Skip to main content

Are we doing enough to educate our children about methamphetamine and about cannabis?

Thursday October 25th, I asked about the level of education in primary and secondary education about methamphetamine and about cannabis.   Clearly these are important areas for students to know about given the meth epidemic ongoing in Manitoba today, and the recent legalization of cannabis in Canada.  My questions and the Minister's responses are below. 

Meth and Cannabis Awareness

Inclusion in K-to-12 Curriculum
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): The meth crisis is extremely serious. One of the essential steps that should already have been taken to–is to ensure the K‑to-12 curriculum has material which deals with what meth is, why it's so dangerous, why it should be avoided and never used, what are the specific steps that a student should take if they have started taking meth and need help, who they can go to for help and where, and how they can help a friend who's started taking meth.
      At this critical time in our history, with this epidemic and crisis raging, can the Minister of Education tell us whether knowledge of the meth crisis is in the K-to-12 curriculum, and if not, when it will be?
Hon. Kelvin Goertzen (Minister of Education and Training): The member will know that there is significant education that happens within the K-to-12 system on drugs generally. Generally at grade 4, it begins.
      That's often augmented by other groups that come in. We've, of course, seen Robb Nash do presentations at schools. We've had the DARE program at schools, which is operated by the RCMP, who come into the schools. So there's a number of different sources of information in terms of drugs.
* (14:20)
      I was pleased to be with the then-Attorney General, the member for Tuxedo (Mrs. Stefanson), to attend a school several months ago, in our previous roles, to talk about awareness on things like opiates and meth and other drugs that were happening at that time and continue to happen, and we'll continue to provide that information, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker: The honourable member for River Heights, on a supplementary question.
Mr. Gerrard: But is there really enough about meth?
      The legalization of cannabis in Canada has occurred. Educating students in the K-to-12 education system about cannabis in the run-up to legalization should have been a top priority for this government so students would be well aware of the medical evidence of the negative impact of cannabis on adolescent brains, the dangers of driving after taking cannabis, the potential inability of cannabis users to visit the United States for the rest of their lives, and the rules as they relate to the use of cannabis so that students understand these matters.
      Why was this knowledge of cannabis not fully integrated into the curriculum before legalization? Why the delay?
Mr. Goertzen: Madam Speaker, this member and I   have heard other members of the Liberals acknowledge that one of the reasons that meth has  become cheaper on the streets, this scourge, this   terrible drug, is because, potentially, of the legalization of marijuana, as those who are selling, illegally, marijuana look to change their market and are providing cheaper methamphetamine. That is a result of the Liberal government's policy to legalize marijuana. Now, it may have been an unintended consequence, but it could nonetheless have been a consequence.
      This is a government that has looked at safety in every aspect when it comes to the legalization of marijuana because of the federal Liberal government, whether that's the age, whether that's where the drug can be consumed, whether that's education. I'm glad this member all of a sudden suddenly cares. He should've said something many, many months ago when his friends in Ottawa were putting in this policy and not providing the support to Manitoba and other provinces, Madam Speaker.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Standing up for Seniors

Yesterday in the Legislature I  asked the Minister of Health questions about the care of seniors in personal care homes in Manitoba.   I specfically called for the Minister to increase the training and staffing requirements for personal care homes in Manitoba to bring them up to date.   My questions, the Minister's comments and the Speaker's interjection are below: Personal-Care-Home Improvements - Need for Upgrades to Standards and TrainingHon. Jon Gerrard  (River Heights):Madam Speaker, we're very concerned this government is not adapting to the reality of caring for seniors who are living longer. Seniors living in our personal-care homes today have much more challenging health-care conditions than those who were in similar homes even five years ago, and yet the staffing formula, or minimal personnel requirement, is over 20 years old. Too few care aides and nurses are adequately trained to look after residents with dementia and multiple chronic health conditions. I ask on…

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…

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…