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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. 


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