Manitoba NDP wants legislature to resume in September
Nahanni Fontaine, NDP House Leader, is calling on the Progressive Conservatives to recall the legislature in September. (CTV News Photo Glenn Pismenny)
WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba NDP is calling on the provincial government to recall the Manitoba legislature next week.
Nahanni Fontaine, the NDP House Leader, made the announcement Thursday morning, demanding the Pallister government recall the legislature on Sept. 2.
The date is the same day staff and teachers at schools will return, ahead of students returning on Sept. 8. Fontaine said the opposition is concerned about education in the province, grant changes to nursery schools, and added the opposition will argue for paid sick leave for workers if the legislature resumes.
"We can go back any day, immediately, if the premier felt he was willing to call us back, but we're specifically calling for the premier to call us back on September 2," she said.
"We know teachers are going back September 2, a week in advance of our children going back to school, surely elected representatives from the Manitoba legislature can go back to work in the chamber."
The legislature has only sat for a total of 27 days in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the number of sittings. Nahanni said they have not heard anything definitive from the provincial government on when the legislature will resume.
"We are ready and willing and anxious to negotiate with the government to bring us back to the house, and do the work that we were elected to do," she said.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the provincial government said the legislature has been sitting in committee meetings during the summer to deal with legislation and reports, and offering all MLAs to ask questions of the government.
"There will continue to be opportunities for Opposition members to raise matters of concern related to COVID-19 or other matters before the Assembly resumes at its regular sitting time,” the spokesperson said.
The Manitoba legislature is currently scheduled to resume October 7.