Skip to main content

Protecting workers - an appeal to the Premier with respect to the investigation of the death of Todd Maytwayashing

Earlier today in Question Period, I asked the Premier for reassurances that individuals who come forth with information about the death of Todd Maytwayashing will be protected so that they will not lose their jobs or suffer in any other way.   Below is from Hansard.

Workplace Death Case Concern - Whistleblower Protection

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, with respect to the death of Todd Maytwayashing, on the May the 7th the Premier (Mr. Pallister) said that he's taken this issue on personally and seriously. The family and I appreciate the Premier's personal interest and, indeed, his visit to the family home a month ago today.
      There is, indeed, an area where the Premier can help. I understand that there are others, including in the gallery today, who are ready to come forward to talk about the situation, but are reluctant to do so for fear of losing their job.
      Can the Premier tell the family members who are here today that he will make a statement or take action which would protect such individuals so that they feel comfortable in coming forward?
Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): I would give assurance to anyone who has information that they would like to bring forward in the process of investigating this tragedy to bring that forward without fear of repercussions of any kind. They deserve to feel entirely confident and safe in doing so and I think all of us here share a desire to make sure that the information that the family is desiring to receive is received by them as soon as possible.
Madam Speaker: The honourable member for River Heights, on a supplementary question.

Whistleblower Protection Legislation - Coverage for Contract Employees

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, I thank the Premier for that assurance. It's really all about making sure that all the information possible on the circumstances is available.
      Now, we know that employees of Manitoba Hydro are protected under the whistleblower protection act, but as I understand it, employees of a private contractor like the Forbes Bros. would not be protected even though the company is doing contract work for Manitoba Hydro.
      Would the Premier consider an amendment to the whistleblower protection act to include coverage for employees of companies working under contract to the government or to a Crown corporation like Manitoba Hydro?
Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): Madam Speaker, I don't wish to be harsh with the member but I would say it would be with great reluctance that I would enter into a policy discussion centered around and using as its focal point the tragic death of a worker in our province, and so I would reserve comment in respect to his suggestion.
      With all due respect, I'd ask him to use the channels available to all of us here as members in order to effect change. If he believes that change to be one he wishes to advocate, I encourage him to do so.
Madam Speaker: The honourable member for River Heights, on a final supplementary.
Mr. Gerrard: I thank the Premier and I appreciate his circumstances.
      I suggest there is an opportunity, potentially, to work together to address the situation and improve worker safety. Currently, Bill 5, an amendment to the whistleblower protection act, is before the Legislature. With all‑party agreement, it would be possible to expand the coverage of the whistleblower protection act to include coverage for employees of companies working under contract to the government or under contract to a Crown corporation like Manitoba Hydro. This would be desirable for a number of reasons.
      I wonder: If we brought it forward, would the Premier consider the possibility of an all‑party agreement for such an amendment?
Mr. Pallister: Again, feeling deeply, as I think we all do, the tragedy this family is going through and has experienced, I will repeat nothing, Madam Speaker. I believe I've addressed the member's concerns with my second response.


Popular posts from this blog

Comparison between Manitoba and South Dakota shows dramatic impact of Physical Distancing

Manitoba implemented physical distancing measures in mid-March.  South Dakota has still not made physical distancing mandatory.   The result is a dramatic difference in the incidence of covid-19 viral infections between the two jurisdictions.   This graph shows the number of people with Covid-19 infections from March 27 to April 14.  Manitoba ( red line )  started leveling off about April 4 and has seen only a small increase in Covid-19 infections since then.   South Dakota ( blue line )   has seen a dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections since April 4.  Those who are skeptical of the impact of physical distancing in Manitoba should look at this graph! Data are from the Johns Hopkins daily tabulations

Manitoba Liberal accomplishments

  Examples of Manitoba Liberal accomplishments in the last three years Ensured that 2,000 Manitoba fishers were able to earn a living in 2020   (To see the full story click on this link ). Introduced a bill that includes retired teachers on the Pension Investment Board which governs their pension investments. Introduced amendments to ensure school aged children are included in childcare and early childhood education plans moving forward. Called for improvements in the management of the COVID pandemic: ·          We called for attention to personal care homes even before there was a single case in a personal care home. ·            We called for a rapid response team to address outbreaks in personal care homes months before the PCs acted.  ·          We called for a science-based approach to preparing schools to   improve ventilation and humidity long before the PCs acted. Helped hundreds of individuals with issues during the pandemic including those on social assistance

We need a more precise and detailed provincial plan to address the coronoavirus - Covid-19

With increasing evidence that the coronavirus Covid-19 is spreading globally, it is important that Manitoba have a clear plan to deal with a number of critical issues.  Having a clear plan will reduce people's anxiety and allow people to better plan individually.  So far the Pallister government either has not fully planned for Covid-19, or it has not released its plan.  We put out a press release this morning calling for the release of such a clear plan by the province.  Manitoba Liberals: The Time for a Coronavirus Plan is Now WINNIPEG – With new coronavirus cases emerging in South Korea, Italy and elsewhere around the world, Manitoba Liberals say the Manitoba Government needs to show they are ready with a plan to ensure Manitobans stay as safe as possible in the likely case that the virus reaches Manitoba. The virus has been spreading around the world, with 82,000 cases and nearly 3,000 deaths. While it started in China, there have been recent outbreaks in South Kore