The Pallister government’s 2018 speech from the throne includes promises on wait times, drunk driving, cannabis and self-driving vehicles.

In health care, the province says it will bring forward a plan to reduce wait times for joint replacements, cataracts and diagnostic imaging. The speech also promises the first ever provincial “clinical and preventative services” plan which will include a focus on mental health and addictions.

The government says work will continue towards the construction of 1,200 personal care home beds by 2025.

On safety, the address pledges to further crack down on drunk driving. It says an immediate “roadside prohibition” program will allow police to deal with lower-level alcohol cases faster by using administrative penalties.

Overall police services in Manitoba will also be reviewed to find “innovative” ways to improve service.

The speech also says Manitoba Justice will report annually starting in 2019 on recidivism rates, case disposition lengths and the number of people in custody.

The province says two new pilot projects will assist victims of domestic violence, including a family resolution service.

When it comes to self-driving cars, a new law is set to be tabled to allow for the safe testing of autonomous vehicles “to ensure alignment across jurisdictions.”

On pot, the speech suggests cannabis sales could be expanded by moving to an “open market” through an application process.

Page one of the speech talks about risks to the economy including taxes and makes a specific mention of other levels of government.

“Higher interest rates, unresolved trade disputes, and tax increases at federal and local levels threaten our prosperity,” is said.

Other Highlights:

  • Banning gaming expansion pending a review of Manitoba’s gaming strategy
  • Referendum law on major tax increases
  • Performance-based funding for colleges
  • A review of oil production taxes and Crown royalties
  • Additional protections against high-pressure sales tactics used by direct sellers
  • A plan to move more Manitobans from welfare into the workforce