Gary Doer

Gary Doer

Infobox Prime Minister

honorific-prefix = The Honourable
name = Gary Albert Doer
honorific-suffix = MLA
| caption =
order = 21st
office = Premier of Manitoba
term_start = October 5, 1999
term_end =
lieutenant_governor = Peter M. Liba,
John Harvard
predecessor = Gary Filmon
successor =
birth_date = birth date and age|1948|03|31
birth_place = Winnipeg, Manitoba
death_date =
death_place =
party = New Democratic
spouse = Ginny Devine
religion = Roman Catholic|

Gary Albert Doer MLA (born March 31, 1948) is a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He has been the Premier of Manitoba since 1999, leading a New Democratic Party government. Doer is the longest-serving of Canada's current premiers. [Joe Paraskevas, "Canada's senior statesman", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 August 2007, A15.]

Early life and career

Doer was born to a middle class family in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His background is German and Welsh. He studied political science and sociology at the University of Manitoba for one year, but left to become a corrections officer at the Vaughan Street Detention Centre. He later rose to become deputy superintendent of the Manitoba Youth Centre. ["Profile: Gary Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 17 April 1995.] Doer's work environment was not always safe: he once had to deal with a hostage taking situation, and was attacked with a baseball bat on another occasion. [Geoffrey York, "New leader of Manitoba NDP rose through union movement", "Globe and Mail", 31 March 1988, A4. For the date of Doer's departure from university, see David Roberts, "Doer practices for last kick at the political can", "Globe and Mail", 3 April 1995, A4.]

Doer became president of the Manitoba Government Employees' Association in 1979, and served in this capacity until 1986. ["National union of civil workers acclaims head", "Globe and Mail", 4 April 1979, P2.] He also held prominent positions with the Manitoba Federation of Labour and the National Union of Provincial Government Employees, served as a director of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and became a governor of the University of Manitoba. [Geoffrey York, "New leader of Manitoba NDP rose through union movement", "Globe and Mail", 31 March 1988, A4.] In 1983, he negotiated an agreement with the provincial government of Howard Pawley in which civil servants agreed to delay a wage increase in return for a guarantee of no layoffs or wage rollbacks. ["The Manitoba Government and the union representing about 12,000 civil servants ...", "Globe and Mail", 16 February 1983, P8; "Manitoba workers opt for job security", "Globe and Mail", 24 February 1983, P13.] The following year, he openly criticized Dennis McDermott's leadership of the Canadian Labour Congress. [Brian Cole, "Antagonism to McDermott voiced by Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 22 October 1983.]

Doer initially joined the New Democratic Party in the 1970s, and worked for the party in the 1973 provincial election. [Alison Mayes, "The province is his office", "Winnipeg Free Press", 20 May 2007, B3.] He discontinued his membership in 1975 to preserve his union's neutrality, and was subsequently courted by both the New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives to run as a candidate for office. [Richard Cleroux and Geoffrey York, "Doer favored to win Manitoba NDP leadership race", "Globe and Mail", 15 March 1988, a4.] He rejoined the NDP in 1986, and ran as a candidate in that year's provincial election. [Geoffrey York, "Filmon describes rival as a 'slick individual'", "Globe and Mail", 16 March 1988, A4.] [ [ Jordan Timm, "The Gary Doer phenomenon"] , Macleans, 24 May 2007, accessed 18 August 2007.]

Cabinet minister

Doer was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in the 1986 provincial election for the northeast Winnipeg division of Concordia. He joined the government of Premier Howard Pawley on April 17, 1986 as Minister of Urban Affairs, and was given additional responsibilities as Minister responsible for the Manitoba Telephone System on December 2 of the same year. Doer ordered a Royal Canadian Mounted Police probe of the MTS soon after his appointment, and worked to reform its practices following a failed investment in Saudi Arabia. ["RCMP probes latest scandal in Manitoba telephone firm", "Toronto Star", 15 December 1986, A18; Janet McFarland, "Chance meetings spark merger", "Globe and Mail", 19 March 2004, B4. Outgoing MTS minister Al Mackling had previously commented that Doer would make a good replacement. See Ritchie Page, "Five top officials ousted over Manitoba telephone fiasco", "Globe and Mail", 22 November 1986, A4.] He soon developed a reputation as a "fixer", working as a trouble-shooter in difficult fields. [Derek Ferguson, "Ex-rebel seems likely to succeed Pawley", "Toronto Star", 29 March 1988, A24.]

Doer was given further responsibilities as Minister of Crown Investments on February 5, 1987, [He was also named to chair a new committee of cabinet called the Crown Reform Committee. See Geoffrey York, "Pawley hauls in reins on Crown companies after MTX write-off", "Globe and Mail", 6 February 1987, A3.] and was later named as Minister responsible for the Accountability of Crown Corporations (August 19, 1987) and Minister responsible for the Liquor Control Act (September 21, 1987). He was seen as a rising star in the party, and was sometimes mentioned as a future leader. [Geoffrey York, "Life sweet again for Pawley as NDP widens lead in polls", "Globe and Mail", 17 March 1987, A9.]

The Pawley government was sustained by a narrow legislative majority after the 1986 election, and was defeated on March 8, 1988 when disgruntled backbencher Jim Walding voted with the opposition on a motion of non-confidence. Pawley resigned as NDP leader the next day, and called a new general election for April 26. [Ross Howard, "'Courageous' move called best hope", "Globe and Mail", 10 March 1988, A1.]

NDP leader

;Leadership electionDoer was the first declared candidate in the Manitoba New Democratic Party's 1988 leadership race. He was supported by cabinet ministers Vic Schroeder, Myrna Phillips, Muriel Smith, Leonard Evans, Jerry Storie and Wilson Parasiuk, and federal Members of Parliament Rod Murphy and David Orlikow, [Geoffrey York, "Senior ministers back Doer's leadership bid in New Democrat race", "Globe and Mail", 26 March 1988, A8; Geoffrey York, "NDP delegates pick leader tomorrow", "Globe and Mail", 29 March 1988, A4.] He also received an endorsement from the Manitoba Federation of Labour. ["Ex-rebel seems likely to succeed Pawley."] Doer emphasized his experience in managing large organizations, and called for pay equity legislation to be introduced within a year of his election. ["Attack on Meech pact given warm welcome", "Globe and Mail", 29 March 1988, A4; Richard Cleroux and Geoffrey York, "Doer favored to win Manitoba NDP leadership race", "Globe and Mail", 15 March 1988, A4.] He narrowly defeated rival candidate Len Harapiak on the third ballot of the party's leadership convention in Winnipeg. [Geoffrey York, "Doer captures NDP helm in tight Manitoba race", "Globe and Mail", 31 March 1988, A1.] He was not sworn in as premier, as the legislature had already been dissolved. [Geoffrey York, "Pawley to stay until Manitoba election", "Globe and Mail", 1 April 1988, A3. The rules of succession were unclear in this situation. It is possible that Doer could have been sworn in as premier, but he accepted Howard Pawley's decision to remain as premier until the election.]

Doer became leader of the Manitoba NDP when the party was at a low ebb of popularity. An internal poll before the election showed the party with only 6% support, and some NDP workers privately worried that they could lose all of their legislative seats. [Tim Harper, "Manitoba parties stagger to the starting line", "Toronto Star", 13 March 1988, B1; Geoffrey York, "Manitoba NDP in uphill battle", "Globe and Mail", 26 March 1988, D1; Richard Cleroux and Geoffrey York, "NDP's 12 seats might have been 0, official admits", "Globe and Mail", 28 April 1988, A19; Richard Cleroux, "Party bounced from office to third place", "Globe and Mail", 29 April 1988, A8. The party was also $1 million in debt. See Doug Nairne, "Doer Die", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 January 1999, A1.] Many believed Doer was their best hope for a recovery. [Doer himself later acknowledged that he was not yet ready for the take a position of leadership. Daniel Lett, "Opposition leader knows he has to win this time", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 September 1999, A17.] Support for the NDP increased to 19% in the leadership campaign, and to 23% after Doer was chosen as leader. The party nevertheless remained in third place, and faced an uphill struggle in the 1988 election. [Geoffrey York, "Party still running a poor third in popularity", "Globe and Mail", 8 April 1988, A4.]

;1988 electionDoer promised a $58 million tax cut in the 1988 election, and opposed the federal government's free trade deal with the United States of America. He indicated that he was open to the possibility of amending the Meech Lake Accord, a federal proposal for constitutional reform. [Derek Ferguson, "Tough fighting starts now in Manitoba election race", "Toronto Star", 4 April 1988, A16; Geoffrey York, "New Manitoba NDP leader promises tax cut if returned", "Globe and Mail", 5 April 1988, A4.] He also promised to build more community health centres, and supported home renovations for senior citizens and the disabled. [Geoffrey York, "Tories pledge additional tax cuts", "Globe and Mail", 8 April 1988, A4.]

The NDP won 12 out of 57 seats, while the Progressive Conservatives under Gary Filmon won 25 seats and the Liberals under Sharon Carstairs jumped from one seat to twenty. Doer rejected the possibility of forming a coalition government with the Liberals, and the Progressive Conservatives were able to form a minority government with the NDP holding the balance of power. [Geoffrey York, "Manitoba's NDP will permit Tories to assume power", "Globe and Mail", 28 April 1988, A1.] He was not personally blamed for his party's loss, and continued as party leader. The NDP chose not to defeat Filmon's government during confidence vote in late 1988 and early 1989, as Doer argued the public would not support another election so soon. [Geoffrey York, "NDP critical, but won't kill Manitoba Tories' budget", "Globe and Mail", 18 August 1988, A4; "Doer goes against non-confidence vote", "Globe and Mail", 25 May 1989, A13; "Manitoba NDP foils Liberal bid to force election", "Toronto Star", 25 May 1989, A15; Geoffrey York, "NDP cites tax breaks, backs Manitoba budget", "Globe and Mail", 8 June 1989, A14.]

;Meech Lake AccordThe dominant political issue in Manitoba between 1988 and 1990 was the Meech Lake Accord, which recognized Quebec as a "distinct society" in Canada and devolved some powers from the federal government to the provinces. The accord required approval from all ten provincial legislatures to become law. The provincial Liberals were initially opposed to the Accord, which meant that Doer's support was necessary for its passage. [Thomas Walkom, "The man in the driver's seat", "Globe and Mail", 27 February 1989, A7.] In November 1988, Doer indicated that his party would not support the accord unless certain amendments were introduced. [Geoffrey York, "Amendments demanded Will kill Meech Lake, Manitoba NDP warns", "Globe and Mail", 24 November 1988, A1.] He was later appointed to a provincial panel that held a series of public meetings, and recommended significant changes to the deal. [Edison Stewart, "Meech Lake pact's future: Manitobans have their say", "Toronto Star", 6 April 1989, A30; Edison Stewart, "Meech Lake pact suffers a major setback", "Toronto Star", 23 October 1989, A1. Doer also participated in a federal New Democratic Party internal review of its position on the accord. See Ross Howard, "NDP support for Meech accord should stay, review concludes", "Globe and Mail", 13 September 1989, A14; Ross Howard, "NDP still split on constitutional accord", "Globe and Mail", 14 September 1989, A14.] The Filmon government also expressed skepticism about the accord, and announced that it too would seek amendments from the federal government.

