Since winning the leadership of the Manitoba Liberal Party in October 2017, Dougald Lamont has spent the majority of his time on the road in a quest to visit all 57 constituencies in the province. As he told the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce audience at the inaugural 2018 Leaders Series presented by Deloitte; he quickly learned that Manitoba is such a large place, that despite his best efforts and many adventures on these trips, he still has some work do.
During his speech, Lamont acknowledged that working to visit every constituency in Manitoba is not the only work he has left to do. He is taking over a party one seat shy of official party status and is working with his liberal colleagues on rebuilding the party and providing a legitimate third option for voters. To do that, Lamont is pitching some ideas that he believes are in the best interest of Manitobans and will help grow business and spur economic development. The main idea is his belief in the need to create a business development bank, similar to the ones showing tremendous returns in Alberta and North Dakota. In making a case for the idea, which he would see as a new crown corporation, Lamont pointed to the importance of job growth and how start-up companies play a critical role in that growth. The bank’s role would be to provide loans and investments to new businesses with the purpose of job creation and economic growth.
Lamont also took a different approach to the big news of the week – the mass resignation of the Manitoba Hydro board – by continuing to share his concern over how the government treats our most important crown utility and how much it has asserted its voice in how hydro conduct business. He discussed his concern over the board’s decision and wondered just who would want to involve themselves in the current situation as the premier looks to name a new board. With one seat short of official party status and currently a leader without a seat, Lamont was asked by MCC’s President and CEO Chuck Davidson if he will run for the open seat in St. Boniface. Asking if the audience thought he should run, Lamont said a decision is coming shortly on if he will or won’t run.