The Manitoba legislature gets back to business Tuesday with the first throne speech from the newly elected NDP government.
The first session of the 43rd legislature is scheduled to begin this afternoon, when Lt.-Gov. Anita Neville is slated to read a speech outlining the priorities of Premier Wab Kinew.
Parties in power typically do not make many new policy announcements during throne speeches. Historically, incoming parties repeat announcements from recent campaigns.
Kinew’s New Democrats were elected on Oct. 3 on a platform primarily consisting of health-care pledges, most notably a promise to reopen three Winnipeg emergency rooms.
The NDP also committed during the election campaign to a temporary pause on the provincial gas tax, a one-year freeze on Manitoba Hydro rates and the creation of more social and affordable housing.
Two of Manitoba’s three premiers prior to Kinew were selected by their parties, not Manitoban voters, prior to their first throne speeches.
In 2021, former premier Heather Stefanson used her first throne speech following a PC leadership campaign to promise to re-examine changes planned for rural health care, ensure more graduating nurses stay in the province and introduce a strategy to reduce homelessness.
Stefanson will enter the legislative chamber on Tuesday as leader of the official opposition, a position she said she intends to hold at least until her party approves new rules for a leadership contest.
In 2016, her PC predecessor Brian Pallister used his speech — which followed a resounding election victory — to promise to find a made-in-Manitoba climate action plan, including carbon pricing, in order to foster emission reductions.
Pallister also promised a value-for-money audit across all government departments, a commission to reduce red tape in government and an effort to build relations with Indigenous peoples.
In 2009, NDP premier Greg Selinger used his first throne speech following an NDP leadership race to promise to pay for a helicopter for the Winnipeg Police Service, build a new women’s hospital at Health Sciences Centre and increase stimulus spending in the face of a recession.
The Kinew government said in a press release that Neville’s speech will begin at approximately 1:30 p.m.