All three Manitoba party leaders agreed to a federally-brokered compromise in June 1990, shortly before the accord's official deadline. [Tim Harper, "Manitoba leaders back plan", "Toronto Star", 9 June 1990, A8; Tim Harper, "Manitoba troika say they'll pass accord in time", "Toronto Star", 10 June 1990, A14.] The accord nonetheless failed to pass in the Manitoba legislature on time because of a procedural motion from Elijah Harper, a Cree member of the NDP caucus who argued that it did not give fair representation to Aboriginal Canadians. Doer described Harper's decision as "a fundamental issue of conscience", and blamed Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for delaying negotiations until the deadline had almost expired. [Geoffrey York, "Native MLA blocks debate on Meech", "Globe and Mail", 13 June 1990, A1.] One year later, he indicated that he felt "betrayed" by federal negotiators, and described the entire Meech Lake process as "dishonest from start to finish". [Geoffrey York, "Harper deals crushing blow to Meech deal", "Globe and Mail", 23 June 1990, A6.]

;1990 electionThe chief beneficiary of the Meech Lake Accord's defeat was Premier Filmon, whose campaign for changes to the accord was generally supported by Manitoba voters. [David Roberts, "Election", "Globe and Mail", 30 July 1990, A5.] In the aftermath of the accord's defeat, Filmon called a new provincial election for September 11, 1990. Doer promised a ten-year freeze on personal income taxes, and argued that the Progressive Conservatives would pursue a hidden right-wing agenda if they won a majority government. ["Manitoba Liberals vow to back research", "Globe and Mail", 21 August 1990, A7; David Roberts, "Filmon plan nasty, NDP says", "Globe and Mail", 18 August 1990, A3.] He also promised legislation that would make it more difficult for companies based in Manitoba to close down. ["Mr. Filmon, and weaker options" [editorial] , "Globe and Mail", 10 September 1990, A12.]

An early poll showed the NDP in third place with 18% support, well behind the governing Progressive Conservatives and also behind the Liberals. [David Roberts, "Manitoba Premier calls general election", "Globe and Mail", 8 August 1990, A2.] The Liberal campaign faltered, however, and the New Democrats were able to make strong gains in the election's final days, partly buoyed by Bob Rae's unexpected victory in the neighbouring province of Ontario. [David Roberts and Miro Cernetig, "Filmon's Tories win narrow majority", "Globe and Mail", 12 September 1990, A1. Doer took an aggressive approach in a televised party leaders' debate and sought to link Filmon with Mulroney's increasingly unpopular federal government, highlighting the premier's support for the federal Progressive Conservatives in the 1988 federal election. See David Roberts, "Gloves come off in Manitoba race", "Globe and Mail", 31 August 1990, A4; David Roberts, "3 Manitoba party leaders to debate aboriginal issues", "Globe and Mail", 4 September 1990, A3.] The Progressive Conservatives won a narrow majority with 30 seats, while the New Democrats won 20 and the Liberals seven. Doer succeeded Carstairs as Leader of the Opposition in the next sitting of the legislature.

Leader of the Opposition

;First term, 1990-95Doer criticized the Filmon government's cutbacks to health and education, and drew attention to the province's rising unemployment and child poverty rates in the early 1990s. [Paul Samyn, "NDP itching to hit hustings", "Winnipeg Free Press", 14 November 1994.] In opposing Filmon's austerity measures, he argued it was inappropriate for the government to cut jobs at a time of high unemployment. [David Roberts, "Manitoba slashes 1,000 jobs, Budget pleases business leaders", "Globe and Mail", 17 April 1991, A6; "Tories slash spending on provincial highways", "Winnipeg Free Press", 16 March 1993.] In 1993, he opposed the government's decision to end funding for groups such as the Foster Family Association, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Manitoba Anti-Poverty Organization and the Manitoba Environmental Council. ["Tories pull plug on agencies", "Winnipeg Free Press", 16 March 1993. Doer also called for Ontario's $13 billion hydro purchase from Manitoba to be renegotiated in 1992, following reports that the Ontario Hydro Board was considering delaying the deal, and in light of the fact that environmental-assessment research was running behind schedule. See David Roberts, "Manitoba NDP leader wants hydro deal delayed", "Globe and Mail", 22 September 1992, A4.]

Doer announced in late 1992 that his caucus would support the Charlottetown Accord, a comprehensive package on constitutional reform that was introduced by the federal government after the failure of Meech Lake. ["'No' will doom Canada, PM warns", "Financial Post", 29 September 1992, p. 6.] The Accord was defeated in a national referendum.

Doer released an election platform in November 1994, highlighted by a ten-point preventive health-care program for children and a six-point Manitoba Works plan to reduce unemployment. [Frances Russell, "Hot times under the Dome", "Winnipeg Free Press", 1 December 1994.]

;1995 electionDoer focused on health issues in the 1995 provincial election. He announced that he would work to replace walk-in clinics with neighbourhood health organizations, to be staffed with salaried doctors, nurses, midwives and social workers. ["Doer has prescription for community health", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 March 1995.] He pledged to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to reduce prescription drug costs, and to review some of the hundreds of drugs that had been delisted in recent years. [Alice Krueger, "Doer targets drug costs", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 April 1995.] He also promised to create a new group of health providers called nurse practitioners, to carry out some doctors' responsibilities. [Alice Krueger, "New role favored in care", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 April 1995.] On economic issues, Doer promised a balanced budget with no personal or sales tax increases over four years and indicated that he would cut nearly $119 million from government programs to fund health, education, and job creation. [Alice Krueger, "Doer sets spending priorities", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 March 1995.]

An early poll from the Angus Reid firm showed the Progressive Conservatives with 37% support, the Liberals with 35%, and the NDP with 21%. ["If election was held yesterday", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 March 1995. Some questioned this poll's accuracy. See David Roberts, "Doer practices for last kick at the political can", "Globe and Mail", 3 April 1995, A4.] The Liberal campaign faltered once again, however, and a poll released only days before the election showed the NDP had again surpassed the Liberals for second place. [Frances Russell, "Health issues push NDP past Liberals", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 April 1995. The poll showed the Progressive Conservatives at 40%, the NDP at 33%, and the Liberals at 27%.] The Progressive Conservatives were re-elected with 31 seats, the NDP increased their total to 23, and the Liberals fell to only three.

In the closing days of the election, Doer asked the province's chief electoral officer to investigate reports that three independent candidates from an unregistered party known as Independent Native Voice had received assistance from a Progressive Conservative campaign official. Some believed these candidates would split the progressive-left vote in their ridings, and give the Progressive Conservatives a greater chance of victory. [Alice Krueger, "'Dirty' politics alleged", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 April 1995.] Little was done at the time, but the story emerged as a prominent scandal following an exposé from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in June 1998. Doer called for an inquiry, which the Filmon government granted; the presiding officer determined that at least one of the candidates had been induced to run to by a local agents of the Progressive Conservative Party. [David Kuxhaus, "Who bankrolled native candidate in '95 campaign?", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 June 1998, A1; David Kuxhaus, "PCs yield, call vote inquiry", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 June 1998, A1; David Kuxhaus, "Vote charge haunts Tories NDP demands probe", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 June 1998, A1.]

;Second term, 1995-99Despite an improving economy, the Filmon government's 1996 budget introduced further cuts to social assistance, health care, and post-secondary and public school education. Doer argued that the cuts were ideological in nature, and not based on financial necessity. [Dan Lett, "Social program cuts unnecessary: critics", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 April 1996, A3.] The government also introduced legislation to permit unionized workers to stop their dues from being donated to a political party. The NDP and labour movement described this as a partisan decision, and Doer suggested that corporate shareholders should also be allowed to opt out of donations to parties. [Alice Krueger, "Union workers can say no", "Winnipeg Free Press", 13 April 1996, A4.]

Doer opposed the Filmon government's decision to privatize the Manitoba Telephone System in 1996, arguing that it would cause Manitobans to lose control over a vital part of their economy. [Paul Samyn, "MTS sale rings alarm", "Winnipeg Free Press", 1 November 1996, B4. A poll in November 2006 showed that 67% of Manitobans opposed the sale, including 78% of rural Manitobans. See David Roberts, "Opposition keeps bill to sell Manitoba Telephone on hold", "Winnipeg Free Press", 13 November 1996, A5.] He called for a referendum, which Filmon rejected. [Frances Russell, "PCs caught in paradox", "Winnipeg Free Press", 13 November 1996, A10.] Doer nonetheless accepted the finality of the sale, telling party delegates in 1999 that buying back the service would be too expensive and carry too many risks. [David Kuxhaus, "Bid to buy back MTS dead: Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 February 1999, A3.]

Doer also opposed the Filmon government's proposed changes to the single-desk marketing of the Canadian Wheat Board. [Paul Samyn, "Tories hang up on MTS", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 May 1996, A1; Paul Samyn, "NDP demands Tories back wheat board", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 September 1996, B8.] Doer argued there could be no "middle-of-the-road" position on the Wheat Board, and that continued single-desk marketing would be "in the economic interests of producers and the economic interests of Winnipeg". [Paul Samyn, "Filmon straddles fence in wheat board showdown", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 September 1996, A1.]

Some New Democrats expressed discontent with Doer's leadership in late 1997. Most notably, a group led by policy committee chairman Victor Olson issued a statement on party renewal that was generally interpreted as a challenge to his leadership. [Frances Russell, "NDP gets knives out for Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 October 1997, A8; Frances Russell, , "Winnipeg Free Press", 8 October 1997, A10; Alice Krueger, "Discontent rumbling in NDP", "Winnipeg Free Press", 5 November 1997, A1; "Doer may have to fight off dissidents as party meets", "Winnipeg Free Press", 15 November 1997, A4.] This came to nothing, but there was general agreement among party members that Doer would need to win the next election to continue as party leader. [Dan Lett, "Doer closes in on the do-it stage", "Winnipeg Free Press", 16 November 1997, A4: "Doer continues as NDP boss", "Toronto Star", 17 November 1997, p. 1. There was an abortive challenge to Doer's leadership at the party's 1997 convention. Party activist Eduard Hiebert was unable to get the fifty signatures required for a leadership review. See Alice Krueger, "Doer quest goes on", "Winnipeg Free Press", 17 November 1997, A3.]

;1999 electionIn the buildup to the 1999 provincial election, Doer unveiled a platform that called for balanced budgets, debt repayment and a freeze on taxes. [Frances Russell, "NDP tries out a new tune", "Winnipeg Free Press", 18 December 1998, A14; Brian Cole, "Doer's Democrats", "Winnipeg Free Press", 22 December 1998, A10.] He again emphasized health care as a priority, [David Kuxhaus, "Fears about health system spreading, survey finds", "Winnipeg Free Press", 22 December 1998, A4.] and said that the government should stop using public monies for politically-motivated polls and advertisements. ["NDP doesn't want taxes used to fund political ads", "Winnipeg Free Press", 27 March 1999, A9.] He also expressed concern that the Progressive Conservatives could privatize Manitoba Hydro, [Frances Russell, "Hydro sparks to fly in election", "Winnipeg Free Press", 8 March 1999, A10.] and criticized a provincial workfare initiative as giving too much discretionary power to the government. [Douglas Nairne, "Workfare framework set as legislature passes bill", "Winnipeg Free Press", 15 July 1999, 10.] The NDP nevertheless voted to support the Filmon government's 1999 budget, citing a decision to increase health spending with money from a provincial "rainy day fund". [David Kuxhaus, "NDP backs Tory budget", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 May 1999, A5.] Doer argued, however, that his party would replace a budgeted income tax cut with a property tax cut. [Frances Russell, "Doer crosses his fingers", "Winnipeg Free Press", 12 May 1999, A14.]

