Skip to main content

Calling for more attention to the dire straits of many in Afghanistan - particularly those who are relatives of individuals in the Afghan community in Winnipeg

On Thursday, October 8, I spoke on a Member's Statement about the need for more help for those who are in very difficult and dangerous circumstances in Afghanistan, and the need in particular to reach out to help those who are relatives of individuals in the Afghan community in Winnipeg. 

 Afghanistan–Prov­incial Response

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, the situation today in Afghanistan is be­coming a humanitarian crisis.

      Members of the Afghan com­mu­nity in Winnipeg tell me stories of many families who are having to stay in their homes for fear of the Taliban. If they go out, they fear they will be taken by the Taliban or killed by the Taliban. Some are now running out of food and are starving, for they have no way to get food and no money to purchase it. Others, who are in hiding, are having to change locations frequently for fear of being found by the Taliban.

      One of the most heart-rending stories I heard was of a father giving his son a gun and telling his son that if the Taliban arrive his son is to kill him–his father–because he doesn't want to be tortured by the Taliban.

      There needs to be an effective federal and prov­incial response to the situation. It is urgent.

      From a provincial perspective, we need, as was done with the refugees from Syria, to have an agreement with the federal government to accept 2,000 people from Afghanistan in Manitoba.

      Many who have come from Afghanistan to Winnipeg in the past now have relatives back in Afghanistan who desperately need help. Members of the Afghan community in Winnipeg are ready to do their part, but the provincial government needs to help to deal with issues which arise when the newcomers get to Manitoba.

      I suggest the provincial government convene a group, including members of all provincial parties represented in our Chamber, to work with individuals in the Afghan community and with individuals who are helping refugees to do everything possible to help the situation in Afghanistan and to advocate with the federal government for action to improve the ability of family members in dire straits in Afghanistan to get to Winnipeg where they can be safe.

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

The hiring of Avis Glaze and what it may mean for the future of school boards in Manitoba

The Pallister government's education review commission has chosen Avis Glaze to be the lead consultant for its review of kindergarted to grade 12 education.   Based on Ms Glaze's recommendation to eliminate school boards in Nova Scotia - which the province has now done - there is concern she may coordinate a similar recommendation in Manitoba.   I asked about this in Question Period earlier today.   My question and the Minister's response is below - from Hansard. K-to-12 Education Review - Manitoba School Boards Hon. Jon -Gerrard - (River Heights):         The government of Manitoba has hired Avis Glaze, a lead consultant for its commissioned review–K-to-12 education. In her report for Nova Scotia, she referred to school boards as undisciplined, fractious, and role-confused entities, representing narrow interests, and she recommended that all school boards be eliminated.  [Nova Scotia has since elminated all school boards.]        Why would the government hire a

Will the Premier get prepared for the fall by improving ventilation in schools as Ontario is doing?

Good evidence now shows that improving ventilation in schools can dramatically reduce  COVID-19 infections.  See this scientific report at this link  Thursday May 27, I asked the Premier whether  he  would be preparing schools for the fall by taking measures to improve ventilation in schools in Manitoba.  My question and his response (from Hansard) are below.  Notwithstanding the Premier's statement that  "some" money may be used for ventilation, there does not appear to be a real plan to increase school ventilation and humidity as a major effort.  COVID‑19 Spread Prevention Ventilation Systems in Schools Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):  Mr. Deputy Speaker, improving ventilation in schools decreases transmission of COVID‑19, as I table. We called on the Premier to act on this last fall, but nothing was done. Air dilution methods, opening doors, opening windows and using fans have an effect, but combined with the installation of HEPA filters can reduce COVID‑19 i