirmed on Wednesday that his party's new directive of a 15 per cent cut of senior management positions across summary government organizations would also apply to Crown corporations.

Brian Pallister also dispels speculation he would step down as PC Party leader in second term

Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister said he would reduce the senior management ranks of Crown corporations, at an announcement Wednesday morning outside Dakota Community Centre. (Ian Froese/CBC)

A re-elected Progressive Conservative government would once again ask its Crown corporations to cut back on senior management positions.

Leader Brian Pallister confirmed on Wednesday that his party's new directive of a 15 per cent cut of senior management positions across summary government organizations would also apply to Crown corporations.

The agencies already cut 15 per cent from its senior management ranks following a directive his government implemented in 2016.

The new order was listed in the party's platform, which was made public on Tuesday. It estimated the savings from reducing management ranks in such areas as post-secondary institutions, farm agencies and Child and Family Services organizations would be $31 million over the course of the next term.

130 Crown jobs already cut 

In 2018, the government reported that Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation and Manitoba Public Insurance combined to eliminate 130 jobs, which went above and beyond what the province ordered.

More recently, new mandate letters asked the boards of the three Crown corporations to set a target of eight per cent reductions across all staff levels — both managerial and non-managerial.

The new directive in the party's platform is stricter than what the Crown corporations had already been asked to do.

Andrew Smith, who is running for the Progressive Conservatives in Lagimodière, holds his son Lincoln at a campaign announcement where leader Brian Pallister, centre, re-announces how a re-elected government under his leadership would make life more affordable for Manitobans. (Ian Froese/CBC)

The New Democrats alleged in a news release that further cuts to the workforce of Manitoba Hydro, which has lost 900 employees since 2016, will result in the eventual privatization of the Crown corporation —a claim the Tories have long dismissed.

The PC leader held court with reporters on Wednesday after re-announcing, outside Dakota Community Centre, the various tax cuts he's promised.

Pallister seemed to suggest he'll stay on as leader for the duration of his next term if his party is re-elected on Sept. 10.

Retirement speculation

"A fifth, if Manitobans will have me, will be fine," Pallister said, presumably referring to the fact he would start his fifth term as member of the legislative assembly should he be elected by Fort Whyte voters next week.

"As long as Manitobans want me here, I'll be here."

Pallister's recent comments have deflated speculation the Progressive Conservative is planning to retire midway into his second term as leader.

On Tuesday, Pallister told 680 CJOB he would "absolutely" serve his full term.

When asked again on Wednesday if he would retire early, Pallister said it's not entirely his decision. 

"At some point Manitobans are going to retire me, whether I'd like it or not, and that's what goes with politics," he said. "In the meantime, I've never been more inspired to be involved in public life."

About the Author

Ian Froese

Reporter

Ian Froese is a reporter with CBC Manitoba. He has previously worked for newspapers in Brandon and Steinbach. Story idea? Email: ian.froese@cbc.ca.

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