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Showing posts from June, 2022

Canadian Black Artists United Reception

 On June 26th, Naomi and I were fortunate to be able to attend the reception by the Canadian Black Artists United at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.  It featured art by Yisa Akinbolaji, Zavier Mutshipayi, Bola Oriyomi and Tuluwalope Toludare. 

Pushing for safe consumption sites and safe supply to reduce overdose deaths

  On Monday June 20th, Thomas Linner of the Manitoba Health Coalition, Arlene Last-Kolb Regional Director of Moms Stop the Harm and Winnipeg City Councillor Sherri Rollins were at the Manitoba Legislature to advocate for better measures to reduce deaths from drug overdoses, most particularly for safe consumption sites and for a safe supply, measures which can reduce overdose deaths.  

The 30th Anniversary for the St Norbert Arts Centre

 On June 19th, I joined many others at the 30th anniversary celebration of the St. Norbert Arts Centre.   For the occasion, the Art gallery was named - The Women of Vision Gallery, in honour of Shirley Loewen.   The new stage was dedicated - the Jerry Atwell Theatre Centre.  The lane leading to SNAC was name - Louise Lane - after long time supporter of SNAC - Louise May.  It was an afternoon of entertainment and celebration. 

Brain Tumour Walk and the Walk for ALS

 On June 18, I joined others in Assinboine Park involved with the Brain Tumour Walk and the Walk for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  Photos are below.

The Indigenous Science Conference in Winnipeg June 14-16

  June 14 to 16, I spent three days at the Turtle Island Indigenous Science Conference.  It was very worthwhile.   Speaker after speaker talked of the benefits of using both western or mainstream science and Indigenous science.  There is much we can learn from both approaches.   With me above is Myrle Ballard, one of the principal organizers of the conference.  Myrle Ballard, from Lake St. Martin in Manitoba, worked closely with Roger Dube a professor emeritus at Rochester Institute of Technology, and many others to make this conference, the first of its kind, a success.  As Roger Dube, Mohawk and Abenaki, a physicist, commented "My feeling is that the fusion of traditional ecological knowledge and Western science methodology should rapidly lead the researchers to much more holistic solutions to problems."   Dr. Myrle Ballard was the first person from her community to get a PhD.  She is currently a professor at the University of Manitoba and the Director of Indigenous Science

Cruisin' down the Crescent for the Children's Rehabilitation Foundation

 On the morning of June 12, I joined many others in a walk down Wellington Crescent to raise funds for the Children's Rehabilitation Foundation.   

Recognition of Charles Huband's work with the Westminster Housing Society to help ensure low income spaces are available for people

 On June 11th in the afternoon, I joined others to honour Charles Huband on his 90th birthday for the contribution he has made to the Westminster Housing Society which provides access to low income housing for residents in the Broadway neighbourhood and nearby.   As part of the celebration a mural has been erected on Langside Ave to recognize Charles Huband's achievements. 

The Academy Road Street Festival on June 11

 During the day on Saturday June 11th, our River Heights team helped with a booth on Academy Road.  A lot of people came by.   The event was a success.  Thank you for all who helped make this a successful day. Some photos are below. 

Kelvin High School's Physical Activity Center is helping students keep fit.

 On June 11, in the morning, I attended the official launch of the new Physical Activity Centre at Kelvin High School.   Although it was completed previous to this, the official opening had been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, I am with Councillor John Orlikow at the Physical Activity Centre.  We learned that the centre is being well used and is helping students keep fit to be able to participate in sports and other activities.   

Achieving funding for Cochlear Implant Replacement Processors in Manitoba

  On June 9, Health Minister Audrey Gordon announced that the government would be funding 80% of the cost of replacement processors for those with Cochlear Implants.  Gladys Nielsen and I had worked hard for the last to years for advocate for this.  It was an important announcement for people with Cochlear implants.  When the processor stops working, it is imperative to have a replacement.  Because it is expensive, a number of people with Cochlear Implants would not have been able to afford this without this provincial funding.  

In Ottawa with Cindy Lamoureux, MLA Tyndall Park

 June 6th to June 9th, Cindy Lamoureux and I were in Ottawa meeting with various Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries and participating in a recognition of Philippine Heritage Month. We thank Agnes Dunne for helping to arrange these meetings. Several photos are below. 

Honouring the Survivors of the Japanese Canadian Internment Camps during the Second World War

On June 4, Naomi and I were honoured to be able to attend Gaman: Honouring our Survivors Dinner.  This dinner honoured the survivors of the Japanese Canadians in Internment Camps during the Second World War.  The photo above is of the many survivors who attended the dinner.   

Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee

On June 4th, I was fortunate to be asked to speak as part of a Community Service of Thanksgiving for her Majesty's Reign.  The occasion was to recognize the 70 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II - her Platinum Jubilee.  It was held in The Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist in Winnipeg.  We learned that this church was one of only two in the world which have a stained glass window featuring the Queen (shown in photo below).  My brief comments on the occasion are below:   We are here today to pay tribute to the longest reigning monarch in British history, and one of the longest reigning monarchs in the world. It is not just the length of her reign, but the quality of her time as monarch.    When measured by both length of time and quality of rule, Elizabeth II stands out and it is for this reason that we are here today on her Platinum Jubilee. I remember June 2, 1953, the day of her coronation.   My brother Chris was born a year earlier on June 2, 1952.    At the t

Unusual in Every Way

On May 29 Naomi and I attended the screening of the Documentary "Unusual in Every Way" a film produced and directed by Yolande Papini-Pollock and Don Barnard and shown at the Rady Jewish Community Centre's Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival.  It documents the difficulties in the life of Don Barnard, an Indigenous man living with a disability and affected by the intergenerational trauma of Indigenous people in Manitoba.  The film highlights the unusual friendship Don Barnard developed with Solly Dreman, an Israeli professor of clinical psychology and his wife Orly, and includes a visit by Don Barnard to Israel. 

