Skip to main content

Earth Day - let's address plastic waste and save our planet - it is our home.

April 19, I had an opportunity to speak about Earth Day in response to a Ministerial statement.   My comments, from Hansard, are below:

Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, today more than one million people will take part in the largest day of action in the world. This year's theme we focus on a worldwide epidemic of plastic waste. Plastic water bottles and shopping bags continue to be used widely and discarded in spite of the knowledge that they do not degrade in landfills.
      Vast numbers wash up on beaches all over the   world. They slowly break down over time into smaller particles, many of which can be carcinogenic, causing life-threatening cancers, or affect human hormones, causing early puberty as well as having effects on waterfowl, fish and our ecosphere.
      Several times in the past decade Liberals have called for the elimination in Manitoba of single-use plastic checkout bags and we also call for a drastic reduction in water bottle use. The goal is to reduce our dependence on polluting plastic bags and polyethylene water bottles, and yet they are still widely used.
      We see more and more evidence of major problems with plastic and the environment. One million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and that number is expected to jump by 200,000 more by 2021. That's 1,200,000 water bottles per minute every day worldwide, creating an environmental crisis some predict could be as serious as climate change.
      Earth Day is a delay of political action and civic participation. Let us act today to stop using single‑use plastic bags and dramatically reduce our use of plastic water bottles. Save our planet. It is our home.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nurse Practitioners need to be involved and considered in health care planning

Nurse Practitioners are a key part of ensuring we have an excellent health care system.  Some progress was made under the NDP government, but there was not a clear and continuing plan for the integration of nurse practitioners into health care delivery.   One step forward was the implementation of seven quick care clinics, five in Winnipeg, which were run by nurse practitioners.  There was also a gradual increase in nurse practitioners in access centres and a slow increase in nurse practitioners being involved in rural centres where there were no physicians.   Sadly, the Pallister PCs  are closing 4 of the 5 quick clinics in Winnipeg, have ended the Hospital Home Team, are closing the Corydon Primary Care Clinic and have terminated the positions of more than 20 nurse practitioners.  While some will get new positions, there will be a net  loss of nurse practitioner positions - the opposite of what it needed.

While I have considerable concerns about aspects of the Peachey report, one it…

We must stop the Pallister government from implementing the KPMG proposed cuts to children's hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing implant processors and FM transmitters.

The Phase II report from KPMG on the Health System Sustainability and Innovation Review makes a recommendation that the government decrease the level of provincial support for children's hearing aids, for bone-implant processors and FM transmitters.    These are devices which are very important for enabling children with hearing difficulties to hear.   We have recently (2016) finally achieved universal newborn hearing screening after many years of advocating for this.   It is essential that children who are identified at birth as hearing deficient have the support for enable them to hear as good as they can hear with the support of hearing aids and Cochlear implants.  When children have a hearing deficiency, they have difficulty hearing and this translates into difficulties learning and often to behavioural and other problems down the road.  We need to ensure that these children are enabled to do well.   The provincial government should definitely not reduce support for this progr…

Critical changes to Child and Family Services are needed to better support families: Minister Fielding needs to act

This morning, in front of the Manitoba Youth Centre, I called for improvements to the current Child and Family Services system to provide much better support for families.   My press release is below. 
Gerrard calls upon Family Services Minister to decrease child apprehensions by immediately developing an integrated family support approach to CFS
Today, at the Manitoba Youth Centre, Manitoba Liberal Party leadership contestant Jon Gerrard called for urgent action by Scott Fielding, Minister of Family Services, to change policies which would shift the paradigm from a focus on child apprehensions to an integrated approach to support families.
Citing the success in Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) in Nelson House and by Westman CFS in Brandon -- both use an integrated service delivery approach for families -- Gerrard said, "It is time to put the ‘families’ back in the Family Services Department and ensure they receive much stronger, consistent, and individualized help so that children…