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Showing posts from 2018

Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberal Party win big in the St. Boniface by-election

Today Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberal Party came out substantially ahead of Blandine Tona of the NDP in the St. Boniface by-election.   Francoise Therrien-Vrignon of the Green Party was in third and Mamadou Ka of the Progressive Conservatives was fourth.  This is a major victory for Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberal Party.  It will mean our Liberal Leader is in the Legislature.  It will also mean that the Manitoba Liberal Party will have what is called "Official Party Status" in the Manitoba Legislature, with more resources and more ability to contribute inside and outside the Legislature - in holding the government to account and in contributing constructively to helping achieve a better Manitoba. 

Thank you to Judy Klassen, MaryAnn Mihychuk and Dan Vandal for coming campaigning this evening

It is the evening before the by-election in St. Boniface constituency which is tomorrow from 8 am to 8 pm.  Thank you to MaryAnn Mihychuk and Dan Vandal and Judy Klassen and everyone else for coming out to help this evening.  This photo was taken just before Judy arrived so she is not in it.  But Judy did good work going door to door with the rest of us.  Thank you all.

Thank you to Dan Vandal and so many others for coming out so often to campaign with Dougald Lamont

Yesterday afternoon Dan Vandal and many, many more people joined the door to door campaign to elect Dougald Lamont in St. Boniface in the by-election this Tuesday July 17th.  If you live in St. Boniface, and have not yet voted, be sure to get out to vote for Dougald Lamont on Tuesday.  Thank you.

The new Bill and Helen Norrie Library

Friday July 13th Councillor John Orlikow, Mayor Brian Bowman and Councillor Mike Pagtakhan were present to announce the site for the new Bill and Helen Norrie Library in River Heights.   It will be located at the corner of Grant and Cambridge near the Pan Am Pool.   

Rallying to get better access for those with disabilities in Manitoba

Wednesday July 11 Disability Matters and Barrier Free Manitoba staged a rally on Provencher Boulevard to bring attention to the need to improve access in Manitoba for people with disabilities.  There is much that is needed to be done.  Dougald Lamont and I were out to show our Manitoba Liberal Party support for this important cause.  My friend David Weremy was very involved with the rally.   

Thank you Kevin and Cathy Lamoureux for your help in the St. Boniface by-election

Yesterday, Kevin and Cathy Lamoureux joined the team in going door to door in St. Boniface.    My wife Naomi was particularly pleased to see Cathy as well as Kevin.  Naomi has been stalwart in coming out to help and it was nice to see other family members joining in as well.

Details of Dougald Lamont's platform for his campaign to be the next MLA in St. Boniface

Yesterday, Dougald Lamont released his full platform for the by-election campaign in St. Boniface.  It is below:

Dougald Lamont, Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party and candidate for MLA in St. Boniface, released the major policy planks of his St. Boniface platform today. The commitments build on Lamont’s 2017 leadership platform - creating a Manitoba Business Development Bank, dismantling RHAs, and a study into rail relocation, as well as specific commitments to French language education and culture: restoring the Bureau de l’éducation française and making St. Boniface a creative “hub” for arts, culture, heritage and tourism, is an idea that came from the community, and it is by listening to and working with the people at the grassroots level that we will move forward. “For St. Boniface voters, this by-election is your opportunity to elect a leader who shares your progressive values and will add strong new opposition to Pallister, right from the front bench in the legislature,” said L…

Thank you to Terry Duguid and Doug Eyolfson for your support for Dougald Lamont in St. Boniface

Terry Duguid and Doug Eyolfson were out last night to support Dougald Lamont in his bid to be the next MLA in St. Boniface and to help with our efforts going door-to-door to have a conversation with people in St. Boniface. Thank you Terry and Doug. 

