Tuesday’s throne speech included items that focused on everything from health care and education to families, infrastructure and the economy.

On Monday, Doctors Manitoba announced the backlog of surgeries and diagnostic procedures in Manitoba had increased to more than 136,000 cases. Premier Heather Stefanson, who promised a task force to address the backlog concern, was asked on Tuesday when this task force will be unveiled. She says Manitobans should see it shortly.

Spruce Woods MLA Cliff Cullen, Manitoba’s Education Minister, says there’s a new leader in place and the government is prepared to listen to what Manitobans are telling them are their priorities and how government should be moving forward.

“Clearly we had some backlogs going into COVID and we set aside an extra $50 million to increase the amount of surgeries being done and other procedures. It’s about finding capacity with staffing to accomplish that. A lot of our resources are being drawn into the COVID fight.”

When it comes to education Cliff Cullen says the funding system is outdated and changes are needed. The province will take the next year to consult and look for ways to improve the system.

The throne speech had 18 proposals and Cullen stressed the need to listen to the priorities of Manitobans and work to meet those goals.

“We’ve made it clear we don’t want to get into another lock down. We have 86 or 87 per cent of Manitobans vaccinated now. The challenge with this virus is variants come into play and are quite transmissible and people need to do what they can to prevent the spread of COVID 19.”

“Everyone has a role to play.”