Lies my Premier told me

As a life-long Manitoba resident, I have always viewed the position of premier of Manitoba with respect. The premier of Manitoba is someone we should all be able to look up to, a person to be admired. Think of D.L. Campbell, Duff Roblin, Ed Schreyer and Gary Filmon. Even Howard Paulley, although he was a bit slanted off to the left wing, had a respectable public persona.The two most recent premiers have shattered that theory. They have laced their every day work with outright lies. Not satisfied to be run of the mill politicians who may have a tendency towards a little truth stretching or embellishment, these last two have spread outright lies. To go even further, the last two premiers have built their platform, their actual government platform, on these lies. It’s shameful to say the least. Here’s seven that have been real humdingers. The lies appear in quotation marks where the actual words have been spoken. The ones not in quotes are untruths that have been inferred by words and inaction.

Gary Doer: “In the 1990s, the Conservatives fired 1,000 nurses.” 
That line was repeated many times and when Doer was really on a bombastic roll in the legislature he would pump it up to 1,500 nurses.
The truth: The Conservatives transfered the contracts for Manitoba nurses from hospitals and care homes to regional health authorities. Nurses were not fired, they were transferred.

Gary Doer: “The capacity of the Shellmouth dam will be expanded in a couple of years.”
The truth: After many years of waiting, it hasn’t happened but it’s still being promised.

Doer and Selinger: The east side boreal forest will be a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The truth: While this claim has been repeated for several years, Selinger has now admitted under questioning that no application has even been made and neither he nor Doer have even talked to UNESCO.

Doer and Selinger: The cost of a west side BiPole III hydro line won’t cost much more than an east side route.
The truth: Manitoba hydro documents show that west side BiPole III will be massively more expensive than the east side route and massively more expensive than originally stated.

Doer and Selinger: “We balanced the budget.”
The truth: The Manitoba budget hasn’t been balanced in years as the debt has climbed steadily to around $21 billion. Over and above that, if it hadn’t been for increases in federal transfer payments from Ottawa, Manitoba would likely be bankrupt by now.

Selinger (and Stan Struthers): “It’s not a matter of running out of money, farmers and property owners will be compensated.”
The truth: Manitoba is severely in debt, has a mounting deficit and it’s unlikely people will ever compensated to recover from the 2011 floods, never mind the last several decades of man-caused flooding in the Shellmouth area and the Grassy Marsh area.

Selinger: Manitobans will embrace the Spirited Energy slogan.
The truth: To quote Bartley Kives of the Winnipeg Free Press, “Spirited Energy didn’t just fail because the slogan was idiotic, although it most assuredly was. The campaign failed because it had no discernible objective and no measurable goals, unlike a real tourism campaign or a genuine economic-development strategy.”
Maybe the old and familiar “Friendly Manitoba” wasn’t so bad a slogan after all. Perhaps with one exception, Manitoba has been entirely too friendly to premiers who have not told us the truth.

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