The NDP entered the 1999 election in a much stronger position than in the three previous campaigns. A poll taken three years earlier had shown the NDP leading the Progressive Conservatives for the first time since the Pawley administration. [Paul Samyn, "NDP tops Tories in poll", "Winnipeg Free Press", 30 March 1996, A5.] The Tories regained their lead by 1998, but fallout from the vote-splitting scandal gave the NDP an 8% lead in a Probe/Free Press poll released in March 1999. [There were several provincial polls released between 1996 and 1999. A poll issued in February 1997 indicated that the NDP had fallen to third place. Doer dismissed this as meaningless, citing the poll's small sample size of one hundred people and its large margin of error. See Frances Russell, "Feuding NDP trail Tories, Grits: poll", "Winnipeg Free Press", 25 February 1997, A4. In a December 1997 Free Press/Probe Research Inc. poll, the Progressive Conservatives had 36%, the NDP 35%, the Liberals 20%. The Reform Party had 7% -- this party did not have an official provincial wing, but some party members had unofficially fielded a candidate in 1997 by-election. A January 1998 poll, from Angus Reid, showed the PCs and NDP tied at 36% with the Liberals at 28%. See Doug Nairne, "Manitobans flee Liberals, poll suggests", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 December 1997, A1; Alice Krueger, "Tories, NDP tied in provincial poll", "Winnipeg Free Press", 22 January 1998, A7; Frances Russell, "PCs show wear and tear", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 January 1998, A10. Another Angus Reid poll in March 1998 showed the Progressive Conservatives with 38%, the NDP with 28%, and the Liberals with 23%. Doer suggested the latter poll was inconsistent with internal surveys. See Stevens Wild, "Provincial leaders scoff at poll showing large Tory lead", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 March 1998, A3. A Free Press/Probe Research Inc. poll in March 1998 showed the NDP and Progressive Conservatives at 35% and the Liberals at 26%. In December 1998, a Free Press/Probe Research poll showed the Progressive Conservatives with 38% and the NDP with 35%. See David Kuxhaus, "Filmon's Tories take a licking, but they keep on ticking", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 December 1998, A1. For the March 1999 poll, see Brian Cole, "Poll results rub Tories raw", "Winnipeg Free Press", 20 March 1999, A14.] In this period, many began to regard the NDP as a possible government-in-waiting. [Frances Russell, "Harsh new light on PCs", "Winnipeg Free Press", 22 March 1989, A10; Brian Cole, "The same old dress", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 March 1989, B4; Paul Sullivan, "Gary Doer's star shines bright in Manitoba", "Globe and Mail", 3 April 1999, D2; David Roberts, "It will be close, Filmon says of next election; Manitoba Premier admits the rival NDP has a chance to form the government", "Globe and Mail", 11 May 1999, A4.] Later polls showed the gap between the parties narrowing to a virtual tie. [David Roberts, "Tories, NDP race neck and neck toward Manitoba's election day", "Globe and Mail", 4 September 1999, A5; Doug Nairne, "Manitoba race gets serious as parties enter home stretch", "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 September 1999, A7.]

Doer pledged $13 million to shorten health-care waiting times in the 1999 campaign, and said that he would work to end "hallway medicine" in overcrowded hospitals. He also pledged an additional $2 million to hire more nurses and provide incentives for rural doctors. [David Kuxhaus, "Doer touts $15-M plan to repair health care", "Winnipeg Free Press", 20 August 1999, A1.] In education, he promised to cut college and university tuition fees by 10% and to invest $24 million to the province's three community colleges. [David Kuxhaus, "NDP to boost college funding", "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 August 1999, A1.] On election reform, he promised to ban campaign donations from corporations and unions. [Daniel Lett, "End big campaign donations, Doer says", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 September 1999, A10.] Doer also criticized the Filmon government's handling of a contract with Urban Shared Services Corp., which tried to save money by reheating food for hospitals and seniors' homes at a centralized location. The project went well over-budget, and the food was often criticized as inedible. [Scott Edmonds, "Front-runners in Manitoba vote focus on health care, tax cuts", "Globe and Mail", 26 August 1999, A6.]

A poll released a week before the election showed the NDP and Progressive Conservatives tied with 42% support, and the election was considered too close to call until the actual day of voting. [Doug Nairne, "Manitoba poll shows NDP and Tories in dead heat", "Globe and Mail", 17 September 1999, A1.] The NDP ultimately won 32 seats, against 24 for the Progressive Conservatives and only one for the Liberals. A collapse of the Liberal vote worked to the NDP's advantage. [Douglas Nairne, "Doer to gain from Liberals' pain", "Winnipeg Free Press", 17 September 1999, A1; Douglas Nairne, "It's Premier Doer! Collapse of Liberal vote swings province to NDP", "Winnipeg Free Press", 22 September 1999, A1.]


More than eleven years after declining the option, Doer was sworn in as Premier of Manitoba on October 5, 1999. He also took the position of Minister of Federal/Provincial Relations. [David Roberts, "Doer takes the stage as Manitoba's new Premier", "Globe and Mail", 6 October 1999, A1.]

;Re-election campaignsAfter governing for just under four years, Doer called a new provincial election for June 2003. He brought forward a five point re-election plan highlighted by promises to reduce property and income taxes, hire more nurses and doctors and make reductions in medical waiting lists, take a cautious approach to managing the economy, and improve the province's education and law enforcement systems. Many journalists noted similarities to the NDP's 1999 campaign platform. [Daniel Lett, "Doer touts 5-point plan", "Winnipeg Free Press", 6 May 2003, A1; "NDP: Day 4", "Winnipeg Free Press", 6 May 2003, A4; Daniel Lett, "NDP taking aim at nurse shortage", "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 May 2003, A4; Daniel Lett, "Doer promises to unveil new property tax plan", "Winnipeg Free Press", 12 May 2003, A5; Scott Edmonds, "NDP unwraps tax cut plans as Manitoba election campaign almost at mid point", "Canadian Press", 16 May 2003, 16:35; Mia Rabson, "Doer promises additional police, Crown attorneys", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 May 2003, A6.] The NDP held a massive lead in the polls throughout the campaign, and most observers agreed that the party's re-election was a foregone conclusion. [For instance Thomas Walkom, "In moody Manitoba, election is far from mind", "Toronto Star", 17 May 2003, H1; Scott Edmonds, "NDP shows commanding lead in Manitoba election campaign, says poll", "Canadian Press", 23 May 2003, 16:10; Peter Schroedter, "Political fans left without team to cheer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 May 2003, A17; John Dafoe, "Bland diet for Manitoba voters", "Winnipeg Free Press", 27 May 2003, A12; Daniel Lett, "NDP heads for landslide", "Winnipeg Free Press", 29 May 2003, A1; Scott Edmonds, "Second poll shows Manitoba's N-D-P heading for huge election win", "Canadian Press", 29 May 2003, 17:44.] Even the "Winnipeg Free Press", not traditionally supportive of the NDP, urged voters to re-elect Doer's government. ["Re-elect Mr. Doer" [editorial] , "Winnipeg Free Press", 31 May 2003, A16.] The NDP won an increased majority with 49.47% support and 35 of 57 seats, and made inroads into traditionally Progressive Conservative areas of south Winnipeg.

Four years later, Doer called another election for May 2007. [Joe Friesen, "Manitoba heads to the polls", "Globe and Mail", 21 April 2007, A6. The election call took place on the same day that Doer stood with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to announce new funding for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. See Mary Agnes Welch, "Izzy Asper's dream lives", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 April 2007, B1; Mia Rabson, "Doer's timing as good as it gets", "Winnipeg Free Press", 22 April 2007, A5.] The NDP campaign focused on Doer's personal popularity and his government's record in office. [Steve Lambert, "Manitoba's Doer seeks third straight majority", "Calgary Herald", 21 April 2007, A15.] The party released a seven-point re-election plan, focused on health care, the environment, education, tax cuts, public safety, money for highways, and keeping Manitoba Hydro as a public institution. [Mia Rabson, "700 new nurses pledged", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 April 2007, A5.] Doer promised to hire 700 nurses and nurse practitioners, 100 new police officers, 20 new crown prosecutors, and 20 new workplace safety inspectors. He also promised to improve Manitoba's record on vehicle emissions, provide tax credits for caregivers, and phase out the provincial small business tax over three years. ["Manitoba NDP promises to hire 700 new nurses and nurse practitioners if re-elected", "Canadian Press", 23 April 2007, 11:05; Mia Rabson, "NDP pledges more police, prosecutors to tackle crime", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 April 2007, A4; Mia Rabson, "Doer pounds on job safety", "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 April 2007, A7; Mia Rabson, "Doer's drive to clear the air", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 April 2007, A1; Mary Agnes Welch, "NDP offers caregiver $1,020 tax credit", "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 May 2007, A5; Mary Agnes Welch, "Small business tax to go, Doer says", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 May 2007, A4. The "Winnipeg Free Press" again supported Doer. See Bob Cox, "Editorial - Tipping to Mr. Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 May 2007, A16.] The NDP was again re-elected with an increased majority, this time taking 36 of 57 seats.

;Prominent cabinet members
Jean Friesen served as Doer's Deputy Premier in his first term. Friesen retired in 2003, and Doer chose Rosann Wowchuk as her replacement. [David Kuxhaus, "Doer names Wowchuk deputy premier", "Winnipeg Free Pres", 7 June 2003, A3.] She continues to hold this position as of 2007.

Prominent members of Doer's first cabinet included Greg Selinger in Finance, Gord Mackintosh in Justice, David Chomiak in Health and Rosann Wowchuk in Agriculture. [David Roberts, "Doer takes the stage as Manitoba's new Premier: Five women, two natives included in streamlined 15-member cabinet", "Globe and Mail", 6 October 1999, A2; Scott Edmonds, "Doer cabinet parties in Manitoba --- Rookies, veterans hit theatre's stage for swearing-in", "Toronto Star", 6 October 1999, 1.] Tim Sale replaced Chomiak at Health in October 2004, and was in turn succeeded by Theresa Oswald in 2006. ["Doer shuffles cabinet, changes Health Minister", "Globe and Mail", 13 October 2004, A12.] Chomiak replaced Mackintosh at Justice in 2006. [Joe Friesen, "Doer unveils his pre-election cabinet shuffle", "Globe and Mail", 22 September 2006, A8.] Selinger remains as Finance Minister in 2007, while Wowchuk remains in Agriculture.

