In a fiery pre-election speech to approximately 100 supporters in Brandon on Friday afternoon, Brian Pallister asked Brandonites to put their trust in him for another four-year mandate.
The leader of the Progressive Conservative party was at the Riverview Curling Club for what is likely his last stop in Brandon before Tuesday’s provincial election.
Pallister touted his government’s action to lower the provincial sales tax by one per cent and build a new school in Brandon — two things he said the previous NDP government promised to do but didn’t.
"This election is about a lot of things," he said. "It is about trust though, it is about making sure that we get what is promised to us."
Pallister called NDP Leader Wab Kinew’s visit to Brandon earlier this week a "desperate" attempt to buy votes, recalling Kinew’s promises to build a new community centre in the east end and a new recreation complex at the corner of First Street and Veterans Way.
"We have the right to disagree with each other but we have the right to expect that we will be honest with each other — that we will be truthful with each other; that we’ll tell the truth," he said. "Our platform is there, people can read it, they can take it to the bank."
The election is also about taxes, he said, and letting people keep more of their money. By doing so, people will be able to create more opportunities and job prospects for the next generation.
In a scrum with reporters after his speech, Pallister also briefly commented on Swan River Progressive Conservative candidate Rick Wowchuk, who was found in June to have breached the legislature’s respectful workplace policy five times.
According to an article from the CBC, Wowchuk showed his legislative assistant a photo of a naked woman on his phone, among other incidents. The complainant declined to comment when reached by The Brandon Sun on Thursday.
Pallister didn’t directly respond to a question on why Wowchuk was allowed to seek re-election under the party banner, but said that he believes in the policies the PCs have brought in, including the "no wrong door policy." The policy is intended to ensure there is no wrong way for political staff to report abuse or harassment.
"We’re healing a system and there’ll be more cases brought forward — that’s what will happen and that’s a good thing," he said. "I feel badly obviously for anyone who’s harassed but I would feel far worse if it was being covered up.
"We are going to see a better system now because people will feel protected and respected in it. And that’s what I want to see. I don’t want to say anything to break the law."
Pallister said he had not spoken to Wowchuk since the news broke earlier this week, but that he is confident the government handled the issue in the right way.
"I’m confident that we’ve done the right thing in every respect in dealing with these types of situations," he said.
Manitobans go to the polls on Tuesday.
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