WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has released his marching orders to cabinet ministers, including a directive to not privatize the province's biggest Crown corporation.
Pallister has released the mandate letters given to his 12 ministers — an outline of his expectations for them in the wake of the Tories' election win last month.
The mandate for Ron Schuler, minister for Crown services, says his top priority — "above all else" — is to keep Manitoba Hydro public.
The former NDP government accused Pallister of having secret plans to privatize Hydro, and Pallister says the accusation was false.
Pallister also says he will not privatize other government bodies such as Manitoba Public Insurance or Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries.
The mandate letters mostly direct cabinet ministers to fulfil Tory campaign promises — everything from eliminating a public subsidy for political parties to cutting the provincial sales tax by one point by 2020.
When asked whether he might follow Saskatchewan's lead and sell some government liquor stores, Pallister said he wouldn't because liquor stores may be the sale points for legalized marijuana.
"Frankly, with the legalization of marijuana issue ... I think it would just be an inopportune time to proceed in that manner. So no, that's not on the radar."