Five Manitoba cabinet ministers quit in dispute with Premier Greg Selinger
Five senior cabinet ministers in Manitoba say they are resigning because they have lost confidence in NDP Premier Greg Selinger’s leadership.
Selinger had indicated he will be shuffling his cabinet to fill the vacancies left by Finance Minister Jennifer Howard, Justice Minister Andrew Swan, Jobs and Economy Minister Theresa Oswald, Municipal Government Minister Stan Struthers and Health Minister Erin Selby.
The five, who say they intend to stay on as members of the legislature, told a news conference Monday that problems started a few months ago when Selinger canvassed his ministers about his leadership.
They say that when they answered honestly, Selinger stopped listening to their advice and projects they had worked on were pushed aside in favour of those touted by his supporters.
“We expressed our views very clearly, and that is when, as my colleagues have said, we noticed a definite change in the way that things were being done,” Swan said. “Our concern is the premier has become more concerned about remaining leader than necessarily doing things in the best interest of Manitobans.”
Selinger wasn’t looking for advice about his leadership so much as “validation,” Struthers added.
“It made it more difficult to govern on behalf of the people of Manitoba,” he said.
The ministers said their decision is not because of any single issue. They said they will continue to vote with the government and intend to run in the next election under the NDP banner.
A revolt erupted last week when the ministers suggested Selinger should think about his future given the NDP’s drop in opinion polls. The New Democrats have trailed the Opposition Progressive Conservatives since the government increased the provincial sales tax to eight per cent from seven last year.
The ministers later agreed to an uneasy truce, saying they would not resign, but they gave no indication they were backing down from their suggestions that the premier consider stepping down. (Source: Toronto Star)