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

Dougald Lamont speaks at Meth Forum last night to present positive ideas to address the epidemic, while exposing the lack of action by the Pallister Conservatives

Last night at the Notre Dame Recreation Centre in St. Boniface, at an Election Forum on the Meth Crisis in Manitoba, Dougald Lamont spoke eloquently about the severity of the meth epidemic and described the Liberal plan to address it.  The Liberal Plan will make sure that there is a single province-wide phone number for people, or friends of people, who need help dealing with meth to call (as there is in Alberta) and that there will be rapid access to a seamless series of steps - stabilization, detoxification, treatment, extended supportive housing etc so that people with meth addiction can be helped well and effectively and so that they can rebuild their lives.  The Liberal meth plan will be helped by our approach to mental health (putting psychological therapies under medicare), and to poverty (providing better support).  It will also be helped by our vigorous efforts to help young people understand the problems with meth in our education system and to provide alternative positive

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

The Indigenous Science Conference in Winnipeg June 14-16

  June 14 to 16, I spent three days at the Turtle Island Indigenous Science Conference.  It was very worthwhile.   Speaker after speaker talked of the benefits of using both western or mainstream science and Indigenous science.  There is much we can learn from both approaches.   With me above is Myrle Ballard, one of the principal organizers of the conference.  Myrle Ballard, from Lake St. Martin in Manitoba, worked closely with Roger Dube a professor emeritus at Rochester Institute of Technology, and many others to make this conference, the first of its kind, a success.  As Roger Dube, Mohawk and Abenaki, a physicist, commented "My feeling is that the fusion of traditional ecological knowledge and Western science methodology should rapidly lead the researchers to much more holistic solutions to problems."   Dr. Myrle Ballard was the first person from her community to get a PhD.  She is currently a professor at the University of Manitoba and the Director of Indigenous Science