Skip to main content

Prince Philip

 On Friday April 9th, I spoke in the Manitoba Legislature in response to the Premier's statement on the passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. 

Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, in 2010, when the Queen and Prince Philip were visiting Manitoba, there was a reception at Government House. As Leader of the Liberal Party at the time, Naomi and I were invited guests. At the reception, the Queen went around one side of the room, and Prince Philip, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, went around our side of the room, and we were lucky enough to have a chance to meet him.

      Prince Philip was an environmentalist and one of those involved in the founding of the World Wildlife Fund. In 1961, he became president of the British National Appeal, the first national organization in the World Wildlife Fund family. The World Wildlife Fund has since become one of the most important environment organizations on our planet. I have a personal connection to it because my daughter Pauline and her partner Roger both worked for many years with the World Wildlife Fund in Laos, and I got a chance to learn from them of the amazing contri­butions of this organization.

      I became interested in birds early on in my life, and one of the books I was given when I was about 15 was a book titled Seabirds in Southern Waters, written by Prince Philip and published in 1962. Not well-known, Prince Philip was a very talented photo­grapher. He'd taken many photos of seabirds, from albatrosses to shearwaters, taken during expeditions on the Royal Yacht Britannia. I was entranced. But it was not until many decades later that I had a chance to see albatrosses in New Zealand and many other seabirds in the Galapagos. Thank you, Prince Philip, for your book and your inspiration.

      Notable as well, among Prince Philip's achieve­ments, was his attention to young people. In 1956 he founded the Duke of Edinburgh awards, which recognize youth and young adults for completing a  series of activities, including volun­teering in physical activities and practical and social skills and in personal interests and in completing an expedition.

      And now, affiliated with the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award association, there are organiz­ations in 144 countries. What started in 1956 in the United Kingdom is now a global effort to support and empower young people.

      Thank you, Prince Philip, for all you have done. Though much of your efforts have been in the shadow  of the Queen, your own accomplishments in ad­vancing environmental concerns and in helping young people have been outstanding.

      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

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

I cried today when I heard the report on the Maples Care Home disaster

Today the Pallister  government released the report on the tragedy which occurred at the Maples personal care home in October  to December 2020.   There were far too many people infected with COVID-19 (73 staff and 157 residents) and far too many deaths (56).  It did not have to be this way.  The central finding of the report was: "The review found that while pandemic plans had  been prepared and were in place, the site was not prepared for the significant reduction in available staff once they had been  exposed to COVID-19  and were required to self-isolate.  In addition, the urgency of requests for additional on-site staffing supports were not  fully understood until the situation became critical.   While additional staff were brought in, many were not skilled in providing long-term care services and  lacked training in infection prevention and control and specialized housekeeping skills."    Five  months before, Manitoba Liberals had warned the Premier three times that pre