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A Conservative resolution to address the problems they have created

On April 26th, a Conservative private members resolution was brought forward.  My comments are below.  

Res. 11–Strengthening, Rebuilding, Investing, and Recovering in 2022

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): The hon­our­able member who's intro­duced this motion talked about the real danger of having an NDP gov­ern­ment. Well, I would like to comment here that there is also a real danger right now with a Conservative gov­ern­ment, that we have a gov­ern­ment which, essentially, believes that it can say one thing and that that gives it permission to do some­thing completely opposite.

      The gov­ern­ment says that it is trying to strengthen health care, but the health-care system is now at its most problematic that it has ever been. I have talked with health pro­fes­sionals. They talk about the chaos, they talk about a gov­ern­ment which has lost its way, it lost its compass. We have a major hospital in this province which has been without hot water for month–weeks. We've got large numbers of positions vacant.

      Good manage­ment is about thinking ahead and building a team, but we have a Minister of Health (Ms. Gordon) who has said "they–(referring to people in her department) are going to fix it", because she can't. That's too bad for us and for the province.

      The gov­ern­ment talks about clearing the surgical and diag­nos­tic backlog, but they give us a number in the budget which is picked out of a hat, has no plan on which it is based, no clear allocation of what those dollars are going to be used and how they will actually fix the health care and what, even, will be the target.

      It's a gov­ern­ment which should have, in May of 2020, two years ago, realized that there was going to be a backlog and developed a plan and presented it then. But two years later, we still don't have a plan, but we have a gov­ern­ment which is talking but there's no basis underneath that talk for really doing very much.

      The gov­ern­ment–the member talks about concern with inflation, and yet the gov­ern­ment goes around raising hydro rates and jacking up costs, triggering more inflation. The gov­ern­ment talks about building the economy, and yet we have at the moment, one of the greatest net out-migrations of people from Manitoba to other provinces that we have ever seen.

      Last year, it was more than 12,000 people net leaving Manitoba to go to other provinces because they see better op­por­tun­ities, more positive things happening in other provinces. You don't build an economy by making things so problematic here that people are leaving in such large numbers.

      The gov­ern­ment has talked about investing in com­mu­nities, but we have com­mu­nities, in the North particularly, which are ravaged by diabetes, with up to 50 per cent or more people in the com­mu­nity with diabetes, and here the gov­ern­ment has not even got a plan to help these com­mu­nities.

      We have an Afghan com­mu­nity in Winnipeg who are hurting because Afghanistan has been taken over by the Taliban, and they are doing dastardly things there in Afghanistan. And yet, the gov­ern­ment has not reached out to the Afghan com­mu­nity in Winnipeg to say, how can we help?

      This is a gov­ern­ment which talks a talk but doesn't get things done. The gov­ern­ment talks about recon­ciliation, but the Auditor General has provided the real answer that this gov­ern­ment is not doing what it is supposed to be doing. The fact is that we need leadership in ending the discrimination against Indigenous people that we've seen in the past, and which, sadly, too often is continuing.

      And we see this problem of a gov­ern­ment which is dividing people in the rise in anti-Semitism in Manitoba. Now this is not recon­ciliation itself, but it is a reflection of the divisions that are occurring under this gov­ern­ment and the need to bring people together, to work together to bring about real recon­ciliation.

      We have a reso­lu­tion which talks about protecting the environ­ment and yet we have a budget and a gov­ern­ment which has done nothing about lead toxicity and lead pollution, which is a major issue in this province and has been known for years and has been not addressed adequately by any gov­ern­ment.

      We have a gov­ern­ment which talks about climate change and yet the reality is stark that Manitoba's greenhouse gas emissions, in the most recent year, have gone up by 5.6 per cent in 2020 over 2005.

      We are an outlier among provinces in not addressing climate change, in not reducing green­house gases. This is a gov­ern­ment which has lost its way, which talks about addressing climate change, but lets the greenhouse gases increase and increase.

      And it is notable that 2020 was the first year of the pandemic when there was a lot fewer people driving around and less con­sump­tion of fossil fuels, but even in that year in Manitoba, when you compare it with 2005, we were going up. The rest of Canada is going down almost 10 per cent from 2005 and Manitoba is going up.

      It's a striking record in sharp contrast to this reso­lu­tion. We need to con­front the reality of what is happening. We need to talk about the real danger that this Conservative gov­ern­ment is inflicting on Manitobans right now.

      With that, I'm going to pass to others to speak a little bit because there's much more that needs to be said about this danger.


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