The Interim Leader for the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba says they need to do a reset and rebuild in order to regain the trust of Manitobans.
Lac du Bonnet MLA Wayne Ewasko was elected Interim Leader by the Conservative Caucus on Thursday. Ewasko will now serve in that capacity until a leadership vote takes place later this year.
"Having Caucus put their faith in me is an extreme honour," says Ewasko, who has been an MLA since 2011.
While the Conservatives were in power, Ewasko served as both Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration as well as Minister of Education and Early Childhood Learning.
Ewasko says he looks forward to getting ready for the Legislative session, which begins March 6th. The Interim Leader says he will be backed by a great team of re-elected MLAs who are experienced in politics but also in life. Ewasko says his team also consists of the Class of 2023, which he says is a great group of MLAs that experienced victory for the first time in the October provincial election.
"Lots of strengths and different experiences coming from their professional lives coming as MLAs," says Ewasko, referring to the Class of 2023.
As the Conservatives continue to move forward in their role as Official Opposition, Ewasko says they will look at some of the missteps that Premier Wab Kinew has taken.
"The many, many, many promises that he and his NDP team made during the election, over $3 billion worth," says Ewasko. "We're looking at how are we going to basically hold them accountable to a lot of those promises that they made."
Ewasko says the Conservatives are already seeing various signs of the current government reneging on some of its election promises.
He says one of their priorities as the party in opposition will be to make sure that they represent all of Manitoba. Ewasko says they need to take a look in the mirror and realize that while in government they could have done better in the urban setting.
Ewasko says the Conservatives want to make it clear that they are the government in waiting and they have no intentions of waiting too long before that becomes reality.
Meanwhile, as mentioned, the Conservatives are now planning for a leadership convention. Ewasko says they have an election committee that is considering an early November date to elect a new leader. Ewasko says at this point his number one political priority is to serve as the Interim Leader and to make sure that the party is in better shape for the new leader.
Ewasko has yet to state whether or not he plans to also run for Party Leader.