The Manitoba Conservative Party has a new House Leader – Steinbach MLA Kelvin Goertzen.
Goertzen’s new appointment among a handful of Caucus assignments handed down Thursday by new leader Brian Pallister. Goertzen says it’s not a role he is unfamiliar with having served as House Leader from 2007-2009. He says it is a job that will definitely keep him busy.
“I enjoy it and it keeps you involved in every aspect of what’s happening at the Legislature. It’s very time consuming, so that’s often an issue as I certainly have to spend more time in Winnipeg, doing work there. It has a time commitment component to it, but I like the opportunity to be involved in most of the action that’s happening at the Legislature.”
In the new role, Goertzen will be coordinating with the member in the same role in the NDP.
“The role of the House Leader is to essentially operate the House from the opposition’s perspective. I will do the negotiation with the government; negotiating certain issues that happen within the Legislature when bills come forward, how bills get passed, etc….all the different things that happen within the Legislature.”
He adds that it’s certainly nice to be moving forward as a party now that the leadership race has been put to bed.
“The transition periods can often be difficult because things are on hold, it’s difficult to make decisions or come forward with different policies or ideas when you’re in-between leaders, which is what we have been for a little while. So, it is nice to have the leadership on the party side taken care of because decisions can be made and things can really move forward now.”
In terms of his Justice Critic status, Goertzen says he is unsure whether or not he will retain that portfolio but should find out fairly soon.
In terms of other Caucus appointments, Charleswood MLA Myrna Driedger is now the Deputy & Interim Leader, Morris MLA Mavis Tallieu is Caucus Whip and Midlands MLA Blaine Pedersen has been named Caucus Chair.