Once Again, Premier Pallister Misleads Manitobans

September 15, 2020

Yesterday, Premier Brian Pallister demonstrated, once again, how far he can wander away from the truth and mislead Manitobans. His litany of misdirection began the moment he was asked to comment on the Manitoba Metis Federation's (MMF) Human Rights Complaint. He started by falsely accusing MMF President David Chartrand of "looking to sue somebody and there's not many people in Manitoba he hasn't chosen to sue."

"Ridiculous. Firstly, the MMF filing a Human Rights Complaint is not a civil action or lawsuit. We are not suing anybody in the Complaint - but we are going to hold the Government of Manitoba, Health Minister Friesen and Dr. Roussin accountable," explained President Chartrand. "We are going to find out if they received direction from Premier Pallister to ignore the Métis people.

"Secondly, the MMF lawsuits are sharply focused on the actions and inactions of Pallister, the Manitoba Government, and Manitoba Hydro," President Chartrand continued. "These have been carefully chosen to address the behaviour of the Premier and his government. We have no choice but to sue when the Premier's actions invite a lawsuit."

In his comments yesterday, Pallister rambled on, changed to an unrelated subject, and talked about the Lake Manitoba - Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels. He stated that he's "got everyone on board on, for example, the outlet consultation, [at] the north end of Lake Manitoba. Every First Nation, every interest group."

Everyone on board? Every First Nation? Hardly. On August 28, 2020, the media reported that a Manitoba Court had granted an injunction against the province to stop the project because Manitoba failed to consult four First Nations. Does he think that no one is paying attention when the court issues an injunction against his government for failing to consult with Indigenous Nations? Or has he decided to copy the President of our southern neighbour and say whatever pops into his head no matter how untrue it is?

Pallister also stated that MMF President Chartrand has "been invited a dozen times to get involved in that discussion and he isn't returning calls [...]" presumably about the Outlet Channels. And, that he needs "President Chartrand to show up for the consultations [...]."

"I challenge the Premier to show me the dozen invitations or the phone calls or texts he or his ministers made to me that I have supposedly ignored," stated President Chartrand. "I have not received one phone call or one letter from Pallister asking me to be part of a discussion or consultations about the Outlet Channels. Full, meaningful and proper consultation is more than holding an open house and offering attendees some fried chicken.

"Pallister talks nonsense when says his government is 'in the reconciliation business [...]," said President Chartrand. "He tramples all over the rights of the Métis People and ignores the law of Indigenous consultation. He has said in the past that his government has the 'gold standard' of consultation but it is more accurate to say it is a 'fool's gold standard'.

"Pallister continues to mislead Manitobans and blame others for his problems. Nothing has changed," President Chartrand continued. "Back two years ago when then-Hydro Chair Sandy Riley and every board director, with the exception of the only remaining director being a Conservative MLA, were part of a mass resignation under the Premier's watch, he blamed the MMF agreement which he had cancelled. The real reason, according to Mr. Riley as quoted by the CBC, was 'when we tried to talk to the premier, he was unresponsive [...]' and that '[...] the premier continues to make inaccurate statements about the circumstances [...].'

"Pallister continues to blame others for the consequences of his government's failures and to divide Manitobans," concluded President Chartrand. "This is Trump behaviour north of the border and in our own province. Pallister's comments yesterday clearly demonstrate why it is important that the media and indeed all Manitobans remain vigilant and continue to fact-check and challenge what he says. His views do not coincide with reality."



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