Sadly there has been little progress in addressing the meth crisis in Manitoba in the last two years. I asked, in Question Period, why the Minister of Health was blocking progress. My question and the Premier's response are in the video at this link, and in the text below:
Methamphetamine Crisis - Progress Concerns
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights):
Yesterday, the Canadian Institute for Health Information released a report that states that wait times for hip, knee and cataract surgery are getting longer under this government's watch. We have a meth crisis, and we've had it for two years that this Pallister government has been there.
Of all things, Madam Speaker, the very person who is now in charge of health care, the Minister of Health–he went around the province learning about meth addiction–he has been blocking progress for two years.
I ask the minister: Why has he blocked progress on the meth crisis for two years?
Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): Well, we've now learned, according to the member for River Heights, the meth crisis began and was caused by the Minister of Health, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker, this is the pathetic preamble that we have to listen to in respect of the Liberal position here in Manitoba. It's Ottawa-west. That's all it is; that's all, apparently, it's going to be. And that's unfortunate because yesterday we had a good conversation in Estimates. The member for Concordia (Mr. Wiebe) spoke supportively of a position of the official opposition in joining with us to oppose Liberal cuts to health care. I appreciated that. I thank the opposition for taking that position.
Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.
Madam Speaker: Order. Order.
Mr. Pallister: Now, Madam Speaker, we can join together. We can join together in this House, oppose a reduction of $2.2 billion from our health-care budget over the next decade. If only the member for River Heights and his beleaguered Liberal-west mini-team would join us, we'd have unanimity here in the House, and we could get these cuts and push them back and support Manitobans with better health care.
All of us should join together and do that, including the member for River Heights. It's never too late to turn over a new leaf, show a new side and get behind health care for Manitobans.
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