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Jagmeet Singh says he would ‘stand up’ to Brian Pallister if elected prime minister

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh weighed in on the federal government's relationship with Manitoba premier Brian Pallister while in Winnipeg Tuesday.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh weighed in on the federal government's relationship with Manitoba premier Brian Pallister while in Winnipeg Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh took a swing at Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister during a campaign stop in Winnipeg Tuesday.

While in the city to announce parts of his party’s plan to deal with climate issues, Singh was asked to weigh in on the apparent strained relationship between Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Justin Trudeau’s government.

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The NDP Leader instead focused on provincial health care. Saying his government would take a firmer approach when dealing with provincial leaders.

“I would stand up and say this is the wrong way to go, it’s making it more difficult for families,” Singh said.

“With Mr. Pallister there’s been some serious cuts that have hurt families, he’s cut education and health care and that’s hurt.

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“We know we can work with the people of Winnipeg to protect and expand our health care services which is better investments in their health care and we’re ready to do that.”

The Pallister government — which was just elected to its second majority government in Manitoba — has come under fire from critics for its overhaul of the province’s health care system.

Under the changes Winnipeg has gone from six hospital Emergency Rooms to three.

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In October 2017, the Victoria Hospital converted its ER to an Urgent Care Centre and the Urgent Care Centre at Misericordia closed.

This summer, the emergency rooms at Concordia and Seven Oaks hospitals also closed.

Singh said health care should be the top issue facing Manitoba voters in the federal election.

“What we’re proposing is universal medication coverage and pharma care for all, that would alleviate a lot of pressure off the health care system, a lot of people can’t afford the medication they need and they end up in the hospital,” he said.

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“Mr. Pallister has brought in cuts to health care centres, hospitals, it’s been very difficult for people here.”

The Pallister government fired back in an email to Global News Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s unfortunate that Jagmeet Singh-someone who is campaigning for the role of Prime Minister- would put false information on the record in an attempt to gain political points,” said a spokesperson for the Premier’s office.

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