A number of cabinet ministers with Manitoba's Tory government have announced they are retiring and that does not come as a big surprise to an associate professor of political science at Brandon University.
Kelly Saunders says what has been happening recently is not anything unusual. "This is something we normally see and let's not forget a number of these politicians have been around with a government that has been in office for a number of years. These people are longtime MLAs so whenever there's an election coming up it's a logical time for people to step back and to move on from politics."
"We can't escape the fact that if the polls hold true and certainly there is a long time until October's election and the writing is on the wall for the sitting government so some MLAs could be looking at that and saying it's tough to be in opposition once you've been in government for several years," says Saunders.
Opinion polls have suggested for more than a year that the governing Tories trail the Opposition NDP in public support.
"This allows the party to recruit and bring some newer and younger people to the party which can reinvigorate the PC party. Nomination races are a great way to reach out to members and possibly new members. On the other hand, voters can view it as the PC Party is a sinking ship and the writing is on the wall."
Kelly Saunders says with about nine months to the election it will be hard for the government to turn its fortunes around. "In a word healthcare has been the government's biggest issue. There are many pressing issues such as inflation and housing affordability, but the healthcare crisis is foremost on voters' minds."
"The pandemic pulled the lid off some deep-rooted and systemic problems in our healthcare system. It goes beyond our province and every jurisdiction in the country is struggling with the problems in the system. Regardless it's the PC Party in government and they have to carry a lot of the blame for the problem and there's no quick solution," says Saunders.