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Principles for a Vibrant, Prosperous Manitoba

Introduction

Throughout the history of Canada the people of Manitoba have helped shape the direction and destiny of
the nation.

Manitoba has always been blessed with an abundance of natural resources and strong people with an
entrepreneurial spirit. Manitoba’s citizens, whether born here or arriving from other places around the
globe, share a common desire to enrich their lives and the well being of their families. Manitobans believe
their fellow citizens should be able to benefit from the opportunities and abundance the province has to
offer.

Following are the building blocks upon which a vibrant and prosperous future for Manitoba will be built:

Funding for Government

1. Structural deficits are destructive to the long term health of the Manitoba economy. Deficits should only
occur in times of real economic crisis and should be eliminated as quickly as possible if they do occur.
2. Taxes are necessary to fund the public services and infrastructure investments deemed important by
Manitobans. But they are also a drain on economic growth and innovation. Government should
minimize, simplify and optimize taxes to attract investment, jobs and opportunity and encourage our
private sector entrepreneurs to flourish.
3. We reject the stereotype of Manitoba as a “have-not” province and will strive to make transformational
policy changes that will make the province a self-sustaining “have” province.

Free Flow of Goods and People

4. Manitoba should be a society whose economic opportunities and quality of life encourage its residents
to stay, rather than continue to be a regular net exporter of people to other provinces.
5. Manitoba depends on the free flow of goods, services, and people. We will work to keep our borders
open with all of our neighbours, particularly those closest to us; British Columbia, Alberta and
Saskatchewan. We will also actively encourage free trade on the international level.
6. The inflow of investment and people is necessary for the long term health of the Manitoba economy.
The Government of Manitoba should encourage immigration in a way that helps the Province meet the
demand for labour, skills and investment.

Public Assets

7. Public assets must be managed with full public reporting, transparency and competitive neutrality.
Public ownership should not imply a competitive advantage that is not available to Manitoba’s
entrepreneurs and business leaders (small and large).
8. Crown corporations should operate transparently and in the best interests of the public. Their goals
should be defined clearly in legislation, their performance should be regularly assessed, and there
should be no behind-the-scenes political interference with them.
9. Government must not compete with the entrepreneurs and business leaders (small and large) who
drive our economy. Unless there is a clear and demonstrated public benefit derived from government
ownership, the Government of Manitoba should not take an ownership position in new commercially
viable enterprises.

Healthcare

10. All Manitobans, regardless of where they live or their income level, should have access to a
sustainable, high quality health care system.
11. There should be a strong publicly funded health care system that offers a variety of options for patients
and providers in which there is freedom to criticize and advocate for change, and that is centred on
patients and front line providers rather than an ever expanding and controlling bureaucracy.

Education

12. Educational institutions need room in which to innovate and provide diverse programs and
opportunities, and not have the pursuit of excellence impaired by rigid provincial policies.
Aboriginal Empowerment
13. Working with the government of Canada and aboriginal communities, Manitoba must help to address,
on an urgent basis, the issues of addressing economic development, greater educational opportunities
and providing effective public services, including child and family services.

Local Government

14. There should be a new deal for local government. Cities and municipalities must have a reasonable
measure of autonomy, and reasonable access to growth taxes, so that there is an incentive to sound
policy-making.
15. Local government will operate at the highest levels of transparency and competitive neutrality
consistent with best international practice.

Social Safety Net

16. Manitobans support an effective and sustainable social safety net to protect those who need help while
providing people with the tools to become self-sufficient.
Justice and Crime
17. Public policy on crime reduction should be practical, effective, and respectful of civil liberties.
Public Services
18. Citizens have the right to the highest quality of public services that are provided in the most cost
effective, neutral and efficient manner available with transparency and public reporting.
19. The size of the public sector should be brought into reasonable balance with the overall size of society.
This objective should be achieved first and foremost by encouraging the growth of strong commercial
and non-profit sectors outside of government, rather than cutbacks that would impair the effective
delivery of public services or place an undue burden on those currently working in the public sector.

The Environment

20. Development without consideration for environmental sustainability is destructive to the economy, the
health of the citizens of Manitoba, and the natural richness with which we have been endowed.
Environmental sustainability must be a prime consideration of both the Government of Manitoba and
the business community.
21. Environmental decisions will be based on sound verifiable science, and measurable results based on
risk and cost benefit analysis. Personal Choice
22. Governments and political leaders should, by example, foster high ethical standards and moral values
within society, but leave questions of personal belief, faith, and conviction to its citizens.

Robust Civil Society

23. Provincial policy should leave room for diversity, vitality and innovation in the rest of society, rather than
having a provincial government exercise excessive and politicized control.
24. Government decisions must be responsive and transparent to the people of Manitoba. Democratic
reforms will focus on increasing citizen’s input into the decisions of government and providing citizens
with the tools necessary to keep government accountable.
25. The political playing field should be leveled. Governments should not be permitted to use taxpayer
money, in the guise of government information campaigns that in effect amount to partisan political
advertising. The independence of the offices of the Provincial Auditor, Chief Electoral Officer and
other democratic watchdogs must be scrupulously maintained.
26. Appointments to provincial agencies should be on the base of stated criteria and emphasize selection
on the basis of merit.
27. Manitoba needs a strong and diversified business sector in which there is free competition, rather than
a subsidy culture in which success depends on political favour.
The means to achieving this end could include an adoption of core principles along these lines by existing
parties, merger, or creation of a new party. However accomplished, the people of Manitoba need and
deserve a political alternative that is positive, based on ideas and vision, and has the potential to win support
from a very wide range of Manitobans with different backgrounds and personal beliefs.

17Nov

Economic Uncertainty Ahead for Manitoba

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