Goertzen is signalling more changes are to come during his short term as premier.
The first day on the job Kelvin Goertzen appears poised to make the most of his two-month term as Manitoba’s 23rd Premier by withdrawing several controversial Bills. Bill 64 is designated as ‘The Education Modernization Act’. The Bill would eliminate democratically elected school board trustees, change the roles of Principals and eliminate all school divisions to create regional catchments to highlight a few of the most salient points. This Bill has been one of the most contentious Bills and drew wide protest from Manitobans.
Then there is the withdrawal of Bill 57, – The Protection of Critical Infrastructure Act. This Bill was aimed to prevent protest at facilities deemed to be used for agricultural processing, pipelines, power lines, dams, hospitals, courthouses, and airports. The withdrawal of this Bill helps to ensure Manitoba’s Indigenous people can still protest peacefully on Treaty land.
“On behalf of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc., I extend our appreciation to interim Premier Kelvin Goertzen for taking action on his first day in office by withdrawing Bill 64 along with several other Bills that would have a detrimental impact on First Nations citizens in Northern Manitoba.” Said MKO Grand Chief Settee
Goertzen also plans to pull Bills that intervened with the rights to binding arbitrations, increase private liquor sales and prevent the cabinet from bypassing the Public Utility Board to unilaterally set eclectic rates. Goertzen’s first day on the job has been a stark contrast to that of Premier Pallister. Goertzen suggested that members of his P.C party have the ability to present ideas freely to ensure meaningful dialogue.
Premier Goertzen plans to do more bridge-building on day two of his Premiership. Calls have already been made to the leaders of the opposition, stakeholders within the Indigenous community and outgoing Mayor Bowman. It’s only been one day, but Goertzen’s showing a clear distinction from former Premier Pallister in the manner he governs.