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Showing posts from December, 2021

Why has Peter Nygard not been charged in Manitoba?

 With Peter Nygard being charged in Ontario and in the United States, many are wondering why he has never been charged in Manitoba, considering that there have been accusations of sexual assault going back to 1977 (and with some recent evidence showing that this may even date back to 1968 in Manitoba). My question on Friday November 26th and the Minister's response are below (from Hansard). Peter Nygård Assault Allegations Inquiry into Filing Charges in Manitoba Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, with allegations of sexual assault against Peter Nygård dating back to 1977–44 years ago–why was there not a proper in­vesti­gation and charges laid against Peter Nygård many years ago in Manitoba?       We have women from Manitoba who have come forward. We have excellent investigators in our city and RCMP forces.       I ask the Minister of Justice: When was the first in­vesti­gation into Peter Nygård started in Manitoba, and is there a possi­bility that, at some

Why has Manitoba been so slow to approve the use of new and effective monoclonal antibodies.

 On Thursday November 25th, I asked the Minister of Health why her government has been so slow to approve the use of two monoclonal antibodies (MAbs)which have been shown to the very effective in reducing hospital and ICU needs and reducing deaths from COVID-19.   These monoclonal antibodies have been approved for use and have been used for the last three months in Ontario, and have been similarly approved for use in British Columbia and Alberta.  The use of these monoclonal antibodies have the potential to reduce the need for ICU beds from COVID and to reduce deaths.  Their use could potentially have decreased the need for ICU beds sufficiently that we would not have needed to transport patients hundreds of kilometers away from their homes in order to free up hospital space. My question and the Minister's response is below (from Hansard).  MAbs for Early COVID Treatment Approval for Use in Manitoba Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, two monoclonal antibodies,

A question on the government's inaction with respect to the strike at the University of Manitoba

 On Wednesday November 24th, with the strike causing chaos at the University of Manitoba, I asked why the government was not doing more to ensure professors can return to work at the University of Manitoba. My  question and the response from the Minister of Education are below.  Uni­ver­sity of Manitoba Labour Dispute Impact on Students and Staffing Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights ): Madam Speaker, for 22 days, a strike has been causing chaos at the Uni­ver­sity of Manitoba. Major researchers and teachers are so upset with the chaos, uncertainty and lack of support from this gov­ern­ment that some are con­sid­ering going elsewhere.       Recruitment has been extremely difficult because of the uncertainty and the lack of support for the uni­ver­sity and its star teachers and researchers by this gov­ern­ment. Students are caught in the middle of the chaos created by this gov­ern­ment. The Premier has had 22 days in office as Premier to provide the leadership and to end the chaos.

I introduce legislation to improve accountability in health care

 On Thursday November 25th, I introduced Bill 201 which is designed to achieve more accountability in health care.  Following the introduction of Bill 210, I spoke in a Member's Statement of the impact of the bill were it to be passed into law.  Bill 201–The Regional Health Authorities Amendment Act Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights ):  I move, seconded by the MLA for Tyndall Park, that Bill 201,  The Regional Health Author­ities Amend­ment Act; la–Loi modifiant la Loi sur les offices régionaux de la santé, be now read a first time and passed. Motion presented. Mr. Gerrard:   Madam Speaker, this bill will provide for improved account­ability in health care. It will provide that the health author­ities–that includes the regional health author­ities, Shared Health and CancerCare Manitoba–that their reports would come to the Legis­lative Assembly and that they would be then discussed in com­mit­tee, just as we do with Crown cor­por­ations currently.   Account­ability in Heal

National Addictions Awareness Week - and the purple carnations on the step of the Legislature

On November 24th, there was a Ministerial statement on National Addictions Awareness Week.  I spoke in response.  My comments are below.  It is to be noted that there was a rally in front of the Legislature on November 24th, just before our sitting started.   Members of Overdose Awareness Manitoba placed 199 purple carnations (photo above) on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature.   Each flower represented a person who had died from an overdose in Manitoba in the first six months of 2021. It is a shockingly high number.  Mr. Gerrard:   Madam Speaker, this is National Addictions Awareness Week, Manitoba substance abuse and awareness week. As the demonstration in front of the Legislature at noon today by Overdose Awareness Manitoba shows, we are ever more aware of the inadequacies of the present government's approach to addictions: 199  Manitobans died from overdoses in the first half of 2021–199 Manitobans.       Before the election in 2016, five and a half years ago, members of

