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Calling for a more united effort in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic - and for more of Manitoba to be Code Red

On Thursday, November 5 I called in Question Period for the government to listen to doctors and to use an approach which is more unified in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Manitoba.   I called for this knowing that in the past when Manitoba has faced other crises and critical issues some Premiers have worked more closely with other parties and with others around the province.   I also asked for the Premier to heed the doctors in calling for more attention to areas outside of Winnipeg.  The number of cases in proportion to the RHA population is similar for Winnipeg, the Northern RHA, the Southern RHA and the Interlake-Eastman RHA.   Thankfully the Prairie-Mountain RHA remains much lower.  

Increase in COVID-19 Cases
Code Red Designation

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, the success of a government in an emergency depends on the government's ability to bring all resources and people with experience together in a united effort. The government's failure to do this, as we can see from the letter from hundreds of doctors, indicates clearly that we are now at an important and very significant point. We are in grave peril; it is an extreme emergency.

      Madam Speaker, over the last seven days the number of new cases per 100,000 population is similarly very high in all areas of Manitoba except for Prairie Mountain Health, which is lower.

      Is the poor involvement of others in decision-making a reason that all areas of Manitoba except for Prairie Mountain Health are not being called code red as they should be? 

Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): The member is a medical doctor, Madam Speaker, and he would understand the challenges that would be posed to any Manitoban of having hundreds of people advising a person on their health condition. Such is, I think, a reasonable example of a parallel situation where we need to have senior health leadership and we can't have 800 doctors doing it.   

      And so as a matter of simple professional respect, I would say it would be wise, and especially now during a pandemic, to show faith and supportive behaviour in reference to suggestions made to our senior health officials, including Dr. Brent Roussin. And I am sure that the member would understand how that professionalism would be integral to achieving better results for the protection of Manitoba citizens.

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