Skip to main content

The need to better support CancerCare Manitoba and to take measures like addressing contaminated sites to reduce cancer.

On November 23rd, my questions in Question Period focused on the need to support CancerCare Manitoba and its efforts to prevent and treat cancer rather than undermining this important organization.

CancerCare Manitoba - Project Cancellation

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, CancerCare Manitoba is an extraordinary institution with outcomes that are as good or better than anywhere else in Canada or, indeed, in the world.
      When I toured the province earlier this year, while Manitobans had many concerns, their feedback on CancerCare was very positive. It offers the best specialist service in Manitoba.
      CancerCare had been promised a new facility that would have taken cancer treatment in our province to the next level, and this government cancelled it.
      As part of their review of CancerCare, I ask: Will this government measure how many years Manitoba has been set back by the cancellation of this project?
Hon. Cameron Friesen (Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living): The member is correct that there is a review ongoing on CancerCare Manitoba. I recall it was only about two or three weeks ago that members of the opposition tried to suggest that it's a terrible idea to actually look at the operational standards and operational procedures of CancerCare.
      And then the CEO for CancerCare stood up and said this is exactly the work that we must all be engaged in doing. If there is an advancement in Quebec and BC and Saskatchewan in cancer care, we want to know about it.
      We take the side of evidence to get better results for Manitobans. What do they do? They continue to throw up their hands and try to agitate and create fear.
Madam Speaker: The honourable member for River Heights, on a supplementary question.

Industrial Pollution and Cancer - Contaminated Site Cleanup

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, lead and heavy metals are associated, when ingested, with a higher instance of gastric cancers. Lead is listed as a probable carcinogen. We are all deeply concerned about contaminants from industrial pollutions, whether it's at northern mine sites or in St. Boniface or in Weston.
      Madam Speaker, one of the best ways to help prevent cancer would be through clean up of contaminated sites.
      And yet, there is no reference whatsoever to cleaning up contaminated sites in the Throne Speech or, indeed, in the review of CancerCare Manitoba.
      Is this because the Premier (Mr. Pallister) is only interested in cutting costs and has no real interest in the health or health care of Manitobans?
Hon. Rochelle Squires (Minister of Sustainable Development): In typical Liberal fashion, this member continues to put incorrect information on the record. In fact, our government is investing a historic $20 million in cleaning up contaminated sites left behind by the NDP.
      Our government is taking real, meaningful action on cleaning up contaminated sites, abandoned mine sites throughout the province and lead contamination in St. Boniface, in Point Douglas and in Logan and throughout the province of Manitoba.
Madam Speaker: The honourable member for River Heights, on a final supplementary.

CancerCare Manitoba - Government Review

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, if there's one part of Manitoba's health-care system that works well, it is CancerCare. It is effective at saving lives. We know where the systems are failing, where there are problems: mental health, in addictions, in diabetes prevention. We know there's not enough care for women when it comes to heart and stroke. We know there are too many people in Manitoba who struggle to pay for their medication.
      CancerCare works. Why doesn't this government leave CancerCare, which is working well, alone and focus on what's broken instead of what they're doing: focusing on what's working well and breaking it?
Hon. Cameron Friesen (Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living): Well, Madam Speaker, that's quite the assertion from the member. The assertion is that the system is just fine exactly the way it is, don't change a thing.
      Except that, in the experience of Manitobans, what they understand is that while we've had one of the most expensive systems in Canada for years, we've failed to get the results. And the evidence says it's because we failed to locate and organize our resources to help doctors and nurses deliver better services.
      And that is why yesterday we gave a $5.3‑million investment for more hips and knees and cataracts, harnessing the efficiency in the system, putting–into better system delivery for Manitobans. And why? Because Manitobans deserve better health care sooner.


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

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