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Showing posts from January, 2021

Ongoing concerns about COVID variants coming to Manitoba

 I is now some time since new COVID-19 variants have  been identified  in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil. These new variants are more transmissible and therefore more dangerous, though whether they cause more severe disease is not yet certain.  As Manitoba Liberals we continue to be concerned about efforts which need to be taken to prevent such new variants from coming to our province.   We know that new variants have been detected  in Ontario, British  Columbia and Alberta.   In Ontario a new variant has been identified in an outbreak in Barrie.   Action to prevent such variants coming to Manitoba  should have already been taken 10 days ago.  As well, Manitobans deserve answers to a number of questions concerning these new variants and the Manitoba situation.  Our letter below was sent January 15,  and we still have not had a reply to most of these questions, although public health has indicated that as of January 22, there had been no new variants detected in Manitoba. 

Action is needed now - for Manitoba to prevent the new COVID-19 variants from coming to Manitoba

Action is needed  now  to prevent the new  variant forms of the COVID-19  virus (SARS-CoV2)  from coming to Manitoba. Major new variants of the virus have been found in the United Kingdom, in South Africa and in Brazil.  While these new variants may not cause more severe  disease (this is good), the new variants spread faster and are more infectious than the strain of COVID-19 virus we have been dealing with so far (this is bad).  The variants  will be harder to contain than the original strain of COVID-19 and therefore it is imperative that Manitoba act  now to limit the spread of these variants to Manitoba. We need, immediately, to review protocols for people coming from any jurisdiction where the virus has  been found (including Ontario, British Columbia  and Alberta).   Individuals coming from these areas should all self-isolate for 14 days (currently this is not required  for individuals from British Columbia and Alberta). Testing protocols for International travelers currently re

Lead Contamination and Children in the care of Child and Family Services

On Monday January 11, I had the opportunity in the Legislative  Committee dealing with the Annual Report of the  Manitoba Advocate  for Children and Youth, to ask questions about the possibility of children in the care of Child and Family Services having high lead levels due to exposure to lead.  My  questions and the responses of Ms Ainsley Krone Deputy Manitoba Advocate for Children and  Youth are below - from Hansard. Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights):     I have a question which I'd like to bring up. In the report of the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth, there's a section here on where there are service gaps, and clearly, it's important to identify areas where there may be service gaps.       And I want to refer to a report that was done in Pennsylvania which showed that children who were in foster care, when they were tested before they entered care, had rather high levels of lead in their blood such that nearly 90 per cent of these children had levels of lea

COVID-19 and Children in the care of Child and Family Services

Monday Jan 11, I had an opportunity during a Legislative Committee on the Annual Report of the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth to ask about the impact of the COVID pandemic on children in the care of Child and  Family Services.  My questions to Ms Ainsley Krone the Deputy Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth and her answers are below - from Hansard.  Mr. Gerrard:   I want to come to the situation of the COVID pandemic. Are there concerns about the care of children in the COVID pandemic? Are you seeing an increased number of reports of problems–you've been following suicide, for example–and other concerns. Where are the gaps now because of the COVID pandemic? Ms. Krone:   Thanks for that question, Dr. Gerrard.       I would say that, you know, it's still, as you can appreciate, pretty early on in terms of the broader analysis of the impact of the pandemic and–but when we look at what's happening for young people in our province, the concerns that are being r