Skip to main content

There is a need to address the fact that a number of rules of the Manitoba Legislature are not being followed

ON June 13th, I spoke in the Manitoba Legislature on a Matter of Privilege on the fact that a number of the rules of the Manitoba Legislature are not being followed.   My comments from Hansard, are below:
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, I rise on a matter of privilege. This was the earliest time because I had to consult Hansard yesterday.
      I quote page 111 in which it–of O'Brien and Bosc in which it is very clear the privileges of a member are violated by any action which might impede him or her in the fulfillment of his or her duties and functions. This is a serious issue. We have a problem in this Legislature that we have a number of rules and practices which are not being followed.
      Let me start with the rule that we have two rules committee meetings a year. We had one last year, and we've had none this year in spite of the fact that I've talked with a number of people about the need to have that. And there is a need to update our rules, as I think we all recognize.
      Second, the use of unparliamentary language. Page 146 of Beauchesne's is very clear that use of the word, which I will spell but not say, l-i-e, and variations of this are referenced numerous times in Beauchesne's as being unparliamentary language and unacceptable. And yet this word was used twice yesterday before we even got to question period, and versions using different phraseology, which are also not acceptable, were used three times in the same period before question period.
      (3) There is a process which you as Speaker have alluded to many, many times that questions and responses by the government are to be addressed to the Speaker. And yet on numerous occasions, we have members of the government who have been, instead of facing the Speaker and directing their comments, addressing them to the Speaker, they have been facing the MLA who has raised the question and talked directly to the MLA instead of posing the response through the Speaker.
      (4) For many years, it has been the practice to not refer to the absence of a member, and yet yesterday, when the Minister for Sustainable Development did this and brought this up, I brought it up. The Speaker did not confirm that this was unparliamentary. I had asked, because it is unparliamentary, that those comments be stricken from Hansard, but my request was not responded to, and today I find that the Hansard record shows the reference to the absence of a member.
      So with those four points where the rules, as illustrative, are not being followed, I would move, seconded by the MLA for Burrows, that this be referred to an all-party committee.

My comments were picked up by the CBC.   The CBC story can be seen by clicking on this link - Long-serving Liberal MLA asks for better behaviour in the Legislature.

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

Karen Keppler 1953 - 2020

  Karen was an incredible person who helped so many people. She had a heart of gold. Back in 1994 to 1997 we worked closely together to help communities all over Manitoba get connected to the internet. In the years since she has done amazing things.   She has served as Chair of the Winnipeg Library Foundation and helped with raising money for the expansion of the Millenium Library.    She helped many people to get new opportunities through the Selkirk and District Learning Centre and through her activities at the University of Winnipeg and the Herzing College.   She was an entrepreneur who helped many people move forward and start successful businesses.  Karen was very concerned about her community.  In she was   the Manitoba Liberal Party candidate in Sekirk constituency.   When the COVID pandemic came, Karen was really helpful in an effort to get computers for kids in need so that they could learn at home. Even recently when I was working to understand lead pollution and lead effects