Manitoba Liberal leader calls past welfare cuts by Tories and NDP "sadistic"

With an undersized war chest and scrambling to field a full slate of candidates, Dougald Lamont took to an interactive online forum to spread the Liberal Party platform - scarce as it is at this stage of the pre-campaign - to Manitoba voters for the September 10th election.

The St. Boniface MLA, leader of a 4 seat Liberal caucus, is hoping to make gains by coming up the middle with voters disaffected by the performance of the current Progressive Conservative government and the previous NDP administration. 

In an innovative gambit to engage voters at no cost, he held an 'AMA' - Ask Me Anything - on Reddit this week to field questions.

"Firstly, huge bonus points for doing an AMA on reddit. I don't even think Pallister knows what Reddit is." 

While staying for the mostpart in a centrist role and reiterating previous positions of his party on issues like education and healthcare cuts, Lamont only strayed from a statesmanlike tone once - when asked about Employment and Income Assistance.

"EIA, under the PCs and the NDP alike, has been sadistic to recipients."

"The PC cuts are only making it worse. Reforming EIA will be part of our anti-poverty plan. Stay tuned for more on this!" Lamont went on to say the HUB  community mobilization program in Brandon "does great work and we would ensure that programs that have positive results are being supported and expanded."

He restated the Liberal platform on addressing the meth epidemic and drug treatment programs, including supporting the establishment of "Drug Stabilization Units" and funding transitional housing for recovering addicts. 

Pointing to an upcoming announcement about a full community safety plan, he promoted his proposed Manitoba Provincial Police Force as a necessary enhancement to RCMP presence "because people in Manitoba are living with no police nearby and it's not safe."

A father of 4, Lamont also touched on the brain drain and connected it to a lack of  higher-end jobs, in part caused by "an incredible lack of capital for Manitoba entrepreneurs". He is proposing "a Manitoba Business Development bank (that) would provide patient money to Manitoba entrepreneurs."

In the world of reddit/w, comments are voted on for popularity or approval, and the highest score Lamont achieved was a +21 about provincial pot policy. 
He vowed to review the legalization framework of the PC government, wise-cracking "there have been chronic issues ... I don't know what Pallister's been smoking if he thinks his plan will reduce illegal pot sales." 

That apparently earned him at least one vote.
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