Thank you to Bidhu Jha and Jim Bear for your support for Dougald Lamont

This afternoon, Bidhu Jha and Jim Bear came out to show their support for Dougald Lamont in his campaign to become the next MLA in St. Boniface.   With election day coming soon - on July 17th, this was an important show of support.  As Bidhu Jha, a former NDP MLA for Radisson indicated to the Winnipeg Free Press press recently he " is no longer a party member and laments its leadership at both the provincial and federal level."   Today, he showed his support for our Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont.  Thank you Bidhu Jha for your support.  Chief Jim Bear served for many years as the Chief of the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, and is highly respected as a leader in the Indigenous community in Manitoba. Thank you Jim Bear for your support.  To have endorsements and support from two such leaders is impressive and shows the breadth of the support Dougald Lamont is building during this election campaign.

Prevention of sickness is a vital component of health care planning

I have put forward strong reasons for having a province-wide preventative health care services plan.  This plan is essential to improve the health of our population and to decrease health care costs in our province.  Sadly under the NDP and so far under the Conservatives such planning has been very limited and we currently lack a province-wide preventative health services plan.   As a result, we are continuing to see increases in the number of Manitobans with conditions like diabetes,HIV and addictions problems - as with the current methamphetamine epidemic.  I have raised all these concerns in the Manitoba Legislature. Increasing evidence now supports the fact that well designed investments in prevention can improve health and decrease health care costs starting in the first year.  It is is of great concern that we are well into the third year of the current Pallister government and yet we still do not have a province-wide preventative health services plan, or even a commitment to pu…

Advance voting in the St. Boniface by-election begins today

Elections Manitoba has issues a press release - with the information below - related to the advance voting beginning today in the St. Boniface by-election
Election day for the St. Boniface byelection is Tuesday, July 17 but eligible voters may vote in advance beginning today, July 5, until Thursday, July 12.

Eligible voters may vote at one of the two locations shown below:  To be eligible to vote, individuals must:
 Be Canadian citizens
 Be at least 18 years old on election day
 Have lived in Manitoba for at least six months immediately before election day
 Live in the St. Boniface electoral division
All voters must show ID to vote, either one piece of government-issued photo identification (such as a driver's license) or two other documents with their name. The Voter Information Card can be used as one of the two pieces of ID. For a complete list of acceptable ID, visit…

Canvassing with Jim Carr in St. Boniface

Thank you Jim Carr for joining us this evening to campaign to help elect Dougald Lamont in St. Boniface.   The election is on July 17, less than 2 weeks away and it was a boost to the campaign to have Jim Carr present and helping.  Thank you Jim 

Dr. Herbert Emery's study of the impact of preventive care shows it can reduce demand on health care services in its first year

Contradicting the view of some that preventive care only saves dollars in the long term, Dr. Emery's study shows the impact of a health care prevention program can have a major impact in the first year it is implemented.

The preventative care program, implemented in Alberta provided participants access to a team of physicians, naturopathic doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and dentists.  It focuses on a combination of screening and testing (for example measuring vitamin D levels), identifying nutritional deficiencies, as well as counselling and education to promote lifestyle modification including better nutrition and provision of dietary supplements.

The study evaluated differences between 4,121 participants in the Pure North S'Energy Foundation's preventive and integrative health program and 20,605 matched controls.  In the first year, study participants had 22 percent fewer hospital visits, 21 percent fewer emergency department visits and 31.4 percent fe…

Canada Day in Winnipeg

Today Naomi and I had a chance to bike around parts of Winnipeg to enjoy Canada Day. 
Artist Emily Lemay Artist Candace Lipischak

On Canada Day, a major story is Canada leading the world in helping bring an end to the recent EBOLA outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

When there is so much concerning news coming from around the world, it is important to highlight one of the good news stories.   The recent outbreak of Ebola in the Congo is coming to an end thanks to a vaccine developed in Canada, in Winnipeg.  More than 3,000 people who have been exposed to those who developed Ebola have been vaccinated and none who have been vaccinated have come down with Ebola.  The use of a treatment using three monoclonal antibodies, also developed in Canada, in Winnipeg, has also helped reduce deaths from Ebola.  Canadians who have traveled to the Congo to help with the treatment and the vaccination have also made a contribution.  We can be proud, as Canadians, of what we are contributing globally.  As I described recently in the Manitoba Legislature, Canadians are leading the way in the fight against Ebola, and also in the fight to reduce HIV and AIDS around the world. Click on this link. 

