The number one determinant of of a healthy economy, frankly, is discretionary income levels
This is a blast from the cold, dark heart of Tory economics. He doesn't want to talk about our collective good or ill fortune, say by considering rates of child poverty, income and wealth inequality, or even rates of employment. Nope, what Pallister wants to talk about is the amount of money we have available to spend on luxury goods.
Note that he didn't say "disposable income", which would include necessities such as rent, food, bills, and child care. Nope, he's most concerned with "discretionary income", which reflects my ability to maintain my standard of living even if the family next door can't afford three meals a day for their kids, or if my neighbour across the street just got laid off.
There are an almost infinite number of ways to measure the performance and the fairness of an economy. But Pallister chooses—out of all of them—the most selfish and elitist measurement as the "number one" way to look at Manitoba's economy.