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Continuing to raise concerns about Lake Winnipeg and the state of the Sauger Fishery

On Wednesday November 7, to spoke in the Manitoba Legislature on a "Grievance" to speak of my concerns about the Pallister government's lack of action with respect to the situation of Lake Winnipeg. My speech is below:GrievancesHon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): I rise today on a grievance.       The Minister of Sustainable Development (Ms.  Squires) is not taking the situation of Lake Winnipeg seriously enough. I am passionate about Lake Winnipeg, as are many Manitobans. It is our great lake. It is at the centre of Manitoba. It is, for many Manitobans, the heart of our province. We need to look after it well.       In early October The Interlake Spectator reported, and I quote: Lake Winnipeg commercial fishers say they're being inundated with algae and sewage near Grindstone, between the lake's north and south basins, and it's like nothing they have ever seen before. One fisher commented: It's like a frigging sewage lagoon out here.       They are very c…
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Astonishingly Pallister Tories vote against a made in Manitoba climate change plan while Liberals vote for one.

On the evening of Tuesday November 6th, we voted on a series of government and Liberal amendments to Bill 16 The Climate and Green Plan Implementation Act.


When Bill 16 was originally brought in the Pallister government focused the bill on a series of measures that were designed to give a made in Manitoba climate change plan.   This included putting a price on carbon and using the money from the price on carbon to increase the personal income tax exemption for all Manitobans.  It also included a made in Manitoba approach to large industrial emitters of carbon dioxide.  These were the signature parts of what Mr. Pallister called his "made in Manitoba" climate and green plan.   On Tuesday, all of Mr. Pallister's Conservative MLA's voted on report stage amendments to cut out these "made in Manitoba" parts of the Climate and Green Plan Implementation Act.  Manitoba Liberals, in contrast, voted for this "made in Manitoba plan".  Even though we felt it…

Preventing the use of social circumstances including poverty as a reason for taking a child from its parents.

Tuesday November 6th, I spoke in the Manitoba Legislature on Bill 223, the Child and Family Services Amendment Act.   This bill will ensure that no child will be taken into care solely as a result of the economic or social situation of the child's parent or guardian.   My comments are below:
Hon. Jon Gerrard(River Heights): Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Point Douglas (Mrs.  Smith) for bringing this forward. It is an important bill. When I was first elected in 1999, I was told that about a third of the children taken from families didn't need to be in care because it was just an issue of social circumstances and poverty that could've been helped.
      Over the last 19 years it was very frustrating that this was never adequately addressed and so that we ended up with about 11,000 kids in care, and probably about 85 per cent of them on the basis of neglect, and many of those due to social and economic circumstances.
      There needs to be, clearly, from the …

Calling on the Pallister government to step back from its push to privatize the lifeflight air ambulance service.

On Tuesday, November 6 in Question Period, I called on the government to step back from its attempt to privatize the lifeflight air ambulance service.  We have had all the doctors working on life-flight come forward with major concerns about the government's plans.  I raised these concerns in Question Period and asked the government to keep this service a public service rather than privatizing such an essential service.  My questions and the Minister of Health's responses are below: Lifeflight Air Ambulance - Privatization ConcernsHon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, from the very beginning of the government's attempt to privatize the air ambulance, it has been misguided and misfired.       When the government indicated it wanted to privatize this service, it signalled to pilots that there was uncertainty about their future. We now learn that four pilots have left, with the latest being one in September and one in October, and this has happened because of the …

Calling for a real plan for achieving greater awareness of FASD

Tuesday morning, November 6 I spoke at third reading on Bill 230 the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day Act.
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, I speak this morning in support of this bill. I  want to thank the member for Fort Richmond (Mrs. Guillemard) for bringing this forward. I want to thank those who have come in support of this bill this morning. It is an important bill, an important measure, and now we need to make sure that for next year there is, and every year after, that there is an important plan and a significant plan for creating awareness about FASD. And so we're looking forward to seeing the plan as it emerges. I hope that the MLA for Fort Richmond will involve the people who are here in supporting in the development of that plan.
      I would suggest that there's a number of elements which are important in the plan. I would suggest that one of the things that the MLA for Point Douglas has mentioned, which is that Liquor & Lotterie…

Report Stage Amendments to Bill 8 - opposing the Pallister Conservatives attack on democracy and the rights of people to have information from their government in community newspapers.

On Monday November 5, I spoke in the Manitoba Legislature in support of a series of report stage amendments to Bill 8 put forward by Liberal MLA for St. Boniface and Liberal leader Dougald Lamont.   Bill 8 removes the long existing requirement that important government notices by published in community newspapers.   This includes information on a variety of hearings, including environmental hearings, and public health notices.   The Pallister government believes they can get the information to people by putting it on the internet.  But the latter may be hard to find, and community newspapers are read by the majority of people and have served us well in the past in notifying people in Manitoba. Dougald Lamont's amendments would delete the clauses which provide that the government can bypass community newspapers.
My comments on amendments which will strike out clauses 8,9,18,19,22 and 24 are below.
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): I want to say a few words on the record on these s…

Bill 216 is passed at Committee Stage, but Tories block its being reported to the Chamber

Below is the transcript from the Committee meeting on Wednesday October 31 which dealt with Bill 216.   The transcript includes all sections of the committee meeting dealing with Bill 216
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF MANITOBA THE STANDING COMMITTEE ONPRIVATE BILLS Wednesday, October 31, 2018

TIME– 6 p.m. LOCATION – Winnipeg, Manitoba CHAIRPERSON – Mr. Greg Nesbitt (Riding Mountain) VICE-CHAIRPERSON –Mr. Len Isleifson (Brandon East) ATTENDANCE – 11    QUORUM – 6 Members of the Committee present: Hon. Messrs. Gerrard, Pedersen, Wharton Mr. Allum, Mrs. Guillemard, Messrs. Helwer, Isleifson, Lindsey, Michaleski, Nesbitt, Swan PUBLIC PRESENTERS:
Bill 216–The Human Rights Code Amendment Act Ms. Kristen Hardy, private citizen Ms. Angie Herrera, private citizen Ms. Debbie Mintz, private citizen Ms. Isha Khan, Manitoba Human Rights Commission Mr. Alexander Edye-Mazowita, private citizen (by leave) Ms. Samantha Rayburn Trubyk, private citizen Ms. Lindsey Mazur, Manitobans Against Weight Stigma
WRITTEN SUBMISSI…