For more on the current outbreak, cick on  this link

The Implementation Plan for changes to Manitoba's mental health and addictions approach, including prevention, is delayed until the fall of 2018

Thursday June 21, I asked the Minister of Health in the Manitoba Legislature about his approach to prevention of mental health and addictions issues.  In his response, the Minister said any progress will have to wait for his implementation plan in the fall.  This is very disappointing given that the Pallister government was elected in the spring of 2016, and this will be two and a half years after the election before there is even a plan to move forward.  The exchange, from Hansard, is below:  

Mr. Gerrard: There are many other areas of health care where prevention is important. One of those is in terms of mental health and addictions. And so I would ask the minister what his plans are with regard to prevention of mental health and addictions. Mr. Goertzen: So we spoke a little bit about this a little earlier this afternoon. No question, the co‑ordination between mental health and addictions is a priority of the government. He's seen that with the release of the VIRGO report, which …

Diane Gudmundson and her team open their nurse practitioner clinic on Henderson

Saturday June 23rd, I attended the Grand Opening of Diane Gudmundson's Nurse Practitioner clinic on Henderson Highway.   Her practice, Nurse Practitioner on Wheels, which can be visited on line at provides nurse practitioner care to people in their homes or in their Rapid Care clinic.   

Ashley Pylypowich, chair of the Nurse Practitioner's Association of Manitoba says "These nurse practitioners are visionaries who have identified a client need that's not fit by the traditional funding model.   They've developed new pathways to optimize client care."  For more click on this link. 

I am sad that neither the former NDP nor the present Conservative government in Manitoba have provided the funding framework for nurse practitioners like Diane Gudmundson to work within our medicare system.   But I am happy that Diane and her colleagues are forging ahead on a new creative pathway in spite of the lack of government support.   Well done Dia…

Join Dougald Lamont and the Manitoba Liberals on the campaign trail in St Boniface

The by-election in St. Boniface is on July 17th.  The advance polls are from July 5 to July 12.   There is more about Dougald Lamont and his campaign to be the next MLA in St.Boniface at this link -

If you would like to volunteer to help in the campaign, please click on this link.

Central Corydon Community Centre Walking Group continues to be active

Mondays and Thursdays the Central Corydon Community Centre Walking Group has a walk together and then enjoys some time together afterwards.  Here is their schedule for July and early August
CENTRAL CORYDON COMMUNITY CENTRE WALKING GROUP WE WELCOME NEW MEMBERS We walk for about an hour and then enjoy a sociable coffee or cool drink      June 21 – Aug. 9, 2018    ALL WALKS START @ 9:30AM DAY   DATE LOCATION                           MEETING PLACE                                                   Mon   July 2                 South Seine River Walk       Southglen Shopping Ctr. – Southglen Blvd & St. Annes Thur. July 5               Assiniboine Park                       Duck Pond Parking Lot Mon. July 9               The Forks                     Skating Rink entrance   (Note: Limited Free Parking)** Thur. Jly 12               Harte Trail   -               Varsity View CC – 4230 Ridgewood Ave (west of Haney) Mon. July 16            Richmond West -                  Sandusky & Bairdmore…

Congratulations to this year's graduates

Isha Khandelwal of St. Mary's Academy receiving the Community Citizenship Award
Graduation is an exciting time in Manitoba!   It is good to see so many young Manitobans doing so well.   I had the privilege of giving Community Citizenship Awards to students graduating at schools in the River Heights area. 

The recipients of these awards always exemplify leadership in their community, people who lead by example and set high standards for integrity and respect for community members.  Plus they demonstrate an interest and involvement in human rights issues. 

