Manitoba premier to announce new cabinet ministers

Manitoba’s premier appears poised to shuffle his cabinet.

An invite sent to media Wednesday afternoon says Brian Pallister plans to announce new cabinet ministers Thursday morning.

Read more: Manitoba Indigenous relations minister quits cabinet position, remains in legislature

The move comes hours after news broke Manitoba’s minister responsible for Indigenous relations had resigned from cabinet.

Eileen Clarke, who has held the post since the Tories were elected in 2016, was not immediately available for comment.

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Her constituency office confirmed her resignation from cabinet and added that Clarke will stay on as a member of the legislature.

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Clarke’s resignation follows comments Pallister made last week in response to the toppling of two statues of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria on the grounds of the legislature.

Read more: ‘Tone-deaf’ Manitoba premier at risk of losing more support: politics prof

Pallister said people who came to Canada did not come to destroy things, but to build up communities.

Indigenous leaders said the premier was downplaying the harmful effects of colonialism.

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The CBC reported that Clarke said Pallister’s comments were a factor in her decision, although she did not specify which comments.

Pallister said later in the day Wednesday he stands by his comments, respects Clarke and will not discuss her reasons for stepping down.

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Read more: 2 damaged queen statues at the Manitoba Legislature to go back up: Premier

The province said Pallister and new ministers will be available to media at the legislative building at 11 a.m. Thursday following a private swearing-in ceremony.

In 2017, Pallister stirred up controversy by saying spotlight hunting by Indigenous hunters posed a risk of creating a “race war.”

–With files from Brittany Greenslade and The Canadian Press

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