Layoffs are front of mind as NDP pushes for House to reconvene

By | April 22, 2020

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s official opposition leader is calling for the legislature to reconvene to discuss jobs and the economy.

On Wednesday, NDP leader Wab Kinew said the NDP said it wants to hold the government accountable for layoffs and the impact of the hard financial reality many families face.

“The Pallister Conservatives have forced more than a thousand layoffs in the last two days with more to come,” Kinew wrote in a statement. “Now more than ever, the government needs oversight and accountability.”

He added if front line workers continue to work every day then MLAs should do the same.

The NDP said Legislative Assembly rules say the government can call MLAs back together at any time. It can also reconvene under an agreement of the House Leaders and the Speaker. 

In a news release to CTV, the NDP said if the legislature reconvenes, they are ready to practice safe social distancing protocols or participate in a virtual setting. 

During a news conference Wednesday morning, Pallister did not mention when the legislature would reconvene, but said his house leader has been in contact with other parties about ways to ensure physical distancing rules are in place for future sittings.

“We understand the need, and as a former opposition leader, I understand also the importance of the opportunity for the opposition to do their job in a visible way,” he said.

Pallister said the parties are looking at options similar to the federal government, where a limited number of politicians meet once a week for a Question Period, but nothing has been finalized yet.

“We want to be able to do some work in the legislative assembly in a safe manner, so those discussions are underway,” Pallister said. 

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