Brian Pallister, former Portage-Lisgar MP outside his office in Portage la Prairie Manitoba on Oct. 28, 2011.
Credits: ANGELA BROWN/WMI AGENCY
Pallister, 57, told QMI Agency Tuesday of his intention to vie for the leadership, which will be decided next fall after Hugh McFadyen steps down from the post he has held for more than five years.
"A great province, with tremendous assets at the crossroads of the world, deserves a great government. What we have is less than that," Pallister said of the New Democratic Party, which has governed Manitoba since 1999, during a meeting with the Winnipeg Sun's editorial board.
"We have a province that's too good to lose. We have, for a number of years now, been sliding backward."
The Portage la Prairie-born chartered financial consultant - also a former high school teacher - added the NDP, under former premier Gary Doer and currently Greg Selinger, has failed Manitobans with weak economic stewardship.
"We've got a spending problem in this province," he said. "And that spending problem has weakened us at a time when we should have been stronger."
He was officially certified as the first candidate in the Manitoba PC Party leadership race Wednesday morning.
The Tories will elect their new leader on Oct. 27. Candidates have until July 28 to apply.