Skip to main content

Taking children away from their parents - why we in Manitoba should be very concerned about what has been happening in the United States

Tuesday June 19, I spoke on a debate on a matter of urgent public importance namely "the urgent issue of the cruel and inhumane policy of the US administration to separate migrant children from their parents when entering the United States to claim asylum and the importance of condemning this inhumane practice on the part of the US administration."   I responded to this issue to emphasize the understanding that we have in Manitoba of the appalling impact of taking children from their families - as has happened with the taking of so many children by the government's child and family services.   My comments in the Legislature are below: 

Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, as we talk today, there are on the US-Mexico border, children who are  being separated from their families. I believe that the urgency of this issue and the importance of this issue speaks to that particular concern, and we, in Manitoba, know probably better than almost anywhere else the adverse effects of children being taken from their families. We have more than 10,000 children, even today, who have been taken from their families and put into the care of Child and Family Services and the government's care.
      We have heard the discussion over the last number of weeks and months, that perhaps as many as 87 per cent of those children are children who could be supported, their families could be supported in ways that those children would not have to be taken into care. We have seen the adverse effects of children being taken from their families in this province and some of us have spoken up time and time again about this concern.
      And so it is right and proper that we rise today and speak in urgent framework of what is happening on the US-Mexican border where children are being taken from their families. It is an issue which I believe–as has been mentioned–all parties and all MLAs could come together on and that we could speak forcefully to this because of the history that we have in our own province.
      And so I believe that there is a good rationale for the urgency of this and I believe there's a strong case that can be made and that we are making to have this debate today.
      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Sadly, the Pallister Conservatives decided against having a full debate on this issue. 

Comments

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

Standing up for Seniors

Yesterday in the Legislature I  asked the Minister of Health questions about the care of seniors in personal care homes in Manitoba.   I specfically called for the Minister to increase the training and staffing requirements for personal care homes in Manitoba to bring them up to date.   My questions, the Minister's comments and the Speaker's interjection are below:  Personal-Care-Home  Improvements - Need for Upgrades to Standards and Training Hon. Jon  Gerrard   (River Heights): Madam Speaker, we're very concerned this government is not adapting to the reality of caring for seniors who are living longer. Seniors living in our personal-care homes today have much more challenging health-care conditions than those who were in similar homes even five years ago, and yet the staffing formula, or minimal personnel requirement, is over 20 years old. Too few care aides and nurses are adequately trained to look after residents with dementia and multiple chronic health conditi

Premier Pallister is wrong when he says no one could have predicted the speed and severity of the second wave

Premier Brian Pallister is just wrong in saying yesterday that "Nobody could have predicted the degree to which COVID came fast."  He was referring to the speed and severity of the COVID-19 virus spreading this fall in Manitoba.   Contrary to what the Premier says, many people were predicting the Second Wave of the pandemic  would  be worse than the first.  Historically this has often happened with pandemics in the past.  In Manitoba in 2009 the H1N1 pandemic was worse in the second wave than during the first wave.  The speed of the pandemic was not a surprise.  COVID-19 infections are well known to rise exponentially when adequate containment measures are not in place.   In jurisdictions like Italy and New York as well as elsewhere we had examples of sudden explosions of cases when the spread of the virus was increasing exponentially.  There was already evidence to suggest that the virus would be worse in winter months, and that spread would be faster as people moved indoors