;Financial policyThe Doer government has brought forward an uninterrupted succession of balanced budgets since its first election in 1999. These budgets have generally been cautious, and have sought to balance tax concerns with spending increases. Doer's first budget, delivered in 2000, removed 15,000 low-income Manitobans from the tax rolls and introduced $150 million in tax breaks over three years while projecting a $10 million surplus. [David Roberts, "Manitoba raises health-care spending", "Globe and Mail", 11 May 2000, A2. The actual surplus for 2000-01 was $26 million. See David Roberts, "Manitoba budget promises more spending, faster tax cuts", "Globe and Mail", 11 April 2001, A7. His second budget, in 2001, pursued a consciously middle-of-the-road path by increasing government spending on education, health and infrastructure, while also bringing forward tax cuts for corporations and individuals. See David Roberts, "Manitoba budget promises more spending, faster tax cuts", "Globe and Mail", 11 April 2001, A7; Helen Fallding, "NDP plays it safe", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 April 2001, A1. The 2002 budget made use of $288 million from Manitoba Hydro over a period of three years, and increased taxes on cigarettes on maintain a balanced budget. See "Smokers suffer big tax hit to keep Manitoba in black", "Kitchener-Waterloo Record", 23 April 2002, A5; David Kuxhaus, "Tapping Hydro profits best approach, NDP says", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 April 2002, A13. Doer defended the Hydro decision as a bold move that allowed the province to balance its budget without dipping into the Fiscal Stabilization Fund. See "Manitoba legislature wraps up lengthy spring session", "Canadian Press", 9 August 2002, 12:25.] His 2003 budget, the last of his first term, reduced provincial taxes by $82.7 million and increased spending by about 5%, mostly in health and education. [Daniel Lett, "Spending up, taxes down", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 April 2003, A1; Frances Russell, "NDP does just enough to survive", "Winnipeg Free Press", 25 April 2003, A14. Manitoba later announced that it would post a deficit for the fiscal year ending in 2003, using a clause in the province's balanced-budget legislation that permits deficit spending to cover emergency expenses. Greg Selinger, Doer's finance minister, cited the damage caused to Manitoba's economy by forest fires, drought and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (mad cow disease). See Mia Rabson, "Provincial government faces deficit", "Winnipeg Free Press", 27 March 2004, A3.]

Despite a series of economic setbacks, the government was able to post a balanced budget in 2004 through increased taxes and drug premiums as well as civil service reduction through attrition. Tobacco and liquor taxes were increased and the provincial sales tax expanded to cover more services, [Michelle Macafee, "Manitoba increases taxes, drug premiums to balance 2004-05 budget", "Canadian Press", 19 April 2004, 17:45.] although Doer rejected a panel recommendation to increase the sales tax by 1%. [Leah Janzen, "Doer rejects tax plan", "Winnipeg Free Press", 5 May 2004, A1.]

The government was able introduce a more expansive budget in 2005 after an infusion of federal revenues, reducing personal and property taxes, increasing spending by 3.5%, and putting $314 million into a "rainy day" fund. [Mia Rabson, "Doer's bonanza budget", "Winnipeg Free Press", 9 March 2005, A1.] Doer's 2006 and 2007 budgets introduced further tax cuts, and the 2007 budget offered increased education spending and a new child benefit to assist low-income families. [Steve Lambert, "Manitoba government plans small tax cuts and new law on drug-addicted kids", "Canadian Press", 5 March 2006, 11:11; Steve Lambert, "Tax cuts, new spending promised", "Globe and Mail", 5 April 2007, A10.]

Doer encouraged the Bank of Canada to lower its rates in late 2003, saying that the rising strength of the Canadian dollar in relation to the American dollar was causing increased unemployment. [Marian Stinson and Heather Scoffield, "Bank faces pressure to trim rates; But most experts expect no cut", "Globe and Mail", 15 October 2003, B1.] He later criticized Bank Governor David Dodge for doing nothing to save Canadian jobs and profits. [Daniel Lett, "Doer lashes Dodge on buck", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 November 2003, A1.] In early 2008, he called for a national strategy to offset the disruptions caused by Canada's soaring dollar. [Mia Rabson, "Doer urges joint effort on loonie Ottawa, provinces must work together", "Winnipeg Free Press", 8 January 2008, A4.]

In 2004, provincial Auditor General Jon Singleton argued that Manitoba was actually running a deficit due to costs associated with crown corporations, utilities and arm's-length agencies that were not officially counted in the budget. He recommended that Manitoba adopt a system of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Greg Selinger, Doer's Finance Minister, noted that the existing rules were set in place by the Filmon government, and indicated that the NDP had included a summary financial statement to its budget including many of the costs Singleton identified. [Daniel Lett, "Auditor general urges changes to budget legislation", "Winnipeg Free Press", 9 January 2004, B4.] The Doer government nevertheless announced in 2005 that it would adopt GAAP. [Mia Rabson, "Manitoba's rosy finances questioned", "Winnipeg Free Press", 10 September 2005, A6.]

For the first seven years of his administration, Doer was assisted on financial matters by Eugene Kostyra, a cabinet minister from the Pawley government. Kostyra resigned from his position as secretary of Manitoba's Community and Economic Development Committee in late 2006, [Paul Samyn, "Key Doer aide Kostyra heads for retirement", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 July 2006, B4.] and Angela Mathieson was appointed as his replacement. [Martin Cash, "Premier names his replacement for Kostyra", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 August 2006, A5.]

;HealthDoer has frequently argued in support of Canada's public health system. [For instance, at the NDP's 2000 annual meeting, he said that Manitoba would lead a national charge to prevent the erosion of medicare. See Douglas Nairne, "NDP delegates vow to lead charge against any erosion of medicare", "Winnipeg Free Press", 5 March 2000, A4.] He criticized Alberta's plan to introduce more private health provisions in 2002, and defended the public system as efficient and less expensive. ["Manitoba's health facts", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 January 2002, A10; Helen Fallding, "Public care is cheaper: Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 25 January 2002, A1.] In the same year, he endorsed Roy Romanow's assessment that the federal government must play a stronger role in health care to prevent more encroachments by the private system. ["Medicare sickness not fatal: Romanow", "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 February 2002, B1.] At a presentation before the Romanow Commission in 2002, Doer called for the federal government to double its health care commitment. [Thomas Walkom, "Romanow gets earful on medicare reform", "Toronto Star", 7 March 2002, A6. Doer later argued for Canada's publicly-funding medical system at a 2003 meeting of federal and provincial first ministers. The meeting resulted in a significant infusion of new money from the federal government, although not as much as the Romanow commission on health care had recommended. See Daniel Lett, "In the health-care debate, 'accountability' means cash", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 January 2003, A6; Dennis Bueckert, "Federal proposal could change agenda of premiers' health-care meeting", "Canadian Press", 23 January 2003, 03:06; Tim Harper and Les Whittington, "Premiers complain cash doesn't match Romanow findings", "Toronto Star", 6 February 2003, A1. He later indicated that he was disappointed with the level of health funding included in the Paul Martin government's first federal budget in 2004. See "'Unacceptable': Premiers disappointed by lack of new money for health care", "National Post", 24 March 2004, A6.] Two years later, he played a significant role in negotiations that saw the federal government contribute $18 billion in new funding to the provinces over six years. [Tonda MacCharles and Mary Gordon, "Tough talk did the trick", "National Post", 16 September 2004, A1; Paul Samyn, "Health talks proved Doer an emerging political giant", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 September 2004, B3.]

The Doer government's first budget included a $135 million increase in health spending, taking total provincial spending to $2.43 billion. [David Roberts, "Manitoba raises health-care spending", "Globe and Mail", 11 May 2000, A2.] In October 2002, the government announced a long-anticipated $100 million expansion to the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, with new operating rooms and emergency departments. ["Manitoba's largest hospital gets new operating rooms and emergency department", "Canadian Press", 10 October 2002, 13:40.] The government was unable to end "hallway medicine" in the six-month period it had promised during the 1999 election, and faced the difficulty of nursing position vacancies in the early 2000s. [Mia Rabson, "NDP still has health-care vows to keep", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 September 2002, A13.] Nevertheless, most observers agreed that the provincial situation improved significantly between 1999 and 2003. [Daniel Lett, "NDP has hallway medicine down but not out", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 May 2003, A4. A "Winnipeg Free Press" article in 2007 argued that "hallway medicine" may be properly applied in some circumstances, as a means of monitoring patients who don't necessarily need to be admitted to hospital. See Daniel Lett, "Successful politicians survive the Big Lie", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 September 2007, A4.] Health spending continued to increase during Doer's second term; a report in December 2004 indicated that Manitoba's per capita health spending was the highest in Canada for the seventh continuous year. [Mia Rabson, "Manitoba tops nation in health spending", "Winnipeg Free Press", 9 December 2004, A12.]

Doer emerged as a defender of Manitoba's burgeoning internet pharmaceutical industry after 2003. This industry was very popular among American clients, and provoked some opposition within both countries. [Steve Lambert, "Canada's Internet drug industry gets thumbs-up from Minnesota governor", "Canadian Press", 12 November 2003, 17:13.] In 2004, Doer accused federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh of capitulating to American interests in calling for increased restrictions on the industry. [Paul Samyn, "Doer slams health czar", "Winnipeg Free Press", 17 December 2004, A1; Graeme Smith, "Doer fights crackdown on Internet pharmacies", "Globe and Mail", 11 January 2005, A10.] He later argued that the Canadian government could protect its national drug supply and maintain Manitoba's pharmaceutical sector by banning bulk exports. [Mia Rabson, "Ban bulk drug exports to save jobs: premier", "Winnipeg Free Press", 1 February 2005, A3.]

Doer's government introduced a landmark anti-smoking bill in 2004, banning smoking in all indoor public places and workplaces across the province. Supported by all parties, the legislation was the first of its kind in Canada. [Mia Rabson, "Smoking ban 'historic'", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 March 2004, A1; Mia Rabson, "Health issues trump business complaints", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 November 2004, A10.] It did not cover Manitobans working in federal government buildings or living on First Nations territory, [Leah Janzen, "Smoke-ban loophole under fire", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 March 2004, A3; "One law for Manitobans" [editorial] , "Globe and Mail", 16 August 2006, A16.] although a provincial judge extended the policy to First Nations territory in 2006. ["Chiefs upset over order to ban all public smoking on reserves", "Winnipeg Free Press", 20 August 2006, A3.]

Doer welcomed Prime Minister Paul Martin's decision to name Winnipeg as the site of Canada's new public health agency in 2004. [Mary Gordon, "Winnipeg wins health agency HQ", "Toronto Star", 18 May 2004, A12.]

;Social policyThe Doer government passed a bill granting full adoption rights to gay and lesbian couples in 2002. The NDP and Liberals supported the bill, while the Progressive Conservatives voted against it. ["Bill gives same-sex couples the right to adopt children", "Guelph Mercury", 2 August 2002, A6.]

In 2004, the federal government announced that it would introduce legislation to permit the legalization of same-sex marriage. Federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler initially indicated that civic officials would be allowed to opt out of performing same-sex marriages if the practice offended their beliefs. Doer criticized this, arguing that provincial employees should not be permitted to discriminate. [Campbell Clark, "Prairie officials compelled to perform gay marriages", "Globe and Mail", 18 December 2004, A5.] He initially declined to make his personal views public, but announced in late 2004 that he supported same-sex marriage as a human right. ["Manitoba premier says same-sex marriage a right", "Kitchener-Waterloo Record", 29 December 2004, A3.]

In April 2005, Doer signed a $176 million deal with the federal government of Paul Martin to expand the provincial day-care sector. ["'Historic' accord to boost day care", "Winnipeg Free Press", 30 April 2005, A1.] The project was canceled in 2006 by the new Conservative government of Stephen Harper, over Doer's objections. [Philip Authier, "Premiers talk tough over cuts: Billions lost for child care", "Montreal Gazette", 25 February 2006, A4; Nicholas Read, "Stay-at-home parents will be the biggest beneficiaries of the new federal plan", "Vancouver Sun", 3 May 2006, A4.]

