The Honourable Mr. Chief Justice Richard J.F. Chartier

Madam Speaker and members of the Manitoba Legislature, I welcome you to the first session of the Forty-second Legislative Assembly of the Province of Manitoba.

I offer my congratulations to all new and returning members of this Assembly.

I also offer the congratulations and appreciation of all Manitobans to all candidates who sought election to this Assembly in the recent election.

Your commitment and contribution to the vitality of our democracy is deserving of our respect.

To all Manitobans, your government is grateful for the honour to continue serving the people of our province.

You have renewed your government's mandate to continue its mission of fixing Manitoba's finances, repairing its services and rebuilding its economy.

While significant progress was made in all three areas during the previous term, much work remains to be done in order to complete the task of moving Manitoba forward towards greater prosperity for all.

As a government that keeps its promises, your government will continue to work to make Manitoba more economically competitive by reducing regulatory red tape and encouraging innovation.

Passage of The Business Registration, Supervision and Ownership Transparency Act (Various Acts Amended) will help Manitoba complete implementation of the New West Partnership Trade Agreement, and will provide Manitobans with more access to customers and opportunities across Western Canada.

Your government will address the issue of addictions, and honour its obligation to keep our streets safe from crime.

And your government will continue to work to strengthen our education system, support families in need and deliver better health care sooner for all Manitobans.

In the coming days, this Assembly will be asked to complete all necessary legislative requirements in order to fully implement the measures outlined in Budget 2019.

Measures that increase funding for health care, education and families.

Measures that increase support for tourism and our creative industries, while also investing more than $1 billion in strategic infrastructure.

And most importantly, measures that lower the provincial sales tax to seven per cent.

In 2011, the previous government was elected based on its promise to not raise the provincial sales tax and a commitment to let Manitobans vote on major tax hikes.

Just eighteen months later, both of those promises were broken.

After making more goods and services subject to the PST, the PST rate was increased to eight per cent without the consent of Manitobans.

That increase took more than $300 million annually off the kitchen tables of Manitobans.

The previous government took more from Manitobans and gave less.

Your government is committed to taking less from Manitobans and giving them more.

Reducing the PST back to seven per cent is part of your government's plan to guarantee $2,020 in tax savings for Manitobans over the next years.

Manitobans have given your government the mandate to move Manitoba forward, toward a stronger economy, better services, and better jobs.

The work to achieve those goals resumes today; they will continue to guide the decisions of this government throughout its mandate.

It is the path Manitobans have chosen, it is the bright future they deserve, and it is what your government will work hard to deliver.

I now leave you to the business of the session, knowing that you will faithfully discharge your duties and responsibilities.

May Divine Providence continue to bless our province and guide this Assembly in all of its deliberations.

God Bless Manitoba.

God Bless Canada.

And God Save the Queen.