Premier Heather Stefanson says gaining the trust of Manitobans is "a significant challenge" she is ready to take on.

In her first media availability as premier Tuesday, Stefanson made many remarks about listening to Manitobans, something Kelvin Goertzen, her predecessor, made a point of doing. 

"We are going to continue to listen to Manitobans. We want to ensure that we are going to tackle those healthcare backlogs, both surgical and diagnostic, as well as get our economy back up and running. These are the priorities that Manitobans want us to focus on," Stefanson says.

As the pandemic continues and cases rise in Manitoba, Stefanson says she will listen to the advice of Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer.

Stefanson says ICU space will "absolutely" be increased, looking at internationally trained nurses to staff beds and an aggressive recruitment campaign. 

"Really the biggest challenge we are faced with is nurses and a shortage of nurses."

Also when it comes to immigration, Stefanson says there is a labour shortage and is looking to increase immigration that came to a standstill during the pandemic. 

Goertzen took office as the leadership election was underway he scrapped Bill 64 regarding the amalgamation of school boards. Stefanson says they will continue to look at what can be done to improve education in the province.

"Obviously our focus needs to be on better education for our kids. We cannot take our eye off that," she says.

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association is asking for Stefanson to reverse a wage mandate. Stefanson says she has been told she will be briefed on this soon.

Cabinet changes could be coming in the future, but Stephanson could not say what Manitobans could expect, or if a labour ministerial position will be reintroduced.

Manitobans expect a Throne Speech this month.

"I stand here as Manitoba's 24th premier," Stefanson says during her swearing-in ceremony. "This was something that was once unthinkable. I reflect on the many people who have paved the way to make this possible and I province that our government will embrace their values of equality, inclusivity, and understanding," Stefanson says Tuesday after she was sworn in.

Stefanson says she is proud to stand on the shoulders of her mother and grandmother and the women who came before her in Manitoban politics.

She says she "will not be the last" woman to hold this role.

Stefanson says they are committed to listening and learning from First Nation elders and leaders regarding reconciliation. Stefanson says she has worked with the Clan Mothers, and Elder Billie Schibler from the organization spoke at Stefanson's ceremony. Stefanson says the voices of Indigenous elders and families are the future of reconciliation in Manitoba.