Unlike some within the NDP, Doer is personally opposed to the decriminalization of marijuana, which he has said could result in economic difficulties with the United States of America. ["Premier no fan of pot motion", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 February 2007, A4.]

;EducationDoer's government cut university tuition by 10% during its first term, and later provided universities with a property tax exemption. [Helen Fallding, "NDP will try to minimize budget pain", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 January 2002, A9.] It also amalgamated several school divisions prior to the 2002 municipal elections, [Nick Martin, "New divisions not drawn up, Doer gov't says", "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 July 2000, A6.] and began to phase out education property taxes in the same period. [Helen Fallding, "Education tax phase-out in spring likely", "Winnipeg Free Press", 12 October 2001, A3.]

In 2006, the Doer government introduced a proposal for Manitoba university graduates to receive a tuition rebate of up to 60% if they chose to stay and work in the province after graduation. [Paul Samyn, "Major tuition rebate in works", "Winnipeg Free Press", 14 November 2006, A7; Mia Rabson, "Tuition rebates will be as high as 60 per cent", "Winnipeg Free Press", 16 November 2006, A7.]

;AgricultureShortly after being sworn in as premier, Doer led an all-party delegation to Ottawa to seek a $1.3 billion financial bailout for western farmers, to help mitigate an economic downturn in the sector. He was joined by Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow, Progressive Conservative MLA Larry Maguire, and Manitoba Liberal leader Jon Gerrard. [David Kuxhaus, "Prairie politicians band together to plead farmers' case", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 October 1999, A3; Paul Adams, "Romanow, Doer want $1.3-billion in farm aid", "Globe and Mail", 28 October 1999, A8.] The federal government introduced $170 million in funding shortly thereafter, a figure that Doer and Romanow described as "heartless". [Valerie Lawton, "Farmers get $170 million more in aid", "Toronto Star", 5 November 1999, 1; Mathew Ingram, "Farm bailouts are no real answer", "Globe and Mail", 5 November 1999, B2.] In February 2000, Romanow and Doer stood with Chrétien to announce their support for a compromise bailout of $400 million. [Brian Laghi and David Roberts, "One-time cash payout to help prairie farmers with spring crop", "Globe and Mail", 25 February 2000, A4; Paul Samyn, "Help on way for cash-poor grain farmers", "Winnipeg Free Press", 25 February 2000, A3. Doer called for an additional $500 million bailout for grain and oilseed farmers in 2001. See Helen Fallding, "Doer finds little support for farm aid", "Winnipeg Free Press", 1 June 2001, A3. In 2002, Doer joined with Lorne Calvert, Romanow's successor as Premier of Saskatchewan, to call for the federal government to oppose an American farm subsidy bill that threatened the ability of Canadian farmers to access the American market. See Paul Samyn, "Provinces unite to fightfarm bill", "Winnipeg Free Press", 8 May 2002, A13; Mia Rabson, "Leaders to discuss U.S. farm subsidies", "Winnipeg Free Press", 9 May 2002, A3; David Kuxhaus, "Wowchuk warns farm bill designed to reap U.S. votes", "Winnipeg Free Press", 10 May 2002, A5. He criticized another federal farm bailout plan later in the year, arguing that it put too much economic pressure on the provincial governments. See Paul Samyn, "`It's half a loaf'", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 June 2002, B1.]

Shortly after his re-election in 2003, Doer criticized the federal government for failing to respond to an agriculture crisis caused by the discovery of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in a Canadian cow and by the subsequent closure of the American border to beef products produced in Canada. [Daniel Lett, "Liberals fiddling while economy dives: Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 10 June 2003, A5.] The federal and provincial governments subsequently agreed on a $50 million bailout to the industry. [Daniel Lett, "Manitoba farmers to get $50M in aid", "Winnipeg Free Press", 18 September 2003, A1.] The border was reopened to live cattle in December 2004. [Mia Rabson, "Border reopens to live cattle", "Winnipeg Free Press", 30 December 2004, A1.]

Doer strongly supports the Canadian Wheat Board's policy of single-desk marketing, and has opposed efforts by some on the political right to weaken its status. [Mia Rabson, "Doer issues challenge over wheat board", "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 January 2006, A12.] In late 2006, Doer accused federal Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl of interfering in the Wheat Board's elections. [Paul Samyn and Mia Rabson, "Doer, directors cast Strahl as a bully", "Winnipeg Free Press", 17 November 2006, A10. Also in this period, Doer and Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert challenged the federal Conservative government to hold a national referendum on the Wheat Board's future. See Martin Cash, "Saskatchewan joins call for referendum", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 November 2006, A5.]

The Doer government has rejected a return to single-desk hog marketing, which was eliminated during the years of the Filmon government. [Helen Fallding, "Tempers flare over hog fracas", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 February 2001, A3.] During its second term, the government favoured plans to establish an OlyWest hog processing plant in northeast Winnipeg. This measure was extremely controversial among party members, and area NDP MLAs Daryl Reid and Bidhu Jha indicated their opposition. In response to the criticism, Doer withdrew his support for OlyWest in 2007. [Mia Rabson and Bartley Kives, "Doer puts nail in OlyWest's coffin", "Winnipeg Free Press", 9 May 2007, A6.]

Doer is a vocal opponent of the American Country of Origin Labelling initiative, which would require American producers to separate meat from hogs slaughtered in Canada and increase packing and labelling cost. In January 2008, Doer promised to lobby against the initiative. ["Manitoba premier promises farm group he'll lobby for them on US food labelling law", "Canadian Press", 23 January 2008, 23:19; Larry Kusch, "U.S. food labelling could hurt hog farmers", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 January 2008, B6; Mia Rabson, "Doer confident hogs will flow", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 January 2008, A9.]

;Law enforcementDoer called for the federal government to strengthen its laws against child pornography in 2002, after the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that John Robin Sharpe's fictional writings involving children met the legal definition of "artistic merit". [Erin Anderssen, "Ottawa urged to tighten porn laws", "Globe and Mail", 28 March 2002, A4.] Doer was quoted as saying, "We believe that the rights of children should be superior rights in our country to the rights of perverts". [Helen Fallding, "Manitoba justice officials to study", "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 March 2002, A3.] The following year, the Manitoba government unveiled a website that included photographs and profiles of high-risk sex offenders. ["Man. unveils Web site with photos, profiles of high-risk sex offenders", "Canadian Press", 11 April 2003, 20:54.]

Also in 2002, Doer argued that persons who kill police officers should spend the rest of their natural lives in jail, without access to Canada's so-called "Faint Hope Clause" for early release. [Mia Rabson, "Kill officer, go to jail for life, Doer urges", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 May 2002, A11.] Three years later, he argued that the provisions of the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act were too lenient. ["Doer says youth law puts public at risk", "Winnipeg Free Press", 8 November 2005, A4. In the summer of 2001, Doer promised that his government would pass legislation to shut down outlaw gang clubhouses, if the federal government would not do the same. See David Kuxhaus, "Doer takes on gangs", "Winnipeg Free Press", 29 June 2001, A1. The legislation was brought forward in November of the same year; Mia Rabson, "NDP cracks down on biker bunkers", "Winnipeg Free Press", 20 November 2001, A1.] In 2007, Doer led an all-party task force to Ottawa to seek greater federal penalties for gang-related crime, youth offenses and car theft. [Bartley Kives, "Top cops, politicians to press Ottawa for crackdown on crime", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 September 2007, A8.]

In 2004, the Doer government increased funding for the hiring of police officers and Crown prosecutors. ["Manitoba Legislature acts on some promises", "Globe and Mail", 10 December 2004, A9.] Following increased urban violence in 2005, the province announced funding for 54 more officers. [Paul Egan, "Biggest-ever funding boost comes amid fears of gang war", "Winnipeg Free Press", 15 March 2005, A1; Jason Markusoff, "Meth problem becomes hot topic: Drug should be classified 'as absolutely the worst' because of its damaging and addictive components", "Edmonton Journal", 6 May 2005, A6.]

Doer announced the creation of an all-party task force on security following the attacks of September 11, 2001. [Helen Fallding, "All parties get involved in strengthening security", "Winnipeg Free Press", 5 October 2001, A3.] The following month, he announced that he would work with the Governors of Minnesota and North Dakota for a co-ordinated security strategy. [Scott Edmonds, "Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota look at co-ordinated security", "Canadian Press", 19 October 2001, 15:15.]

;EnvironmentDoer has been a strong and consistent supporter of the Kyoto Accord on climate change. [Helen Fallding, "Province reaffirms Kyoto accord support", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 February 2002, A14; Charlie Gillis, "Six Premiers, six agendas: Western conference", "National Post", 4 June 2002, A4; Charlie Gillis, "Premiers warm to hearing Klein's Kyoto alternative", "National Post", 6 June 2002, A5 [Gillis identified Doer as Klein's primary opponent] ; Helen Fallding, "We'll beat Kyoto target, Doer vows", "Winnipeg Free Press", 20 June 2002, A7; Gary Doer, "Canadians should embrace Kyoto vision", "Winnipeg Free Press", 29 June 2002, A15.] In February 2004, his government signed an agreement with the Chicago Climate Exchange pledging Manitoba to create a trust fund to pay for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [Mia Rabson, "Manitoba to create Canada's first 'climate trust'", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 February 2004.] In late 2005, the American magazine "Business Week" listed Doer as one of the top twenty international leaders fighting climate change. [Paul Samyn, "Magazine lauds Doer's green policies", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 December 2005, A3.] [In 2001, Doer appointed former federal cabinet minister Lloyd Axworthy to chair a task force on climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. See Helen Fallding, "Axworthy named to chair task force to develop blueprint for action", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 March 2001, A7; "A plan for the warm century" [editorial] , "Winnipeg Free Press", 25 March 2001, B4; In late 2005, Doer and Quebec Premier Jean Charest co-authored a piece outlining strategies for reversing climate change. See Gary Doer and Jean Charest, "Seize the climate-friendly day", "Globe and Mail", 7 December 2005, A27.] In 2007, he announced that Manitoba would pursue a plan with other provinces and states to push greenhouse gas emissions to 15% below 2005 levels by 2020. Provincial officials indicated that Manitoba would also strive to meet its Kyoto commitments on its own. ["Doer pushes green deadline back to 2020", "Edmonton Journal", 23 August 2007, A5; Mia Rabson, "Manitoba in emissions pact", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 August 2007, A4.] Later in the same year, Manitoba signed on to a European-designed carbon credit training plan. ["Manitoba, B.C. to sign on to trading scheme", "Winnipeg Free Press", 30 October 2007, A12.]

