Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2022

There is a systemic problem in Manitoba - the delivery of timely, excellent rehabilitation for those who have received amputations

 On Thursday April 21, in Question Period, I followed up on my question of April 20 on an individual with a leg amputation who needed rehabilitation, but was not getting in.   I raised issues of two more individuals who have had problems accessing rehabilitation following amputation.  In one case, the situation was so chaotic Mr Carpenter said of Manitoba's Health Care system "Nobody has a clue what's going on."   My question and the Minister's response is below.  Con­stit­uent Health Concern Access to Rehabilitation Care Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):  Madam Speaker, yesterday I asked about the availability of rehab for a gentleman who had his leg amputated. Sadly, his ex­per­ience is not unique.       Shay-la MacLean also had a leg amputated, and instead of a focus on rehab, her pain and health con­cerns were initially dismissed.       Jeff Carpenter, who had parts of both his legs amputated, described being beyond frustrated at having to wait at lea

The Canadian Cancer Society's Daffodil Campaign

 On Thursday April 21, I had the opportunity to speak in response to a Ministerial Statement on the Canadian Cancer Society's Daffodil campaign, a month-long campaign to raise funds to help find better treatments and cures for cancer and to help those suffering from cancer.  My comments are below. Daffodil Campaign Mr. Gerrard:   Madam Speaker, cancer can be a tragic, challenging and difficult disease which too often still ends in death from the cancer. The good news is that there is more hope than ever with existing and new treatments that deliver longer and longer sur­vival and in­creasingly higher and higher rates of cure.       In Canada, much thanks is due to the Canadian Cancer Society and its efforts, including the Daffodil Campaign every year.       When I began my internship and residency to be a pediatrician in 1971 at the Uni­ver­sity of Minnesota, there was no evidence that a child with acute lympho­blastic leukemia could be cured. It was considered a  death sente

My comments on the 2022 provincial budget which was delivered on April 12

 On Wednesday, April 21, I had the opportunity to speak about the provincial budget  Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):         Richard Henry Dana, in his book, Two Years Before the Mast , describes his ex­per­ience as a seaman on a sailing ship which went all over the world, through storms and challenges during a two-year period from 1834 to 1836.       In spite of the storms and all the other challenges, he makes the point that the ship was at its very finest, its most fittest, its best ever at the end of the voyage; and this was because the ship was very well looked after when it was at sea. And it was improved every step of the way until it reached its best functioning state at the end of the voyage.       In Manitoba, we have a Conservative gov­ern­ment which has not learned the way of improving every day, of keeping matters in health in Manitoba in ship­shape and even better. We've been through two years of the COVID pandemic and, sadly, our health-care system, instead

The need to improve the availability and the timeliness of Rehabilitation Therapy for an individual with a leg amputation.

 On Wednesday April 20th, I asked in Question Period about the need for an individual who has had a leg amputation to have the rehabilitation he needs.   Sadly the rehabilitation has been delayed and delayed. This is unconscionable.   My question and the Minister's response are below.  Con­stit­uent Health Concern Access to Rehabilitation Care Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, Mr. Stanley Shymanski, a fit 77-year-old senior who worked out at a gym twice a day, was admitted to Grace Hospital February 25th with a minor infection in one foot. Two weeks later, he was operated on and received a below-knee amputation on his left foot.       Leaving aside the issue of whether the amputation could have been prevented, what Mr. Shymanski needs now is rehabilitation, which he would like to have at Deer Lodge, so that, hopefully, he will be able to have a prosthesis and be able to walk again.       Why has there been a five-week delay in starting rehab to enable his

National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week - and the urgent need for more people to be organ donors.

