WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says he is moving up the next provincial election by more than a year.
The next vote was scheduled for October 2020, but Pallister has set the day for this Sept. 10.
He had been hinting for months that he was preparing to go early.
By law, the campaign can't officially start until 28 to 35 days before Manitobans go to the ballot box. Pallister said he hasn't decided yet how long the campaign will be.
"Much more needs to be done to create a better future for Manitobans, and this next provincial election will bring Manitoba to a very important crossroads," Pallister said Wednesday as he made the announcement on the lawn of the legislature.
Significant challenges remain ahead, the premier said.
"Poverty rates are consistently high. Crime, addictions rates remain far too high and more than half of Manitoba's households have less ... than $200 to spend every month after they've paid their bills."
Pallister's Progressive Conservatives were elected in 2016 with 40 of the legislature's 57 seats — the largest majority government in Manitoba in a century.
The Tories recently fulfilled their biggest campaign promise by cutting the provincial sales tax to seven per cent from eight.
The cut is to take effect July 1, six years to the day after the former NDP government raised the tax.
Manitobans will have to go to the polls twice in short order. The federal election is on Oct. 21.