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Showing posts from March, 2022

Is the government going to make adjustments to shorten the progressively longer wait times in Winnipeg's Emergency Rooms?

On Thursday March 17, I asked the Minister of Health to tell us the adjustments which are being made to shorten the lengthening wait times in Winnipeg’s hospital Emergency Rooms. Increase in ER Wait Times - Request for Reduction Plan Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights ):  Mr. Deputy Speaker, on October 2017, the Conservatives began imple­men­ting hospital transformation to reduce pa­tient wait times. Then the longest wait most patients could expect at the Health Sciences Centre emergency room was 3.6 hours.       The plan was to dramatically reduce wait times, but instead it dramatically lengthened them. By January last year, 2021, the wait time had increased to 6.4 hours and this January to 9.5 hours. Similar increases have occurred at Grace and St. Boniface emergency rooms.       Wait times are going in the wrong direction.       What adjustments are the gov­ern­ment making to address the dismal failure of its efforts during the last five years? Hon. Audrey  Gordon  (Mini

A Tribute to Health-Care and Social Workers

On Thursday, March 17, I spoke in the Manitoba Legislature to pay tribute to Health-Care and Social Workers in Manitoba. Tribute to Health‑Care and Social Workers Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):  Mr. Deputy Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the incredible efforts health‑care and social workers have made in Manitoba during the COVID‑19 pandemic.       Health‑care aides, nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, laboratory technicians and those in many other allied health professions: we thank you. We know that some of you are feeling exhausted, overworked and tired, in part from often being man­dated to work a double shift when you came to work only one.       We know that working conditions in health care in Manitoba are often far from ideal. Dr. Jillian Horton, a Winnipeg physician, described this when she said, and I quote: I work in a place where I can't compensate for chaos; where there are holes in the plaste

Holi - the Festival of Colours

  On Thursday March 17, I spoke about the Festival of Colours – Holi – celebrated in India. Holi Festival of Colours Mr. Gerrard:   Mr. Deputy Speaker, I join other MLAs in recognizing Holi, the festival of colours. It's a festival celebrated each spring across all of India. It's a festival which features bold, beautiful and vibrant colours.       Where we live, in Winnipeg, our land is still white with snow, the dark brown and black trunks and branches of trees stand stark and alone, without leaves. We need and we welcome this festival because it is a harbinger of spring, a promise that it won't be long before the colours can break through in the flowers which will grow in our yards and public spaces, in­cluding in front of our Legislature, and the blossoms and leaves which will adorn the lilac, oak, elm, maple, ash, hazel and so many other trees. This year, the winter has been particularly cold and long and, more than ever, we yearn for the colours that are to c

Doing my best to remove barriers for individuals with disabilities

On the afternoon of Wednesday March 16, I introduced amendments to Bill 10, which would provide for accommodating for the needs of individuals with disabilities when important meetings of corporations, condominiums, cooperatives, credit unions and caisses populaires are held.   David Kron had pointed out at committee stage that this was badly needed in this act. Below are my remarks in making the report stage amendment.   However, the report stage amendment was not supported by the Conservative government of Heather Stefanson, so it did not pass.  As noted in the Hansard record, when the government MLAs said no to passing this bill, I asked for a recorded vote.  For this I needed NDP support, but the NDP did not support this so there was not a recorded vote.   As I point out in my remarks at Third reading of the bill – below the remarks to introduce the report stage amendment, the Conservative government decision was most unfortunate.  I hope that pressure from those in the disability

Too many Manitobans are waiting too long for surgical procedures - the story of Jadon Dutchak