The Throne Speech

 On November 23rd, The Throne Speech was read by Lieutenant Governor Janice Filmon.   It was, for Premier Heather Stefanson, her first Throne Speech and was to set the tone for her government's action in the coming year.  On Thursday November 25th, I had a chance to reply to the Speech from the Throne.  My comments, from Hansard, are below: Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Mr. Deputy Speaker, first I would like to con­gratu­late the Premier (Mrs. Stefanson) on her election. It is an im­por­tant step forward for Manitoba to have a woman as Premier.       Next, I thank my own con­stit­uents in River Heights. They've provided much support for me but, at the same time, I have done my best to serve them and to help those who have issues–whether it be personal concerns, a family concern, a busi­ness con­cern or a concern related to the policies of the current gov­ern­ment. There have been a lot of the latter in the last two years, as we've been going through the COVID‑19 p

A Rally for Housing for All

   On Monday November 22, there was a rally at the Legislature to support the need for everyone to have housing.   This is a particularly timely call given that we are entering the winter season. 

Doctors Manitoba Awards Dinner

Dr. Demitre Serletis receiving his award  Article in the Sou-Wester on December 2, 2021 On November 20, Dougald Lamont, Cindy Lamoureux and I attended the Doctors Manitoba Awards Dinner.  We were delighted to see the recognition provided to so many doctors for the work they have done in Manitoba.  The photo above is of Dr. Demitre Serletis who has made an extraordinary contribution to Manitoba by building up the epilepsy program for children and for adults.   His skills in neurosurgery enabled operations to help individuals with epilepsy to have dramatic improvements.  It is sad that he is leaving Manitoba over frustration with the lack of adequate support from the current Conservative government.   My writeup of the evening which appeared in the Sou-Wester on December 2 is also shown. 

Breaking the Silence on Domestic Violence

  Durdana Islam and her painting Breaking Barriers.   She spoke of her work and of the importance of ending domestic violence at the opening of the art show on November 19, 2021.   Her art was part of an art exhibition at the Mennonite Heritage Gallery in Winnipeg which runs from November 19, 2021 to January 15, 2022.  The timing and the place of this exhibition was particularly relevant because Manitoba has consistently had the highest rate of intimate partner violence in Canada.   The rate in Manitoba in 2019 was 896 victims per 100,000 citizens, nearly double the Canadian average of 482 per 100,000.   The situation in Manitoba must be better addressed than it has been during many years of NDP and Conservative governments in our province.   Thanks are due to Dr. Zita Somakoko and Isabel Cheer who were involved in initiating this effort, and to the Mennonite Heritage Gallery for hosting this art.   

Leader's Dinner 2021

 November 18th at the Norwood Hotel Dougald Lamont, above, spoke at the Manitoba Liberal Party Leader's Dinner.  It was a packed room with an enthusiastic group of Liberals.   Doug Eyolfson was the keynote speaker.  Cindy Lamoureux, MLA for Tyndall Park was present. Willard Reaves, our candidate in Fort Whyte was there along with his wife Lise.  Uche Nwankwo, our candidate in Waverley was also present.  All Manitoba Liberal Members of Parliament, Dan Vandal, Jim Carr, Terry Duguid and Kevin Lamoureux were also in attendance. 

The School Achievement Gap is startling and needs to be addressed

The report of the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth entitled "Finding the way Back" was released on November 4th.   One of the striking figures showed the achievement gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in the proportion who graduate from high school.  In Manitoba, the "on time" high school completion rate for non-Indigenous youth was 87% in 2019, while for Indigenous youth in Manitoba it was 48%.   This rate for Indigenous youth has not changed since 2013.   Improving the on time graduation rate for Indigenous youth needs to be a major focus of our efforts to get improved overall results from education in Manitoba.