The Progressive Conservative (PC) MLA for Borderland is settling into a new normal as the party prepares to take its seats on the other side of the Manitoba Legislature. The PCs became the Official Opposition following the October 3rd vote that saw the NDP form the new provincial government.
Josh Guenter was elected to a second term representing Borderland constituency, but this will be his first as part of the Official Opposition.
"It'll be interesting, for sure, having been in government," he said. "I certainly will take that experience that I was able to acquire sitting in a governing caucus and apply that in my role as an Opposition critic."
While his job will now require a different perspective, Guenter feels the change also provides new opportunities.
"I think there's an opportunity here to closely scrutinize the way things are done, perhaps look at things from another angle," he added, noting there's also a lot of new people roaming the halls of the Legislature, including within his own party. "I think that there's an opportunity for renewal and change."
Earlier this week, Guenter was given his new role within the Opposition's Shadow Cabinet. He has been tapped to serve as Shadow Minister for Transportation and Infrastructure, and Shadow Minister for Consumer Protection and Government Services.
"It's always a pleasure to be able to serve in whatever capacity you're asked to serve in," he said, adding he's got a particular interest in transportation and infrastructure having formerly worked as a long-haul truck driver. "Coming from rural, southern Manitoba where I think everyone understands the importance of our roads and having good roads. I'm excited to get down to work in this new role, meet the stakeholders and get cracking."
Guenter says it'll be his job to hold the governing NDP to account and ensure it looks after the needs of all of Manitoba, particularly when it comes to the transportation and infrastructure file.
"I think it is somewhat concerning to Manitobans when they see that the individual (Premier) Wab Kinew has selected to be the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure is someone from downtown Winnipeg and represents a constituency in downtown Winnipeg. So, I just hope there's a willingness on their part to look at the entire map and the needs across the entire province because we do have an infrastructure deficit from the last time they (NDP) were in office."
As the critic for Transportation and Infrastructure, Guenter also feels his job will be to ensure taxpayers are getting good value for money for the projects that Government does undertake.