Brian Pallister has stated on Tuesday he will step down as Manitoba Premier. The timing of his departure has not been determined yet though. Pallister, who is a Progressive Conservative, said that he will not run for re-election in 2023. He believes that announcing his departure earlier will allow Manitobans to meet their new leaders earlier and learn more about them promptly.
He talked to the press on Tuesday:
“By stepping aside at the midpoint in our second mandate, I believe this will provide sufficient time not only for party members to choose a new leader but for Manitobans to get to know that new leader and new premier as well, so we can keep moving this province forward together. I believe that now is the time for a new leader and a new premier to take our province forward.”
A spokesperson for the province sent an email to the press, stating:
“The premier remains the premier and indicated that he has asked the Progressive Conservative Party to initiate the process of selecting a new leader.”
Tom Wiebe, president of the PC Party of Manitoba, said that the premier told him about his decision not to run for re-election on Tuesday. He added:
“In the coming days, I will convene a meeting of our party executive to determine rules for a leadership election.”
Many speculate that Pallister has decided to do this because of his declining popularity. According to a recent survey, his party had the support of only 29 percent of decided voters.
Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew commented on Pallister’s decision to step down:
“It’s not just been about Mr. Pallister. It’s been the entire PC caucus and his party that has supported his decisions every step of the way that has caused Manitobans so many problems these past few years. This is a time that Manitobans need you. So why leave now?”
Dougald Lamont, the leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party, believes that it will take some time for Pallister’s party to recover from this.