Leading up to the 2016 provincial election, Brian Pallister emphasized both party policies and his own personal opinions that suggested Manitobans concerned about poverty and other equity issues need not fear a Progressive Conservative government.

During the leaders debate, for example, Pallister said poverty was the No. 1 issue facing our province. He even once mused that government may need to consider basic income programs as part of the solution to poverty in Manitoba. These sorts of pronouncements likely had the effect of defanging NDP attacks portraying the Tories, and Pallister in particular, as heartless.