Skip to main content

Bill 64 and proposed changes to Education in Manitoba - my question about Indigenous education

On Tuesday March  16, in Question Period, I asked about the implications of Bill 64,the  Education Modernization Act for Indigenous education in Manitoba. My comments and the Premier's response are  below (from Hansard).

Education Modernization Act
Indigenous Reconciliation

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, in 309 pages, Bill 64, the new education act, uses the words Indigenous and reconciliation only once; the word First Nation only three times; and the words Métis and Inuit are never used.

      For years, there has been an important partner­ship between the provincial education system and Indigenous education system, and yet it is not adequately de­scribed.

      I ask the Premier to withdraw this bill and to rewrite it to better include the relationship with Indigenous people, to mandate learning about the history, culture and languages of Indigenous peoples, and to address the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): I do sincerely appreciate the member raising the issue of our Indigenous students.

      Our Indigenous young people have been short-changed for years under the system. It needs to improve. It needs to improve markedly. The drop-out rates for Indigenous students are absurdly high, and it's totally unacceptable. We need to take major steps and major actions. A number of these–as the member might have known if he had reviewed–bothered to review the report–were addressed in the report fully.

      And, in fact, in our consultation, there was extensive consultation with Indigenous groups, individuals concerned about making sure that we change our system for the better for Indigenous young people. This is one of the cornerstones of the purpose for these reforms. It is to make sure that we get back to an equality of opportunity in our province, some­thing we have deprived Indigenous people and others of for too long.

      And it's an important motivation–it should be an important motivation for all of us; it most certainly will be for us going forward. And I'd ask the member for River Heights to depart from his leader's absurd arguments and move in a supportive way to improving the quality of education for all of our children in this province.

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

Premier Pallister is wrong when he says no one could have predicted the speed and severity of the second wave

Premier Brian Pallister is just wrong in saying yesterday that "Nobody could have predicted the degree to which COVID came fast."  He was referring to the speed and severity of the COVID-19 virus spreading this fall in Manitoba.   Contrary to what the Premier says, many people were predicting the Second Wave of the pandemic  would  be worse than the first.  Historically this has often happened with pandemics in the past.  In Manitoba in 2009 the H1N1 pandemic was worse in the second wave than during the first wave.  The speed of the pandemic was not a surprise.  COVID-19 infections are well known to rise exponentially when adequate containment measures are not in place.   In jurisdictions like Italy and New York as well as elsewhere we had examples of sudden explosions of cases when the spread of the virus was increasing exponentially.  There was already evidence to suggest that the virus would be worse in winter months, and that spread would be faster as people moved indoors