NEWS
11/13/2015 11:50 EST | Updated 11/13/2016 00:12 EST

Manitoba Opposition Leader Brian Pallister presents alternative throne speech

WINNIPEG — Manitoba Opposition Leader Brian Pallister is promising to cut hospital wait times, reduce the size of cabinet and have more open contracts if he becomes premier.

The Progressive Conservative leader has released his alternative throne speech, three days before the NDP government is to present the actual speech from the throne.

Pallister says that if he wins next April's election, he will reduce the size of cabinet by one-third and reduce fees people pay for ambulance service.

He also says he would set up a committee to look at how to reduce emergency room wait times and he would ensure government contracts were put up for public bidding to lower costs.

The Tory version of the throne speech reiterates long-standing  promises to cut the provincial sales tax, raise the basic exemption for income tax and restore a requirement to have a referendum before any major tax increase.

Pallister says he could fulfil all the promises within his first term — and balance the budget — but the NDP says Pallister's plan would require deep cuts to front-line services

The Canadian Press