Favourite political moment

Illustration by Sam Neal

1. Stefanson uses her son’s hockey game to distract from the healthcare crisis
2. CTV La La Land's the mayoral election for Glen Murray
3. Stefanson’s low approval ratings

Steinbach’s first-ever Pride event. Justice 4 Black Lives Winnipeg’s rally. Brian Pallister’s resignation. In my time at The Uniter, readers have seen and celebrated major political organizing and progress across the province.

But the more some things change, the more others stay the same.

Since its election in 2016, Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government has decimated healthcare services by shuttering emergency rooms across the province, failing to support staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and pushing for privatization.

Their utter lack of compassion was perhaps best exemplified in March, when Premier Heather Stefanson responded to a question about a woman’s death by congratualting her son’s winning hockey team.

During question period, NDP Leader Wab Kinew asked for an inquest to investigate the death of Krystal Mousseau, a patient who died in May 2021 after a failed attempt to airlift her to an Ottawa hospital.

Instead of respectfully responding to Kinew and acknowledging the healthcare system’s failings that contributed to Mousseau’s death, Stefanson first took a “proud parent moment” to mention her child’s provincial hockey championship win.

“Sometimes, we need to remember that we need to take time to celebrate our kids,” she told the legislative chamber. The comment would be almost laughable, a moment of awkward levity, if not for the gravity of Mousseau's death and the state of healthcare in Manitoba.

Stefanson later apologized for her remarks and said the comment about her family was “misplaced.” Really, they couldn’t be more spot-on. This PC government claims to “want a province where families can thrive,” but these statements deflect from actual issues and underscore how separated from reality these leaders are.

Published in Volume 77, Number 12 of The Uniter (December 1, 2022)

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