Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister would restore public trust in government through a new “Open Government Initiative” with 18 specific action items aimed at ensuring accountability, transparency and genuine, ethical leadership.
“Trust and accountability go hand-in-hand. We will lead by example, commit to the principles and back it up with the legislative teeth required to show Manitobans there will be repercussions for elected officials who take their trust for granted,” said Pallister.
Too often, Manitobans have seen rules broken by MLAs with little or no consequences. The very people who make the laws get away with breaking them. That cannot stand.
When the public trust is broken an explicit mechanism needs to come into effect, ensuring accountability. This must not only happen, but be seen to happen in a most vigourous and transparent way. Open, accessible and ethical government begins with changing the tone at the top and leading by example.
“We’re talking about a dramatic culture change and constant effort,” Pallister said. “Elected officials, independent officers of the legislature and professional public civil servants will need to shoulder this responsibility as a team.”
The culture change will be guided by the principle that government is not owned by elected members of the legislature, but rather by Manitobans. Elected officials are simply the caretakers.
Open government must be truly and easily accessible. And the ethical standard that we establish must be one that is leading and not lagging.