 On Wednesday April 20, I spoke in response to a Ministerial statement about the need to increase the number of people who are willing to be organ donors.   There are people in Manitoba who are suffering, and in some cases dying, because they can not get a kidney or a heart or a lung or a liver quickly enough.   My comments are below.  National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week Mr. Gerrard:   Madam Speaker, this coming week, the last full week in April, is national organ and tissue  awareness week. Originating in 1997 on an initiative of Dan McTeague, then-Liberal Member of Parliament, this week brings attention to the urgent need for more people to indicate they're willing to be organ and tissue donors.       The latest information on Transplant Manitoba's website shows that there are more than 200 Manitobans waiting for a kidney transplant alone, not including other types of transplants. The high number is likely due in part to delays and backlogs.       The st

The need to act with vigour and with urgency to reduce Manitoba's greenhouse gas emissions

On Tuesday April 19th, a spoke in a Members' Statement on the urgency of action to reduce Manitoba's greenhouse gas emissions.  After two decades of ineffective action by NDP and Conservative governments, Manitoba is a laggard and must act with urgency to catch up.  There is a need not only to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also to position Manitoba well for the economy of the future which will rely more on electricity and less on fossil fuels.  My Members' Statement and Question in QP  are below.  Member's Statement - Manitoba's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, the window to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial aver­ages is rapidly closing. Action is needed now. Implementation and actually reducing greenhouse gas emissions takes time.       Because of inadequate action by consecutive NDP and PC gov­ern­ments, Manitoba's greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 5.6 per c

Preparedness for the blizzard and for floods

On Wednesday April 13 2022 Question Period, with the approaching blizzard, Dougald Lamont, the Manitoba Liberal Leader was the only person to ask about the government's preparedness.   Notably, though it is usual for the Minister responsible to speak in a Ministerial Statement on the situation and the government's state of readiness, this did not happen. Dougald's question and the minister's response are below. Blizzard–Flooding Preparedness Mr. Lamont:   Again, we are concerned about the cuts to the Emergency Measures Organi­zation, prepared­ness and response. And given the out­comes of the pandemic and the response in Manitoba, and the track record of neglect on emergency response is very con­cern­ing. We need a strong, effective and in­de­pen­dent Emergency Measures Organi­zation–Manitobans can rely on in­de­pen­dent experts with a plan.       Can the Premier assure us that the gov­ern­ment is prepared for the impact of this blizzard and the flood that may foll

Bill 32 - The Victims' Bill of Rights Amendment Act

 On Monday April 11 I spoke at Second Reading to Bill 32 - The Victims' Bill of Rights Amendment Act.  My comments are below:  Bill 32–The Victims' Bill of Rights Amendment Act   Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, I speak to Bill 32, the victims of crime amend­ment act.       First of all, it's a positive step forward to be able to provide family members of the victims with support and with compensation. Manitoba Liberals will sup­port this bill. We also see it as positive that there's an expansion of con­di­tions for Legal Aid help for victims of sexual assault to help protect their personal infor­ma­tion and personal privacy and make sure they're well-represented in court cases.       I think it's im­por­tant to acknowl­edge that family victim–members–family members of a victim can be affected in a major, major way. If a victim is killed, there may be a loss of family income, a loss of family support, loss of a loved one. If it is a

The need for much better action to prevent type 2 diabetes

 On Thursday April 7, in Question Period, I brought up the results of a recent study in the United States which shows an alarming increase in the number of young people with prediabetes.  It has risen from 11 per cent of youth in the year 2000, to 28 percent of youth since the latest year.  The article can be found by clicking on this Hon . Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, for 23 years I've called on the gov­ern­ment to implement effective measures to prevent diabetes. For 23 years, NDP and Conservative gov­ern­ments have failed to do this.       Since 2000, the number of youth with prediabetes in the US has jumped from  11 per cent to 28 per cent, a shocking and stunning increase. I table the scientific paper.       The costs of inaction are large  to the health of individuals and in costs to our health-care system. A diabetes strategy which primarily provides more dialysis treatments and

The need for better support for adults with autism who have an IQ above 80

 Wednesday April 6, in Question Period, I asked the Minister of Families about an 18 year old boy with autism who needs support services, but has so far been unable to get it.   Individuals with Autism -  Support Services Criteria Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, I have written to the Minister of Families about an 18-year-old with autism who clearly needs supports which are being denied them.       Because their IQ is above 80, they do not fit the minister's category for support, yet the 18-year-old's learning, processing, planning and functional deficits are such that they des­per­ately need the support in order to have the best chance of success.       I ask the minister whether she will do what Newfoundland and Labrador are doing, which is to eliminate the IQ criteria for support for autism, and instead base the support on functional needs. Hon. Rochelle  Squires  (Minister of Families):  I thank the member for the question, and I'm always hap