This list of this year's recipients is below.

Jenna Seyidoglu                -Grant Park High School Olivia Loewen                   -Kelvin High School         
Isha Khandelwal                -St. Mary's Academy Teigen Baumgart              -Carpathia School
Noah Hemmerling            -Grosvenor School
Jillian Beiko                        -Harrow School
Hazel Latimer                    -École LaVérendrye
Isabel Dyck            …

The Pallister government has no specific plan when it comes to addressing the diabetes epidemic in Manitoba.

Thursday June 21, I asked the Minister of Health in the Manitoba Legislature about the Pallister government's plan to address the diabetes epidemic, and specifically to prevent now cases of diabetes in Manitoba.  It is very apparent that the government does not have a specific plan, indeed does not have a preventive services plan for our province.  For more on the latter, see these links - link 1, link 2  Instead of presenting a plan, the Minister tries to put the blame the federal government.   In an area as critical as diabetes, one would expect to see more leadership from the provincial government.   My questions and the Minister's responses are below:  Mr. Gerrard:Yes, thank you. There is a concern  also–and I'll just mention them without necessarily asking the question–about the orthotics funding being reduced, the–what's called a telecommunication subsidy in health care being reduced, but I'd like to come back now to one of the things that I did talk about ear…

Drought and Manitoba Hydro - What are the risks?

On Monday June 25th, at the Crown Corporations Committee of the Manitoba Legislature, I asked the President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro, Kelvin Shepherd, what the corporation's plans are if we have a drought.   My question and his response is below. (From Hansard). Mr. Gerrard: Okay, one of the key factors in terms of being able to run a corporation is to understand and mitigate risks, and one of our jobs as MLAs is to have some understanding of the risk and the mitigation. I think, back in 2003, there was significant risk related to a drought, and what my concern is that we may well have another drought at some point, and it could be more than one year. How well is Manitoba Hydro positioned now compared to 2003 to be able to mitigate the risk of a drought? Mr. Shepherd: I have to admit I recall, in 2003, a drought followed shortly thereafter, so your very question makes me nervous. However, what I will tell you is that there's two aspects to that question. One is the operational …

Workplace safety at Manitoba Hydro and its contractors

On Monday June 25th, in the Crown Corporations Committee at the Legislature, I asked Kelvin Shepherd the President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro about Workplace Safety on Manitoba Hydro Projects and the relative roles of Manitoba Hydro and its contractors.   My questions and Mr. Shepherd's responses are below [from Hansard]. Mr. Gerrard: One of the things which you talked quite a bit about was the safety record and the emphasis on safety. Now, Manitoba Hydro has a certain number of employees, but I think many of the employees who are involved in the project were actually employed by contractors or subcontractors. Is that correct? Mr. Shepherd: That is correct. We have, as of today, about roughly 5,300 employees, but when you look at major projects–so I would use, you know, say, Keeyask, which I'm more familiar with. We have a camp at Keeyask; roughly peak staffing at the plant is 2,300 people. There would be a few hundred at most that are directly employed by Hydro and the majority …

Where are the opportunities and the risks for Manitoba Hydro when it comes to its revenue?

In the Crown Corporations Committee on Monday June 25th, I asked Mr. Kelvin Shepherd the President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro about the opportunities for Manitoba Hydro for new revenue.   My question and Mr. Shepherd's response is below: Mr. Gerrard:  I'd like to come back and talk a little bit more about where the risks are. We've got a circumstance where the cost of natural gas from fracking has remained low and looks like it's going to stay relatively low for some time. We've got a situation where, although people talk about the coal‑generated electricity in Saskatchewan, quite a lot of that is from Coronach in southern Saskatchewan. I was there recently. That plant will operate until 2029, so it's not going to provide a huge demand [in the near future]..       So I have a real concern. We've got a highly competitive market; [in part] because lots of states and provinces are looking very heavily at demand‑size management and it's decreasing the rate of…