Doer announced that Manitoba would increase ethanol production in 2002, and held consultations on a plan requiring Manitoba drivers to use ethanol-blended gasoline. [Helen Fallding, "$35M to fund 'clean' gasoline", "Winnipeg Free Press", 20 April 2002, A1; Helen Fallding, "Public gets say in mandating new gas blend", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 July 2002, A9; "Manitoba: Ethanol production to be increased, Premier says", "National Post", 3 July 2002, A6; "Public gets a chance to share its thoughts on the use of ethanol", "Winnipeg Free Press", 20 September 2002, A16; Daniel Lett, "Manitoba a prime location to produce ethanol: panel", "Winnipeg Free Press", 12 December 2002, A5.] In October 2002, the government instructed its provincial fleet drivers to switch to ethanol fuels. ["Manitoba government angers fuel dealers with mandatory ethanol switch", "Canadian Press", 11 October 2002, 20:52] These plans stalled due to limited production, but picked up again when a new facility was constructed in late 2005. [Mia Rabson, "Ethanol fuel plan back on the road", "Winnipeg Free Press", 27 October 2005, A1.]

In March 2004, the government introduced enabling legislation on water protection, allowing for the introduction of specific regulations on water protection zones, water quality standards, and related matters. [Mary Agnes Welch, "Water bill steams mayor, reeves", "Winnipeg Free Press", 15 March 2004, B6.]

Doer signed the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord with seven American governors in November 2007. [John Ibbitson, "Regions take action as federal leaders dither", "Globe and Mail", 16 November 2007, A24.] The following month, he announced that Manitoba would introduce vehicle emission standards similar to those in California. [Steve Lambert, "Manitoba to adopt California-like vehicle emission limits: Doer", "Canadian Press", 27 December 2007, 15:56.] In late January 2008, Doer agreed to a blueprint proposal for a market-based trading system to cut greenhouse gas emissions with the premiers of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. [Justine Hunter, Karen Howlett & Ian Bailey, "Campbell leads the charge on emissions pact", "Globe and Mail", 30 January 2008, S1.]

;Aboriginal issuesIn November 1999, Doer appointed a two-person panel to advise his government on implementing the findings of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, which had been published eight years earlier. [David Roberts, "Commission launched on 1991 native report", "Globe and Mail", 30 November 1999, A5. Doer indicated that he was disappointed with the Filmon government's inaction on the file. See "Manitoba government establishes Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission" [government press release] , "M2 Presswire", 30 November 1999.] In April 2000, Manitoba took steps to provide indigenous Manitobans with their own child and family-service agencies. ["Aboriginals to get own family services", "Globe and Mail", 18 April 2000, A9.]

Following consultations with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in 1999, Doer's government established a selection committee to oversee proposals to set up casinos in Manitoba first nations. [Daniel Lett, "Play fair on native casinos, NDP told", "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 June 2000, A1.] The process subsequently became stalled, and only one of the casinos was up and running by 2003. Doer's government appointed a two-person panel to review the situation and recommend a change in strategy; [Daniel Lett, "NDP to overhaul native casino plan", "Winnipeg Free Press", 13 November 2002, A5; Daniel Lett, "NDP, chiefs join forces to look at casinos", "Winnipeg Free Press", 18 December 2002, A3; Daniel Lett, "Nominees for native casino panel confirmed", "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 January 2003, A6; "NDP gives free rein to casino review", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 April 2003, B1.] the panel argued that the province should consider creating one large casino, instead of several small on-reserve casinos. [Daniel Lett, "Report bets on one large native-run casino", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 September 2003, A1.] A second casino was opened in 2005, while the larger issue remains unresolved as of 2007. [Daniel Lett, "Confusion in the NDP's native casino file", "Winnipeg Free Press", 18 August 2007, A6.]

Doer convened a provincial summit on aboriginal commerce in November 2004. [Daniel Lett, "Aboriginal business summit set", "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 September 2004, B8.] He indicated that the summit was intended to showcase successful businesses, and to forge greater links between the aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities. [Martin Cash, "Summit to encourage more aboriginal-owned businesses", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 November 2004, C9; Martin Cash, "Aboriginal biz summit may deliver the goods", "Winnipeg Free Press", 5 May 2005, A9.]

Doer is a strong supporter of the Kelowna Accord signed in late 2005 by the federal government of Paul Martin, provincial premiers and aboriginal leaders. [Mia Rabson, "NDP ready to provide balance, says Layton", "Winnipeg Free Press", 5 February 2006, A3.] The Martin government was defeated in the 2006 federal election, and was replaced by the government of Stephen Harper. Doer subsequently criticized the Harper government's failure to implement the accord. [Alexander Panetta, "Critics slam Tory budget over lack of support for natives, Kyoto", "Canadian Press", 2 May 2006, 18:40; Paul Samyn, "Natives outraged Angered at apparent end to $5.1-B Kelowna accord", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 May 2006, A11; Ian Urquhart, "Premiers pressure Harper on native deal", "Toronto Star", 30 May 2006, A4.]

;EnergyDoer has often referred to hydroelectric power as playing a major role in Manitoba's long-term economic strategy. [Mia Rabson, "Manitoba's political parties are revving up for a close election", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 January 2007, A11; Mia Rabson, "Black gold on tap", "Winnipeg Free Press", 18 February 2007, A6.] Among other things, he has advocated a national east-west power grid to export Manitoba's plentiful hydroelectric power to Ontario and other provinces in Western Canada. [Helen Fallding, "Doer pushes power grid to link West", "Winnipeg Free Press", 31 May 2001, A3; Paul Samyn, "Manitoba to study grid of electrical transmission", "Winnipeg Free Press", 22 June 2001, B4; John Spears, "Hydro One considers Manitoba power line", "Toronto Star", 19 November 2004, D3; Leah Janzen, "Doer excited by potential for lucrative power sales", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 February 2005, A1. Ontario announced its support for an east-west grid in 2007. See Mia Rabson, "Premier's power grid dream gets energized", "Winnipeg Free Press", 31 January 2007, A6. In August 2002, Manitoba Hydro signed a $1.7 billion deal with its largest American consumer. See David Kuxhaus, "$1.7-B Hydro deal", "Winnipeg Free Press", 9 August 2002, A1.]

Doer announced Manitoba's first wind farm project in November 2004, near the community of St. Leon. This was a private-public partnership arranged between Manitoba Hydro and AirSource Power Fund. [Helen Fallding, "Province launches first wind farm in private-public deal", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 November 2004, A5.] It officially started in April 2005. [Mia Rabson, "Wind farm generating excitement", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 April 2005, A1.]

In September 2007, Manitoba Hydro indicated that it would construct a new transmission line connecting north and south Manitoba on the west side of Lake Winnipeg. Hydro's initial plan had been to construct the line on the east side, but Doer's government rejected this approach, saying that it would damage pristine boreal forest territories. Some local aboriginal leaders also opposed construction on the east side. The Progressive Conservative Party has strongly criticized Doer's decision. [Mia Rabson, "West side story for Manitoba Hydro", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 September 2007, A1; Mia Rabson, "International pressure part of decision: Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 27 September 2007, A6. See also Bryan Schwartz & Elijah Harper, "East side advantage", "Winnipeg Free Press", 13 October 2007, A19; Mary Agnes Welch, "More chiefs oppose west-side decision", "Winnipeg Free Press", 17 October 2007, A7; "Manitoba premier faces more criticism over planned hydro line", "Canadian Press", 31 October 2007, 16:31.]

;Labour issuesThe Doer government introduced a number of labour reforms early in its first mandate, making it easier for unions to obtain certification and giving employees increased powers to move disputes to binding arbitration. Business leaders opposed the changes, though Doer argued that the bill was far less contentious than opponents made it out to be. [David Kuxhaus, "Premier tries to placate business riled by contentious labour law changes", "Winnipeg Free Press", 2 August 2000, A1; David Kuxhaus, "Voters seem satisfied with Doer government", "Winnipeg Free Press", 2 October 2000, A4.] In 2004, Doer rejected a call by party members to introduce legislation that would ban replacement workers in labour disputes. ["Premier won't ban replacement workers", "Winnipeg Free Press", 8 March 2004, A5.]

Doer's government increased Manitoba's minimum wage from $6.00 to $6.25 in November 2000, and brought in subsequent increases of 25 cents on an annual basis. ["Manitoba bumps up minimum wage in the province by 25 cents an hour", "Canadian Press", 29 November 2000, 20:55; "Survival above all" [editorial] , "Winnipeg Free Press", 29 December 2001, A14.] By April 2005, the minimum wage had been increased to $7.25. Some argued that this was still short of a living wage. [Dennis Howlett, "The call for a living wage: activists fighting for fair wages across the country", "Canadian Dimension", 1 May 2005, p. 25.] The minimum wage was increased to $8.50 in 2008. [ [,minimum-wage,factsheet.html#q156 "What is the minimum wage?"] , Government of Manitoba, accessed 12 December 2007.] In 2005, the Doer government introduced a bill to expand provincial workers' compensation coverage. [Paul Egan, "Compensation plan to cover all workers", "Winnipeg Free Press", 13 April 2005, A1.]

In late 2007, the Doer government announced that temporary foreign workers and modeling agencies would be covered under the Employment Standards Act, to prevent worker exploitation. [ [ "Legislation to Protect Models and Foreign Workers"] , Manitoba Federation of Labour, 21 November 2007.]

;Science and infrastructureIn October 2002, Doer's government introduced a biotechnology training strategy to address a skilled-worker shortage in the industry. [Helen Fallding, "NDP to boost biotech training", "Winnipeg Free Press", 9 October 2002, A16.]

In early 2003, Doer signed a $160 million deal with the federal government for expansion work on the Red River Floodway. The floodway expansion was described as the largest infrastructure project in Manitoba history, [Paul Samyn, "Our 'polite' premier gets extra $20M", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 April 2003, A3; Daniel Lett, "Floodway deal sealed", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 April 2003, A3.] and was started in late 2005. [Helen Fallding, "Doubling Duff's Ditch", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 August 2005, B1; Mia Rabson, "Sod turned for $665-M expansion ..Roblin hailed for vision, perseveramce" [sic] , "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 September 2005, B1.]

Doer indicated in late 2007 that he would like to see negotiations begin on a new football stadium for Winnipeg, as proposed by Winnipeg media mogul David Asper. [Mary Agnes Welch, "Get ball rolling on stadium: Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 December 2007, A3.]

;Crocus Investment FundIn early 2005, the labour-managed Crocus Investment Fund stopped trading and entered into financial protection. The Doer government was subsequently accused of having ignored signs of trouble at the fund, and of failing to protect the interests of investors. [Paul Egan, "Auditor to slam Crocus", "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 May 2005, A1.] The opposition Progressive Conservatives argued that the government had deliberately ignored warnings of financial impropriety, partly because of ideological links between the New Democratic Party and the labour movement. Doer rejected this charge, and observed that the fund had been established by the Filmon government in conjunction with labour leaders. [Mia Rabson, "Tories, NDP trade barbs over being cosy with Crocus", "Winnipeg Free Press", 2 June 2005, A11. Both parties were affected by the controversy in 2005. See "Doer trips, Murray falls" [editorial] , "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 June 2005, A12.] He also rejected calls from the opposition for a formal inquiry, [Paul Egan, "Crocus investors sue for $200M", "Winnipeg Free Press", 13 July 2005, A1; Martin Cash, "PCs announce Crocus team, remove legislative logjam", "Winnipeg Free Press", 2 May 2006, A3.] and insisted that the province did nothing wrong in the matter. [Martin Cash, "No Crocus error, premier maintains", "Winnipeg Free Press", 10 May 2006, A10.]