There are increasing numbers of Manitobans who are waiting for surgery, often desperately needed life-saving surgery.   On Wednesday March 16, I brought up concerns about Jason Dutchak’s wait for essential heart surgery.  It is but one example of many people who are waiting too long. Delays in Accessing Health Care Con­stit­uent Case Concern Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Mr. Speaker, in Manitoba today, delays in accessing health care are extra­ordin­ary.       Jason Dutchak from Morden is an example. He's 49 years old. He's been working and he wants to work. However, he has a very serious heart con­di­tion–severe aortic valve stenosis–which needs surgery. He's short of breath, can't do much in the way of exercise, tires from walking to the end of his driveway, is extremely fatigued and cannot work. Heart surgery can correct this, but he has waited since September of last year and still hasn't even been given a date for the surgery.       I've wr

The need for funding for organization in Manitoba involved with the settlement of refugees

  On Tuesday March 15, I called, in Question Period, on the government to help fund refugee settlement services, a critical need at a time when we have many refugees coming to Manitoba. Refugee Settlement Funding for Services Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, crises in Afghanistan and in Ukraine have created a need for a major expansion in the ability of Manitoba to help refugees fleeing from unsafe con­di­tions.       I'm sure the minister respon­si­ble for immigration is concerned about fair treatment of refugees. We all agree that Manitoba should be going full steam ahead in accepting and supporting refugees from Ukraine. I hope the minister's also on board with a sig­ni­fi­cant program to help settle refugees from Afghanistan.       Will the gov­ern­ment announce their plan for funding the major effort needed, and will it in­clude prov­incial support for sponsorship agree­ment holders, like Hospitality House, Accueil francophone, Welcome Place  

Filipino Heritage in Manitoba

 Tuesday March 15, I spoke about the contribution to people who have come from the Philippines to Manitoba, in my remarks on the Filipino Heritage Month Act.   Bill 205–The Filipino Heritage Month Act Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, it is im­por­tant and sig­ni­fi­cant that we have a Filipino heritage month in June. It is entirely in–ap­pro­priate because that is the month where traditionally there has been a lot of focus on Philippine heritage, including celebrations, Philippine ball   and many other events.       There are many, many people who have come from the Philippines to Manitoba and it's over many years, so that those who are of Philippine heritage are now one of the largest groups, national heritage groups, that we have in Manitoba.       It's im­por­tant to recog­nize this and it's im­por­tant, as well, to recog­nize that people who are of Philippine heritage are now working in a wide range of jobs and positions in Manitoba–and the

A new future for Peak of the Market

On Monday March 14 th , I spoke at second reading on the Peak of the Market reorganization Act.   This bill will fully open the market for vegetables in Manitoba.   Our Manitoba Liberal caucus had a really good discussion with the leaders at Peak of the Market.  They are fully in support of this change which will bring new opportunities as well as new challenges for Peak of the Market.  Manitoba Liberals are supporting this legislation, in part because the folks at Peak of the Market have asked for the changes. Bill 12–The Peak of the Market Reorganization Act Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Mr. Speaker, a few words on this bill on Peak of the Market. Peak of the Market has been around for 80 years. It has an in­cred­ible reputation. I think of all the cor­por­ations in Manitoba, it's probably one of the best known as a Manitoba cor­por­ation which Manitobans buy product from every day of the year, and it's been well-supported. It's not just potatoes; the carrot

A call for the province to reinstate health care coverage for international students following the death of Tevin Obiga

On Monday March 14, Dougald and I asked questions on international student health care coverage and called on the Conservative government to reinstate the health care coverage that they took away in 2018.  The recent death of Tevin Obiga, who came from Kenya, highlights the need for such coverage.  The fact that more recent information has found he was a student at another institution than the University of Manitoba, only further emphasizes why all students should be covered provincially.   Inter­national Student Health Care Request to Reinstate Coverage Mr. Dougald  Lamont  (St. Boniface):   This weekend, my colleague from River Heights and I met with the family and friends of Tevin Obiga, a fourth-year U of M student from Kenya who recently died of a fungal infection. Our hearts go out to his family.       This PC gov­ern­ment stopped covering health care for Manitoba students from abroad in 2018. Now, in their grief, Tevin's family are facing a bill of over $500,000 fro