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Remembering Anisa Sadeghi - and raising funds for a scholarship in her name.

Anisa Sadeghi and her parents perished when Ukrainian flight PS752 was shot down in Iran on January 8th of this year.   Anisa's family including her aunt Narges Hadjesfandiari are raising funds for a scholarship in Anisa Sadeghi’s name.  The scholarship will provide support for low income families and outstanding students. The scholarship will be dedicated to Anisa’s schools the Henry G. Izatt Middle School in the Pembina Trails School Division and the Persian Language Classes of Iranian Community of Manitoba.
Donations can be made at the go fund me page in the link below where you can see more details of this effort.   https://www.gofundme.com/f/anisas-dream
Donations are close to but still short of their goal of $15,000.  Please consider helping them to reach their goal.  Thank you.

Below is more about the event held January 12 to remember those who lost their lives in this tragedy.  
This afternoon, Dougald Lamont and I joined members of the Iranian community in Winnipeg and m…
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Scenes from the Holiday season

Below are a number of photos from the Holiday season At the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs' Jingle Mingle event Dec 13 At the Manitoba Legislature Open House Dec 14th
Our River Heights December 15
Various photos with our children and grandchildren

Under the Pallister government there are fewer opportunities for youth and an increasing net movement of people away from Manitoba to other provinces

Under the Conservative Pallister government we are seeing an increasing movement of people away from Manitoba to other provinces.   Under the last year of the NDP the situation was not good with a net loss of people from Manitoba to other provinces of 4,921 people.   Under the Pallister Conservatives the net loss of people has gone up substantially to 9,246 - an increase in the net movement out of Manitoba to other provinces of 87%.    This is likely because the Pallister Conservative government's policies have made Manitoba a less desirable place to live so we have a larger movement of people away from Manitoba.

I am very concerned about the bad government we have under Mr. Pallister which is leading to this outcome. 

In a committee meeting on Poverty on Thursday evening December 5th,  I asked Minister Stefanson about a disturbing statistic in the government's Poverty report - that there has been a substantial increase in the number of youth aged 15 to 24 who are not in emp…

Cindy Lamoureux amendment to Bill 7 ensures people of all genders can access leave when they are victims of interpersonal violence

Thursday December 5th, Cindy Lamoureux moved an amendment to the government bill to ensure  people of all genders will have access to leave when they are victims of interpersonal violence.   Her comments in the Legislature are below together with the Minister's and my responses. 
Ms. Cindy Lamoureux (Tyndall Park):I move, seconded by the member for River Heights (Mr. Gerrard), THAT Bill 7 be amended in Clause 3 by replacing clause (a) of the definition "interpersonal violence" in the proposed subsection 59.11(1) with the following: (a) domestic violence, being violence that occurs when a person is subjected to an act or omission mentioned in subsection 2(1.1) of The Domestic Violence and Stalking Act by another person who (i) is co'-hibiting'–'-habitating' or is 'cohabitated' with another–with the person in a spousal, conjugal or intimate relationship, (ii) has or had a family relationship with the person, in which they have lived together, (iii) has or…

Remembering the Montreal masacre 30 years ago and dedicating ourselves to a better Manitoba

Thursday November 5th, I spoke in the Manitoba Legislature in reponse to a Ministerial statement on the Montreal masacre.   My comments are below: 

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights):Madam Speaker, December the 6th is a very important day, is indeed a–was a watershed moment 30 years ago. It is something that is very close  to me, in part because I spent four years in Montreal and in part because I had visited the École polytechnique when I was minister responsible for science at the federal level.   And so when this happened  it was not only an incredible shock, it was a shock which occurred in an institution that I had been visiting and been there and seen the incredible contributions that people have made at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, and it was so sad to have something like this happen.       It is and was a turning point, and it's a turning point on which we must build. We must recognize not only this time, but what has happened more recently with the #MeToo movement, wi…

Why was Skinner's restaurant removed from the Forks Market when there so much empty space there?

