Kelvin Goertzen to make first public appearance as Manitoba premier

Manitoba’s new premier is expected to lay out some of his plans Wednesday afternoon.

Kelvin Goertzen is to hold his first news conference since being chosen interim leader of the governing Progressive Conservatives following the resignation of Brian Pallister.

Read more: Manitoba Progressive Conservatives name Kelvin Goertzen interim leader, new premier

Global News will stream the 2 p.m. press event live in this story.

Goertzen has been a legislature member since 2003, and became Pallister’s go-to person for major overhauls of government services.

Click to play video: 'Kelvin Goertzen named Manitoba interim premier' Kelvin Goertzen named Manitoba interim premier

Kelvin Goertzen named Manitoba interim premier

As health minister, he oversaw the closure of some emergency rooms in Winnipeg and a redesign of hospital services that was supposed to reduce wait times.

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Pallister moved Goertzen over to education as the province launched a review aimed at improving test scores and reducing overhead costs.

Read more: ‘No easy decisions in life’: Manitoba premier in final days before he steps down

The resulting plan, which would eliminate all elected English-language school boards in the province, has run into staunch public opposition. All three candidates to date for the Oct. 30 Tory leadership vote have promised to stop the reform in its tracks.

After Goertzen’s appointment was announced Tuesday, Opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew said the new leader should kill the education bill.

Click to play video: 'Legacy of Brian Pallister with premier set to step down Wednesday' Legacy of Brian Pallister with premier set to step down Wednesday

Legacy of Brian Pallister with premier set to step down Wednesday

“There’s no sense pursuing Mr. Pallister’s legislative agenda now that he is no longer the leader,” Kinew said.

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It is unclear whether the legislature will reconvene on schedule Oct. 6 during Goertzen’s brief tenure.

Read more: Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister confirms he won’t seek re-election

Aside from the education bill, there are several other proposed laws waiting to be passed, including one to enact changes announced in the provincial budget in the spring.

Goertzen is expected to be in the premier’s chair for about eight weeks, until a leadership vote scheduled for Oct. 30.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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