Skip to main content

Canadian Agricultural Safety Week and Canadian Agriculture Awareness Week

 On Monday March 15, I spoke  in response to  a Ministerial statement on Canadian  Agricultural Safety  Week.    On Tuesday March 16, I spoke in response to a second Ministerial  statement on Agriculture Awareness Day.   My comments are below (from Hansard).  

Canadian Agricultural Safety Week

Mr. Gerrard: Canadian Agricultural Safety Week is a very important week. It's a week to acknowledge the important work that farmers in Manitoba do, the help they provide, the food 

provide, and to reflect on efforts to improve farm safety in our province.

      From the number of older farmers in Manitoba, it sure looks to be a safe occupation, but when you look a little closer, a 2017 report in Manitoba says, and I quote, the most dangerous work in Manitoba is in the agricultural sector. Agriculture has had more deaths in the past decade than any other sector. Between 2006 and 2015, 48 deaths occurred in the agricultural sector.

      There are much more than just deaths impacting health in the agricultural sector. The impact of using chemicals, including pesticides, the impact of stress on mental health is widespread from surveys of farmers. This has been exacerbated for some farmers, who are farming on Crown lands, this year by the changes in the government policies.

      We have to be aware of what's happening with COVID-19 and the fact that in Ontario, migrant workers were at increased risk of getting COVID-19. I looked at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy for an assessment of health in our agricultural community, and I was not able to find it. But, clearly, it is important.

Agriculture Awareness Day

Mr. Gerrard: Yes, Madam Speaker, agricultural awareness day is very important. Indeed, rarely has there ever been such a great need to create better understanding between those in the agricultural in­dustry and all other Manitobans.

      During the COVID pandemic, our agriculture and  agri-food industry performed in an outstanding fashion, providing a reliable source of food, and they did an incredible job. This needs to be recognized, and the agricultural community is to be thanked.

      We have, at the same time, government bills on petty trespassing and biosecurity. And the government needs to do a much better job of explaining these bills, not just to those in the agricultural community, but to the general public, because there is a lot of potential for misunderstandings and problems.

      At the moment, in getting markets around the world, markets are changing their approach and high­lighting the environmental aspects and the animal husbandry aspects of the production of food. In this climate, we need to have much more emphasis on climate change, but we also need to be promoting what the agricultural industry is doing and providing even better mechanisms for them to get 'cardon'–carbon credits for sequestering carbon.

      Animal husbandry is increasingly very important in the marketing of our products, and we need to be recognized for excellence in this area. Sadly, one of the things this government has done is to create incredible stress in the area of producers who are–have been on Crown lands. The government should retract measures which are causing the stress and address this.

      Farm safety, as we talked about yesterday, is in­cred­ibly important, and we have a long way to go to improve the health of those in the agricultural industry and to make sure that people are safe.

      So I say thank you, along with other MLAs, to all those in the agriculture and agri-food industries. Thank you, thank you, merci, miigwech.


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

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

We need a more precise and detailed provincial plan to address the coronoavirus - Covid-19

With increasing evidence that the coronavirus Covid-19 is spreading globally, it is important that Manitoba have a clear plan to deal with a number of critical issues.  Having a clear plan will reduce people's anxiety and allow people to better plan individually.  So far the Pallister government either has not fully planned for Covid-19, or it has not released its plan.  We put out a press release this morning calling for the release of such a clear plan by the province.  Manitoba Liberals: The Time for a Coronavirus Plan is Now WINNIPEG – With new coronavirus cases emerging in South Korea, Italy and elsewhere around the world, Manitoba Liberals say the Manitoba Government needs to show they are ready with a plan to ensure Manitobans stay as safe as possible in the likely case that the virus reaches Manitoba. The virus has been spreading around the world, with 82,000 cases and nearly 3,000 deaths. While it started in China, there have been recent outbreaks in South Kore