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Showing posts from January, 2022

Manitoba Liberals call for an increase in the funding through Employment and Income Assistance to account for the big increase in food prices

  On Friday January 28th, Manitoba Liberals called for an increase to the funding provided to individuals receiving Employment and Income Assistance.  Food prices have gone up dramatically and this increase is needed to enable those on EIA to be able to buy food to eat.  Our press release is below.  Immediate EIA Rate Increases Needed to Stave Off Hunger: Manitoba Liberals Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River M├ętis, Winnipeg - Manitoba Liberals are calling on the PCs to immediately increase the basic Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) allowance to ensure families on social assistance can make it to the end of the month without going hungry.  Inflation is driving up the cost of food, and the cost of housing is going up – but social assistance rates in Manitoba are so low that some of the most vulnerable people in Manitoba aren’t able to put food on the table.  Winnipeg Harvest reports that between 2018-2019, 73,500 Manitobans collected EIA – including families, people

The pandemic response did not have to be as bad as it was in Manitoba

 As I point out in the article which appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press's Community Review - West edition for January 26, the pandemic response in Manitoba could have been handled much better than it was.  To make it easy to read, I put the text of the article and three graphs below. Pandemic Response did not have to be this way In my younger days, flying aerial surveys in northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, for bald eagles, I learned from bush pilots the importance of thinking ahead so you don't put your plane in a difficult or dangerous situation.   This lesson also applies to pandemic response.  As I write this article, hospitalizations and ICU patient numbers are climbing in Manitoba.  The government does not appear to have an adequate plan to deal with these rapidly increasing numbers.  Emergency rooms are full and overflowing with patients who cannot be admitted to hospital because there is no room.  If the numbers were to suddenly reverse somehow, we might be OK, but wi

A tribute to Vince Fontaine

This afternoon, Naomi and I joined many others at a tribute to Vince Fontaine held at the Oodena Celebration Circle at the Forks.  Vince was an incredible person.  He was able to bring people together in his bands and to play and sing with others in a way that was memorable, indeed unforgettable.  He reached across divides in our society.  As part of this effort he reached out to Jim Cuddy, Blue Rodeo's front man and asked him to sing a tune on an Indian City Album.   As Melissa Martin wrote "To Vince, it captured the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action no.83: artistic collaboration across cultures."  Melissa quotes Vince Fontaine "I wanted to stretch out on this album and invite a non-Indigenous person into the circle, so to speak.  For me, that's what reconciliation is: broadening the circle and showing people that togetherness again."  This afternoon, there was much of that togetherness.  A few photos from the event are

COVID-19 and Omicron in Manitoba

 It has been an unusual week.  On Wednesday new headlines highlighted the fact that modelling by the Canadian military suggests "as many as 41 per cent of Winnipeggers might have active COBID-19."   This was and is an extraordinary high proportion.  Not only have case numbers been very high this week, but the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has gone up reaching 517 individuals in hospital in Manitoba with COVID-19 infections, and 45 individuals in ICUs in Manitoba with COVID-19.   Of the 517 individuals hospitalized with COVID, 36 are no longer infectious but are still in hospital.  Of the 45 individuals in ICUs, 2 are no longer infectious.  These numbers are very high and very concerning.  The Premier should have provided a clear plan as to what the province will do if the numbers continue to rise. She did not. Manitobans, including doctors and nurses, are being kept in the dark as to any plans. ICUs n other provinces are full at the moment so transfers to other

Much is needed to improve health care in Manitoba in 2022

  December 29, an article I wrote to talk about some of the health care improvements needed in 2022 was published in the Sou'Wester.  For ease of reading, I have put the text below. Health-care improvements needed in 2022 In River Heights and in Manitoba we are caught up in the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is a critical time, with the Omicron variant coming at a point when Manitoba's health-care system is greatly stressed just dealing with the fourth wave.  We cannot wait for a report from a task force, which was only appointed a couple of weeks ago, when we need action right now. Nurses are burned out beyond belief, with short staffing levels and high acuity case loads.  This needs to be better acknowledged.  There needs to be a major effort to provide better working conditions for nurses, to achieve the staffing levels required for high quality care, and to ensure routine medical and surgical care can happen even during the pandemic.  In the last two weeks Manitoba Liberals have ca

Visiting in Brandon

 December 15 and 16, Dougald Lamont, Cindy Lamoureux, Richard Davies and I were in Brandon with meetings there with Margot Cathcart at the Rural Manitoba Economic Development Corporation, Doug Paterson with Paterson Law, Gail Cullen and others at the Brandon Friendship Centre, the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and with many Liberals from various parts of south-west Manitoba.  The photo below is from our visit to the Brandon Friendship Centre.