Recognizing Dr. Joss Reimer

  Wednesday April 6, I spoke in response to a Ministerial statement to pay tribute to the work that Dr Joss Reimer has done during the pandemic.  My comments are below. Mr. Gerrard:   Madam Speaker, Manitoba Liberal MLAs join all other MLAs in recognizing the efforts and the achievements of Dr. Joss Reimer and her team in leading the effort to get as many Manitobans as possible vaccinated to protect them from COVID‑19 infections. It has been a major effort and has been very important in protecting all Manitobans from the serious impacts of the SARS‑CoV‑2 virus infection.       The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control in the United States clearly shows that unvaccinated people aged 12 years and older have a 21‑fold higher risk of dying from COVID‑19 and a seven‑fold higher risk of being hospitalized from COVID-19 than individuals who are vaccinated with a primary series and a booster dose. With such high risks it is important, as Dr. Reimer emphasizes it, that everyone w

Delays in being placed in a personal care home, as a result of delays in discharge planning.

 On Tuesday April 5, I asked in question period about an individual who has been experiencing a delay in being placed in a personal care home primarily as a result of a delay in assessment and referral while at the Grace Hospital.  Fortunately, a few days after I asked the question, which is below, the woman was able to be transferred to the personal care home of her choice.  Personal-Care-Home Placement -  Con­stit­uent Case Concern Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, as I wrote the minister, Edith Berlin, a 96‑year-old woman, survived a three-day horrific ex­per­ience at the Grace emergency room.       After treatment for a urinary tract infection and shortness of breath, she's been medically stable, now, for five days. For five days, she's been ready to go to a personal-care home, the only place she can get the 24-hour care she needs.       Why, I ask, has the personal-care home of her choice, the Simkin Centre, not yet even received her application, n

The Global Council for Political Renewal

  On Tuesday April 5, 2022 I spoke on a Member's statement about the Global Council for Political Renewal, an organization which I and others have been involved in founding.  My comments are below.   Global Council for Political Renewal Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, March 31st was a significant day. Elected politicians representing countries around the globe signed off on a constitution and executive for a new organi­zation: the Global Council for Political Renewal.       It is an organization which is badly needed. It will focus on promoting and improving ethics in politics; on promoting human rights and relieving human suffering through en­gage­ment; on promoting social, environmental and economic justice through policy dialogue; on promoting global peace through diplo­macy; and on advancing human development through research, education and training.       The president of the organization is Bridget Masango, a South African Democratic Alliance poli

Waiting for Spinal Surgery

On Monday April 4th, I asked in Question Period about Brenda Spearman who is having severe pain and is waiting for spinal surgery Manitobans Waiting for Spinal Surgery -  Wait-List Infor­ma­tion for Patients Hon. Jon  Gerrard (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, Brenda Spearman   is waiting for spinal surgery. She has a lot of pain. Her current quality of life is zero. She's aware she might be able to go to Sanford Health in Fargo, North Dakota, for her surgery.       However, she doesn't know if there is a list for people to go to North Dakota. She doesn't know if she's on that list or not. And if she's not on the list, she's not sure how she can get on the list. And if there is somewhere a decision that's been made that she's not to be on the list, she needs to know how to appeal that decision.       I ask the Minister of Health: Will she provide answers to these questions that Brenda and others have about the gov­ern­ment's list for people to g

Take Down Tobacco Day

On Monday April 4th, I spoke in response to a Ministerial statement on Take Down Tobacco Day.  My comments below are on the need to reduce smoking and also the need to reduce exposure to radon in Manitoba.    Mr. Gerrard:   Madam Speaker, today is Take Down Tobacco day, a day when we need to dedicate our­selves to reducing smoking and reducing vaping, parti­cularly that using nicotine, in our province.       Let's look back for a moment. Manitoba took a major step forward in 2003 and 2004. This included the esta­blish­ment of an all-party com­mit­tee on en­viron­­mental tobacco smoke. The committee found it was time to ban smoking in indoor public places. A bill to achieve this was passed June the 10th, 2004 and came into effect October 2004. The result of this has been a continuing decline in smoking in the years since then, and we thank all those who have helped in this effort to reduce smoking in our province.       The most recent estimate of the rate of smoking in Manito