;Federal-provincial relationsDoer supported the Chrétien government's Clarity Act legislation, which mandated that any negotiations on provincial secession be preceded by a referendum with a clearly-defined question. The act was opposed by Quebec nationalists, who regarded it as an infringement on national sovereignty. In 2004, Doer criticized new Prime Minister Paul Martin for seeming to undermine the principles of the bill. [Joan Bryden, "PM's failure to defend Dion, Clarity from attacks imperil Western gains: Doer", "Canadian Press", 15 February 2004, 15:40; "Martin too wishy-washy on Quebec, says Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 16 February 2004, B1.] He also criticized Martin's promise to remove the "Notwithstanding Clause" from the Constitution of Canada in the 2006 federal election. [Kevin Rollason, "Doer won't support scrapping clause", "Winnipeg Free Press", 12 January 2006, A12.] Doer later criticized Martin's successor, Stephen Harper, for recognizing the Québécois as a nation within Canada in late 2006. He was quoted as saying, " [t] o me, Canada is one nation, one country. I understand Quebec is unique in terms of language, culture and law, but Canada is one country." [Paul Samyn, "'Nation' talk irks Manitobans", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 November 2006, A4.]

According to journalist Chantal Hébert, Doer played a vital role in convincing other provincial leaders to support Quebec Premier Jean Charest's proposal for a Council of the Federation in 2003. [Chantal Hébert, "Charest's coup at Charlottetown", "Toronto Star", 14 July 2003, A17.] In 2005, Doer and New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord opposed what they described as the federal government's unilateral funding deals with individual provinces, and called for a "pan-Canadian approach" in its place. [Tom Blackwell, "Premiers assail PM's deals with provinces", "National Post", 18 May 2005, A8.]

In early 2007, Doer said that Manitoba would not enter a free trade deal signed between Alberta and British Columbia. He instead called for a national trade accord. [Mia Rabson, "Doer favours national trade accord", "Winnipeg Free Press", 22 February 2007, B2.] He refused to sign the federal government's Building Canada Fund in late 2007, arguing that its provisions for floodway expansion were unfair. [Mia Rabson, "Floodway cash has premier up in arms", "Winnipeg Free Press", 20 November 2007, A5.]

Doer opposed the Chrétien government's decision to implement a federal gun registry. In 2000, his government joined with other provinces to raise a constitutional challenge against the law. ["High noon at high court for gun law", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 February 2000, A1.]

;International relationsSince his first election in 1999, Doer has been a leading opponent of a water diversion in Devils Lake, North Dakota that many regard as posing a serious environmental threat to Manitoba. [Paul Samyn, "Doer taking diversion fight to Washington", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 October 1999, A8; "Doer, Lathlin to lead delegation opposing Devil's Lake drainage outlet" [government press release] , "M2 Presswire", 22 October 1999; "Diversion struggle is uphill, Doer says", "Winnipeg Free Press", 27 October 1999, A3; Paul Samyn, "Lobby effort scuttles N.D. diversion", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 November 1999, A3; "Doer rallies troops to fight Devils Lake diversion plans", "Winnipeg Free Press", 25 November 1999, A3; James Brooke, "Manitoba, Awash in Its Own Water, Shuns North Dakota's", "New York Times", 6 December 1999, p. 8; Douglas Nairne, "Province enlists lawyer to battle N.D.", "Winnipeg Free Press", 12 January 2000, A4; Douglas Nairne, "In this corner, Doer and Ventura", "Winnipeg Free Press", 14 January 2000, A3; Ruth Walker, "A rising Devils Lake is causing a flood of concerns", "Christian Science Monitor", 6 March 2000, p. 7; Aldo Santin, "Politics stalling Devils Lake diversion funds", "Winnipeg Free Press", 13 March 2000, A2; David Roberts, "Doer, governor weigh impact of diversion on Lake Winnipeg", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 April 2000, A7; "Doer travelling again to fight diversion plan", "Winnipeg Free Press", 12 May 2000, A4; David Kuxhaus, "Devils Lake project still a threat: Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 September 2000, A8; David Kuxhaus, "Would make it easier to build Devils Lake drainage outlet", "Winnipeg Free Press", 22 January 2001, A7; Paul Samyn, "'Aggressive' fight needed to protect water: Doer to PM", "Winnipeg Free Press", 2 March 2001, A3; "Doer aims to fight water diversion", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 August 2001, A4; "Manitoba leaders team up to fight N.D. water plans", "Winnipeg Free Press", 12 October 2001, B3; "Premier, Tory chief fight N.D. diversions in D.C.", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 July 2002, A15; "Powell rams through N.D. pipeline", "Winnipeg Free Press", 6 April 2002, A15; "Devils Lake report delay thrills Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 15 August 2002, A11; Daniel Lett, "NDP takes diversion fight to U.S. court", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 October 2002, A3; Scott Edmonds, "Manitoba views new U.S. plan for flooded Devils Lake as mixed blessing", "Canadian Press", 26 February 2003, 16:56; Mia Rabson, "Dike fight tactics denounced by Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 13 March 2004, A3; Paul Egan, "Minnesota jumps into water fight Joins Manitoba in dispute with N.D. over diversion plan for Devils Lake", "Winnipeg Free Press", 30 April 2004, A5; Paul Samyn, "Doer targets Devils Lake", "Winnipeg Free Press", 29 November 2004, A1; Helen Fallding, "Devils Lake outlet nearly finished", "Winnipeg Free Press", 15 January 2005, A1; Paul Samyn, "Doer to lead Capitol Hill blitz", "Winnipeg Free Press", 2 April 2005, A8; Paul Samyn, "Devils Lake outlet unstoppable, officials fear", "Winnipeg Free Press", 6 April 2005, A3; Paul Samyn, "Tough talk on Devils Lake Doer threatens U.S. with lawsuit", "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 April 2005, A1; Chris Wattie, "U.S. senators reject 'Devils' compromise", "National Post", 28 April 2005, A11; "Doer recruiting Great Lakes governors for Devils Lake fight", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 May 2005, A5; Mike DeSouza, "Great Lakes mayors unite against water diversion", "National Post", 27 May 2005, A4; Paul Samyn, "Devils Lake 'attention' promised; Bush tells PM he's aware of diversion", "Winnipeg Free Press", 2 June 2005, A12; Paul Samyn, "Doer gets ear of ambassador", "Winnipeg Free Press", 8 July 2005, A7; Mia Rabson, "Doer set to retaliate over Devils Lake outlet", "Winnipeg Free Press", 13 June 2007, A1. Doer himself wrote an editorial piece against the project in 2005. See Gary Doer, "The Devil to pay", "National Post", 17 May 2005, A22. He had previously traveled to Washington, D.C. in a bid to put the project on hold. See "Doer heads to Washington to press beef farmers' case", "Globe and Mail", 7 April 2004, A7.] In 2005, the Canadian and American governments reached a non-binding compromise deal on the project that committed both sides to design an advanced filter to prevent environmental disruption. [Paul Samyn, "Devils Lake deal is done", "Winnipeg Free Press", 6 August 2005, A1; Alan Freeman, "Devils Lake agreement non-binding, McKenna says", "Globe and Mail", 9 August 2005, A4.] Doer initially described this agreement as a significant improvement over prior arrangements, [Michelle MacAfee, "Devils Lake deal `not 100 per cent perfect,' but Manitoba, Ottawa relieved", "Canadian Press", 6 August 2005, 17:16.] but later criticized the North Dakota government for starting the water diversion before the deal was finalized. [Mia Rabson, "Doer rages as water flows", "Winnipeg Free Press", 16 August 2005, A1; Mia Rabson, "Doer to lobby Washington for better Devils Lake filter", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 January 2006, A5; Leah Janzen, "Improved Devils Lake filter to be operating this summer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 January 2006, A7; Mia Rabson, "Doer to discuss water wars with PM", "Winnipeg Free Press", 21 March 2006, A6; Mia Rabson, "Villain,' says Doer as U.S. opens tap", "Winnipeg Free Press", 15 April 2006, A3; Paul Samyn, "Devils Lake outlet agreement soon?", "Winnipeg Free Press", 25 April 2006, A5; "N. Dakota unwilling to wait for lake filter", "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 April 2006, A5; Steve Lambert, "N. Dakota wants more access to tap outlet at Devils Lake", "Winnipeg Free Press", 25 May 2006, A7.] Doer raised the matter with American officials during an official visit in January 2008. ["Water interests pushed", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 January 2008, A9.]

Doer has led several international trade delegations from Manitoba, including visits to Russia, Germany, Israel, India and The Philippines. [Mia Rabson, "Forget trade talks; figure skating is the buzz in Russia", "Winnipeg Free Press", 16 February 2002, A10; Robert Fife, "Provinces resolve to work together: 'To get the job done'", "National Post", 22 February 2002, A6; "Doer going on trade mission to Israel", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 October 2002, A5. In 2007, the province reported that a delegation to India the previous year resulted in over a dozen contracts. See "Minister, business India-bound", "Winnipeg Free Press", 6 December 2007, B7; Mia Rabson, "Philippines trip to focus on immigration", "Winnipeg Free Press", 5 February 2008, A7.] He also made an historic visit to Iceland in August 2001; Manitoba has a large Icelandic population, and Doer was the first Manitoba Premier to make an official visit to the country. [Paul Samyn, "Doer leading trade mission to Iceland this month", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 August 2001, A5; "Tourism minister visiting England, Scotland, Iceland", "Winnipeg Free Press", 20 August 2001, A7; Larry Kusch, "Doer's passage to India", "Winnipeg Free Press", 20 January 2006, B3; "Manitoba gateway to North America: Doer", "The Press Trust of India Limited", 13 February 2006; Paul Samyn, "Doer tries to lure Bollywood to Manitoba", "Winnipeg Free Press", 18 February 2006, A6.] Halldor Asgrimsson, the Prime Minister of Iceland, made a follow-up visit to Manitoba in July 2005. [Paul Samyn, "Iceland leader coming to city", "Winnipeg Free Press", 22 July 2005, A10. Geir H. Haarde, Asgrimsson's successor, visited Manitoba in 2007. Nisha Tuli, "Icelandic PM's visit to stress business", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 August 2007, B2.]

Doer signed an agreement with the American state of Georgia in 2004, for increased co-operation between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and the National Virology Lab in Winnipeg. [Mia Rabson, "Doer signs deal to boost city's bid for super lab", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 February 2004, A5.] In the same year, he signed a memorandum of understanding with Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty to create a "biomedical corridor" for the promotion of research, capital investment and technology development. [Martin Cash, "Biomedical alliance with Minnesota mapped out", "Winnipeg Free Press", 9 June 2004, C8.] In early 2005, Doer and New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord traveled on a trade mission to Texas in what was described as an effort to improve relations between Canada and the United States. [Paul Samyn, "Doer, Lord are a rootin' tootin' tag team in Texas", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 January 2005, A1; Paul Samyn, "Texas science labs spark Doer's hopes for trade", "Winnipeg Free Press", 29 January 2005, A6.] Later in the year, Doer and Jean Charest traveled on a trade mission to Mexico. ["Doer, Charest return from trade mission", "Montreal Gazette", 14 May 2005, A19.] In 2006, he appeared at a prominent climate change event with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. [Paul Samyn, "Doer, not PM basks in California sun", "Winnipeg Free Press", 22 October 2006, A4.]

