WINNIPEG – The provincial government is making some changes to the way our major crown corporations operate.
The Tories are planning to replace the old legislation governing crowns like Manitoba Hydro, MPI and Liquor and Lotteries with a new act of their own.
It will be called the Crown Corporations Governance and Accountability Act and will be tabled later this year.
They say it will be more cost effective, eliminate overlap and duplication and keep the boards of those corporations accountable.
One way they are doing that is by giving the ax to the Crown Corporations Council, which is mainly responsible for training staff.
“It has a very large budget, and one of the things Manitobans voted for in spring was efficiencies, they want to see the government provide good services and provide them efficiently,” explains Ron Schuler, minister responsible for the crowns. “We don’t need a crown corporation to train people.
Schuler also says the old NDP government stuck its nose into things too often, costing taxpayers money.
“Where ministers and politicians get themselves into trouble is when they start to reach into a crown corporation and try to micromanage or influence politically. So if we come up with a proper system, whereby ministers deal with only the board chairs and the boards, like you would have with any corporation.”
NDP crown corporations critic Andrew Swan finds it curious that the Tories have decided to announce this now even though House won’t be in session until October. He also takes issue with the accusation that the NDP interfered with the corporations.
“Frankly, it is the minister’s job to listen and to have good conversations with the crown corporation to make sure that Manitobans’ needs are being met. For a minister to suggest that’s not his responsibility, that it’s hands off, it really makes you wonder what the future of crown corporations will be under this new government.”
The Tories have almost completely replaced the leadership of all of the corporations since taking power.