Wednesday, December 4 I asked in Question Period about the large amount of vacant space at the Forks Market, some of which had been vacant for two or more years.  I also asked specifically as to why the renowned Skinner's Restaurant was removed from the Forks Market when there is so much empty space now.  My question and the Minister's response are below.    A video of the exchange can be seen at this link - https://youtu.be/rD0h3cAkT3oThe Forks Market - Vacancy Management
Hon. Jon Gerrard  (River Heights):Madam Speaker, today The Forks Market has a lot of empty space, much of it empty for two or more years. The list of vacant space includes what was formerly Muddy Waters smokehouse, Beachcombers, Skinners, Dragon House, Aida Crystal, significant parts of Sydney's, Sushi Train, and several balcony businesses a lot–along with a lot of unused former administrative space.       The minister overseeing municipal affairs is responsible for oversight of The Forks, a provincial tre…

Mandatory overtime is being used as a vile, anti-nurse and anti-family approach

Earlier today, I commented on the government's improper use of mandatory overtime.   It was got so bad that I recently heard of a nurse who had been told to do mandatory overtime 16 shifts in a row!   I also heard of another nurse who left Manitoba to go to British Columbia because she was unable to have a life because she had been told to do so much mandatory overtime.   Mandatory overtime is bad for nurses and it is bad for patient care to have nurses who are overtires and overworked.   I asked the Health Minister when he was going to improve the management of health care so that mandatory overtime would not be necessary.   As you will see from his response, the Health Minister talked of the "historic (and I would add disruptive) changes"  he has introduced, which have been in part the cause of the problem of high levels of mandatory overtime use.  He did not mention any concrete steps to reduce mandatory overtime.  My questions and the Minister's responses are bel…

Honouring Taylor Pryor

Earlier today, I spoke on a Member's Statement about Taylor Pryor
I rise to speak of Taylor Pryor - an amazing young woman who did very well in school and was an athlete who loved playing soccer.She lived life to the fullest and lived a life where no one was left behind. One day, playing soccer, she collided with another player and had a concussion.
The concussion, in some way, changed her brain.She became suicidal.Her thoughts, no matter what she did, were of suicide.She reached out.She called out for help - again and again and again and again.
Her parents went above and beyond what normal mortals could do in trying to help.
We must build a better world – with more empathy, more understanding and more knowledge of how to help.
We must build capacity so that when a young woman like Taylor calls for help, our society and our health care system can save her.After struggling for almost a year, and after an unbelievable number of Emergency room and Crisis Response Centre visits, she…

More effort is needed to prevent suicides in Manitoba

The Advocate for Children and Youth in Manitoba has just released a report showing an alarming number of suicides in children and youth in Manitoba in the last year.   In Question Period today, I asked the Minister of Families what she is doing to prevent suicides in children and youth.    The Premier responded, but sadly did not answer my question.  You can see my question and the Premier's response below: Youth Suicide Prevention - Inclusion of Case PlanningHon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, it is of concern that the children's advocate reports 32 suicides in those up to age 20 last year. Indeed, the number of suicides in those up to age 18 has increased by 60 per cent in the last two years compared to the previous four years, as the data I tabled shows. I note the child death review shows a deficiency in 53 of 57 case plans. Problems in case planning have been highlighted many times in recent years. My question to the minister: What's her plan to prevent sui…

A Members Statement and Questions to the Minister of Health on Personal Care Homes

Tuesday, November 26th, I spoke on the Legislature in a Members Statement on Personal Care Homes and our recent Forum, and then I asked questions of the Minister of Health.  My Members Statement and Questions are below: 
Members Statement about our Forum on Personal Care Homes 
Last Saturday, the MLA for Tyndall Park and I brought together constituents at a Forum on Improving Care and Preventing Tragedies in Manitoba’s Personal Care Homes.  We looked at what is a tragedy in such home.Tragedies include fires - and falls where a hip is broken or a head is injured.Tragedies also include when a family member is not allowed to visit their loved one in the personal care home, or when a person dies in a home unhappy and angry about the quality of care he or she received. We had four excellent panelists. Connie Newman, Executive Director of the Manitoba Association of Senior’s Centres emphasized the importance of having someone who is an effective advocate for care home residents.Michelle Gawron…