Doer has supported Canada's military mission in Afghanistan, despite growing skepticism about the purpose of the mission from the federal NDP. [Mia Rabson, "Manitoba backs Canada's military", "Winnipeg Free Press", 8 October 2001, 13; "NDP group withdraws provocative preamble", "Winnnipeg Free Press", 7 September 2006, A9; "Manitoba's army" [editorial] , "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 February 2008, A10.] He called for Canada to ban donations to Hezbollah's charity wing in 2002, [Daniel Lett, "Stop militants from fund-raising: Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 9 November 2002, A20.] and endorsed Jean Chrétien government's decision to remain out of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. [Judy Monchuk, "Klein sends kudos, thanks to ambassador for U.S. war on Iraq", "Canadian Press", 21 March 2003, 19:24.]

In 2005, Doer spoke against the American government's plans to require passports at Canadian border crossings. He argued that the expense of travel would create a "financial Berlin Wall" for some families. He instead proposed a security protocol centred around drivers' licenses. [Mia Rabson, "Passport law will create a 'Berlin Wall'", "Winnipeg Free Press", 2 February 2007, A5.] In 2007, North Dakota Governor John Hoeven announced that he was working with Doer to find an alternative approach. ["Hoeven says he's working with Manitoba on visa alternative", "Associated Press Newswires", 13 September 2007, 11:03 report.]

;Legislative reformDoer's government changed the rules of the legislature in 1999, to allow the Speaker of the Assembly to be elected by a secret ballot vote of all members. Speakers had previously been appointed by the premier. [Scott Edmonds, "Inuit MLA first elected Speaker in Manitoba", "Globe and Mail", 19 November 1999, A27.]

The government announced election spending reforms in June 2000, which were highlighted by a ban on political donations by private corporations and organized labour. [David Roberts, "Manitoba to restrict donations", "Globe and Mail", 21 June 2000, A5; Graham Fraser, "Restrictions on donations can see politics transformed", "Toronto Star", 25 June 2000, p. 1.] This measure was opposed by the opposition Progressive Conservatives, and by the right-wing Canadian Taxpayers Federation. [David Kuxhaus, "NDP's planned election-ad limit violates charter: taxpayers' group", "Winnipeg Free Press", 23 July 2000, A3.] The reforms came into effect in 2001, [David Kuxhaus, "Parties get set to rebuild war chests", "Winnipeg Free Press", 4 June 2001, A11; Jeffrey Simpson, "Why Manitoba should be an inspiration to us all", "Globe and Mail", 31 May 2002, A21.] and were extended to party leadership contests in June 2002. [Mia Rabson, "NDP to slap donation limits on leadership campaigns", "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 June 2002, A10.] Further restrictions were added in 2006. [Mia Rabson, "Law will squeeze party fundraising", "Winnipeg Free Press", 10 April 2006, A5.]

In April 2006, the Doer government introduced legislation to prevent MLAs from crossing the floor from one party to another. Under the terms of this legislation, MLAs who choose to leave their political party are required to sit as independents until the next election, or resign and seek re-election for another party. [Mia Rabson, "Doer wants to end MLAs crossing floor", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 April 2006, A1.]

;PopularityDoer's government enjoyed an extended honeymoon with voters after the 1999 election. The NDP consistently led all other parties in public opinion polls from 1999 until 2005, often by wide margins. [Davis Kuxhaus, "Voters seem satisfied with Doer government", "Winnipeg Free Press", 2 October 2000, A4; Helen Fallding, "Grit support up as NDP, PCs struggle", "Winnipeg Free Press", 29 December 2000, A3l; "NDP riding high", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 March 2001, A1; Aldo Santin, "Growing Liberal support hits 24%: NDP drops 5 per cent, but party still leads Tories", "Winnipeg Free Press", 17 July 2001, A4; Helen Fallding, "Tories gaining, NDP slipping, survey shows", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 December 2001, A11 [the NDP still led this poll, 39% to 32%); Helen Fallding, "Doer? I don't even know her!", "Winnipeg Free Press", 14 March 2002, A1 [note: actual article title] ; Mia Rabson, "NDP, Tories believe poll favours their fortunes", "Winnipeg Free Press", 29 October 2002, A3; Daniel Lett, "NDP soars, Tories sink in poll", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 December 2002, A1 [47-30%] ; Mia Rabson, "Election fever Raging at Legislature", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 March 2003, A9; Daniel Lett, "NDP still enjoying strong support", "Winnipeg Free Press", 18 October 2003, A1 [51-28%] ; "Nearly half of electorate backs Doer government", "Winnipeg Free Press", 30 December 2003, A7 [49-26%] ; Daniel Lett, "NDP support strong as Tories fall behind", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 March 2004, A5 [47-29%] ; Daniel Lett, "Tories close in on NDP", "Winnipeg Free Press", 10 October 2004, A1; Mia Rabson, "Young voters back PCs", "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 January 2005, A1; Mia Rabson, "Tories hot on heels of the NDP", "Winnipeg Free Press", 27 March 2005, A1.] The party's popularity dipped in late 2005, damaged somewhat by questions resulting from the failure of the Crocus Investment Fund. Polls taken in December 2005 and March 2006 showed the NDP and Progressive Conservatives tied for support. [Mia Rabson, "Tories strong again: poll Same support level as governing NDP", "Winnipeg Free Press", 18 March 2006, A5.] In July 2006, the PCs pulled ahead of the NDP for the first time in seven years. [Daniel Lett, "Support for Tories surging", "Winnipeg Free Press", 6 July 2006, A1.] Nevertheless, the NDP recovered to win a convincing majority in the 2007 election.

Doer was rated as Canada's most popular premier in polls taken in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, scoring a 77% rating in March 2006. [Paul Samyn, "Doer must be doing it right", "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 September 2003, A1; Paul Samyn, "But Doer still Canada's most well-liked politician", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 November 2004, A1; Paul Samyn, "Doer nation's most popular premier: poll", "Winnipeg Free Press", 25 April 2005, A1; Paul Samyn, "How premiers rate", "Winnipeg Free Press", 5 March 2006, A3.] His approval rating was listed at 71% in polls taken in January and April 2007. [Paul Samyn, "Conservatives' popularity falls in Manitoba", "Winnipeg Free Press", 29 January 2007, A4; Paul Samyn, "Harper, Doer fare well in Manitoba: poll", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 April 2007, A4.]

Federal politics

Doer supported a bid to draft former Manitoba Premier Edward Schreyer as a candidate in the federal New Democratic Party's 1989 leadership convention. [Geoffrey York, "Manitoba MLAS want Schreyer to run for federal NDP leadership", "Globe and Mail", 18 May 1989, A18.] When Schreyer declined to run, Doer unsuccessfully tried to convince Stephen Lewis and then Bob Rae to enter the contest. [Graham Fraser, "Riis promises to support reluctant Lewis", "Globe and Mail", 23 June 1989, A5; William Walker, "Rae ready to jump into NDP race", "Toronto Star", 4 October 1989, A1.] He eventually supported Audrey McLaughlin, who was elected as leader on the fourth ballot. ["Most of party's big names supported McLaughlin", "Toronto Star", 3 December 1989, A13.]

There was speculation that Doer would seek the federal NDP leadership in 1995, after McLaughlin announced her resignation. ["NDP leadership", "Winnipeg Free Press", 30 May 1995, A3.] He declined, and instead gave his support to longtime friend Alexa McDonough, whom he nominated at the leadership convention. [David Roberts, "Nystrom well-placed to be NDP leader", "Globe and Mail", 12 October 1995, A1; Dan Lett, "Alexa Reaches Out", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 May 1997, B1; Paul Samyn, "NDP Leader McDonough stepping down", "Winnipeg Free Press", 6 June 2002, A1.] McDonough was chosen as party leader following the first ballot.

Doer opposed the New Politics Initiative in 2001. [Paul Samyn, "Radicals left on the fringe of NDP", "Winnipeg Free Press", 24 November 2001, A4.] In 2002, he supported the leadership campaign of Bill Blaikie, whose federal Winnipeg—Transcona riding overlapped with his own provincial division. [Paul Samyn, "Blaikie revs up campaign", "Winnipeg Free Press", 15 June 2002, A8; David Kuxhaus, "Power matters, says Blaikie", "Winnipeg Free Press", 18 June 2002, A5; Mia Rabson, "Blaikie strongly backed by Doer", "Winnipeg Free Press", 7 January 2003, A5.] Blaikie finished second against Jack Layton.

Doer has disagreed with the federal NDP on some issues. He defended CanWest Global's takeover of a part of Conrad Black's newspaper empire in 2000, even though the arrangement had been criticized by the federal NDP. ["Doer bashes federal NDP for its knock on news deal", "Winnipeg Free Press", 11 August 2000, A4.] He later called for Svend Robinson to be demoted as Foreign Affairs Critic in 2002, after Robinson announced his support for the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel (official NDP policy was that both sides should seek a peace agreement). Doer was quoted as saying, "Either he represents the party as a foreign affairs critic or he's removed as foreign affairs critic. And I believe he should be removed". [Michael Friscolanti, "Demote Robinson, NDPers demand", "National Post", 18 April 2002, A1; Bruce Cheadle, "Robinson continues to speak out after NDP removes him as critic on Mideast", "Canadian Press", 18 April 2002, 13:00.] He later expressed disappointment that Robinson was allowed to keep his critic's role, albeit with a ban against speaking on Middle East issues. [Jane Taber and Michael Friscolanti, "Robinson censure called 'half measure': Not to speak on Mideast", "National Post", 19 April 2002, A13.]

Doer published a ten-point proposal for the future of the federal NDP in June 2002, calling for a focus on health and education as well as fiscal balance, community safety and election finance reform. [Gary Doer, "What NDP should stand for", "Globe and Mail", 18 June 2002, A15.]


Doer is on the centrist wing of the New Democratic Party. [Frances Russell, "Doer's abundance of caution", "Winnipeg Free Press", 16 November 2001, A12; Allen Mills, "'President Doer' getting free ride as provincial politics whither away", "Winnipeg Free Press", 3 November 2005, A14.] He once described his political ideology as follows:

:I don't believe in nationalizing everything in our society, as in socialist theory. Anybody who calls himself a socialist has to believe in nationalizing almost everything. I see myself as a social democrat - mixed economy, strong role of the public sector. [Geoffrey York, "New leader of Manitoba NDP rose through union movement", "Globe and Mail", 31 March 1988, A4.]

Doer endorsed Tony Blair's leadership of the British Labour Party in 1997, [Dan Lett, "Doer closes in on the do-it stage", "Winnipeg Free Press", 16 November 1997, A4.] and his own 1999 election platform was frequently compared with Blair's "Third Way" of social democracy. ["NDP redraws image for voters", "Winnipeg Free Press", 16 December 1998, A11.] Doer has also been compared with former Premier of Saskatchewan Roy Romanow, who also governed from the centrist wing of the party. Former NDP MLA Cy Gonick released a critical essay about Doer in 2007, describing him as a "small-l liberal" without "a socialist bone in his body". [ [ Cy Gonick, "Gary Doer's Manitoba"] , "Canadian Dimension", July/August 2007, accessed 1 September 2007.]

External links

* [ Premier's Biography]

Table of offices held

(*) Clayton Manness was styled as Minister charged with the administration of The Crown Corporations Public Review and Accountability Act.

Electoral record

All electoral information is taken from Elections Manitoba. Expenditures refer to candidate election expenses.


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