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Showing posts from February, 2018

Protective parents and why they need our support.

Protective parents seek to protect their children from abusive partners.  It has become evident that all too often, neither they, nor their children are adequately listened to when there is a custody dispute before the courts. The Christmas Day tragedy in Oak Bay, British Columbia, where evidence suggests that two young girls aged 4 and 6 were murdered by their custodial father, has sent a chilling message to all that it is time to pay much more attention to these voices in custody disputes.  In this particular case, though the woman raised evidence of abuse in the Oak Bay situation, her evidence was not taken seriously enough and the father was provided with custodial time.  The decision, coming from the family court in British Columbia, may have set up the situation which led to the children’s deaths. Sadly, based on the eerily similar stories of protective parents that I have met or who have written to me, this situation- where a protective parent raises concerns of abuse,

South Africa - at a turning point

With former President Jacob Zuma stepping down this past week, and with Cyril Ramaphosa the new President, South Africa is at a turning point.  Naomi and I had the good fortune to be in South Africa recently and to learn what is happening there first hand.  We found a nation ready for change and hopeful that Cyril Ramaphosa would be President and would have the ability to end the problems with corruption in South Africa and to put the country on a more positive course. On our arrival, we were struck immediately by the water crisis in Capetown. We saw signs like this one in many places - starting at the airport when we arrived. Capetown may be the first major city in the world to run out of water.  Day zero is now predicted to be sometime in April.  Hopefully, with everyone conserving water and with some rain the crisis can be averted.  But the fact that it is this close is a warning sign which is being heard around the world. We were fortunate, when we were in Durban, to have an

Liberals move forward with "Health Care Check Up" Public Forums

In two years in government, the Pallister PCs have moved to make major changes in Health Care. Many of these changes have not been well grounded in either their goal or their execution.  Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with these changes, it is now time to take stock of where we are and get a sounding from people around Manitoba about what is working, what is not working and where critical investments need to be made.  This is what our Manitoba Liberal Caucus is doing in preparation for the spring session of the Manitoba Legislature which starts March 7,  These public meetings follow our previous Forum last November and the efforts we have made since then as described at this link .  Our press release announcing our initiative is below:  Manitoba Liberals Launch “Health Care Check Up” Winnipeg  – Manitoba Liberal Health Critic, Jon Gerrard, is launching a series of public meetings across the province to listen to the opinions and needs of Manitobans in rega

An Update on Manitoba Liberal activities on Health care since the Forum of November 19th last year

Last year, as our Manitoba Liberal Party Health Critic, I hosted a forum looking at health care and the impact of the Pallister cuts.  In follow up to the forum, our Liberal Caucus has been active in speaking up about the issues and the solutions when it comes to health care in our province. A list of some of the actions and activities we have undertake includes: 1. Efforts to stand up for our province' s nurse practitioners and to ensure they have a strong future in health care in Manitoba. 2. Efforts to improve brain and mental health, and specifically to address the methamphetamine crisis in Manitoba by ensuring we have a drug stabilization unit and follow up transition planning. 3. Efforts to support the efforts of CancerCare Manitoba and to rebut negative comments in the PCs KPMG report with respect to CancerCare Manitoba. 4. Efforts to address problems in the proposed changes to rural Emergency Medical Services, and in particular the proposed removal of the ambul

Manitoba teachers should be supported, not attacked as the Pallister PCs are doing.

Supporting public education is one of the most important roles of the provincial government.   A strong education system is vital to ensure that all children can reach their potential.  It is crucial that we have a system which gives all children the opportunity they need, children from all parts of Manitoba and children with learning disabilities as well as those who learn easily. It is therefore very hard to understand why the Pallister PCs feel they must attack some of the most critical people in our province – our teachers.   Sadly this is the case. Norm Gould, the President of the Manitoba Teachers Society, told members of  the Manitoba Legislature, following the provincial election of April 19, 2016, he was “optimistic that we would be able to work with government to develop options to improve the government’s fiscal situation”.   Even when the government started its attack on teachers, Mr. Gould said “the Manitoba Teacher’s Society remains committed to working with the