Black Manitoba Chamber of Commerce Gala Dinner

  I was privileged to attend the first Black Manitoba Chamber of Commerce dinner on May 27th.  Congratulations to the founder and president Zita Somakoko (top above) and to all those who helped with ensuring the success of this inaugural event. 

Airships to the Arctic Conference May 26

 On May 26th, I was fortunate to be able to attend a zoom conference on the future of Airships.   Airships have some major advantages in terms of using less in the way of fossil fuels and in terms of being able to transport large loads efficiently as the slides below show.   The presentations at the Conference were very positive towards airships and demonstrated that in the next few years we can expect to hear a lot  more about the progress using airships.   Thanks are due to Barry Prentice of the University of Manitoba who was the prime organizer of this international conference.  It is to be noted that the first Airships to the Arctic Conference was held in 2002.  I was fortunate to attend that conference as well.   The two photos below, taken from a presentation at the conference, show 1) graphically the advantage in airships for large cargos and 2) a summary of the advantages of airships.

Bill 234–The Drug-Related Death Bereavement Day Act

 On Wednesday June 1, I spoke in the Manitoba Legislature at third reading on Bill 234 which makes the first Sunday in May Drug-Related Death Bereavement Day.    Bill 234–The Drug-Related Death Bereavement Day Act   Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):   Madam Speaker, I rise to support this bill. It is a sig­ni­fi­cant bill and I think helps us not only to help those who have lost loved ones with a day that is set aside spe­cific­ally to remember those who are gone. But it is also, I think, is im­por­tant in that it will provide a day that will bring more attention to the need for better action to end the tragedies of Manitobans who are dying from over­doses.       It has been terrible, what has happened in the last few years, the increases [in deaths from overdoses] , and hopefully someday we will reach a time when we will eliminate these terrible tragedies and be able to much better prevent overdose deaths. I look forward to being part of a movement which will bring in changes

Deaf-Blind Awareness Month

  On Wednesday June 1, I spoke in the Manitoba Legislature on a Ministerial Statement about Deaf-Blind Awareness Month.   My comments are below:    Mr. Gerrard:  Madam Speaker, June, this month, deaf-blind awareness month, is an important time for us to pay attention to those who are deaf‑blind; individuals with a substantial degree of both hearing and vision loss, the combination of which results in significant difficulties in accessing infor­ma­tion, in pursuing educational, vocational, recreational and social goals.       It's estimated that there are about 460,000 deaf-blind individuals in Canada. This is a very substantial number. My father, in the last few years of his life, lost both his sight and his hearing, so I have some personal ex­per­ience of the impact of losing both sight and hearing.       He was legally blind as a result of acute macular degeneration. His hearing was almost zero without a hearing aid. His hearing loss may have been in part a result of his

Bill 41–The Child and Family Services Amendment Act

 On Tuesday May 31, I spoke at second reading on Bill 41 which deals with changes to the Child and Family Services act.  The primarily purpose of this act is to allow Peguis First Nation, which is the first Indigenous community to take over full responsibility for child welfare in its community, to partner with the provincial government in the care of children.  Sadly, there remain problems within the system, in particular with the quality of the provincial database, which need to be corrected.   This was an opportunity for me to speak out about this issue.  While Liberals fully support the partnership with Peguis First Nation, we want to make sure the information in the database which is to be shared is of high quality.  Bill 41–The Child and Family Services Amendment Act   Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):  We see the im­portance of having this bill proceed so that the Peguis First Nation and their child and family services agency can operate effectively together with the prov­

Electric Vehicles: Why is Manitoba so far behind other provinces which use primarily hydroelectric power?

 On Tuesday May 31, Cindy Lamoureux, Liberal MLA for Tyndall Park, asked the government why is our province so far behind in electric vehicle purchases compared to other provinces which rely primarily on hydroelectric power.   There is a distinct advantage for Manitoba, as a province relying primarily on hydroelectric power, to push the purchase and use of electric vehicles.   Not only does it help reduce greenhouse gas production, but it also means we are  purchasing and using more of our own hydroelectric power - giving an extra push for our own economy.   The sad truth is that the Conservative government in Manitoba has done very little to help make using electric vehicles more attractive in Manitoba, compared to the efforts of British Columbia and Quebec.  Electric Vehicle Purchases Promotion and Use Ms. Cindy  Lamoureux  (Tyndall Park):  Provinces with primarily hydroelectric power are most effective in reducing emissions with electric vehicles. BC and Quebec have realized this
 On Tuesday May 31, I spoke in response to a Ministerial Statement on the conditions facing farmers in Manitoba.  My comments (from Hansard) are below.  Excess Moisture Affecting Agricultural Crops Mr. Gerrard:  Madam Speaker, we are in a tough situation in Manitoba at the moment, with all the excess moisture and the crops being seeded later than usual. I think it's actually a–pretty positive news that we've got 36 to 46 per cent of the farmland seeded. It looked like it was lower than that, and given the lateness of the spring, I think that we need to look at the fact that there is already a sig­ni­fi­cant proportion of the seeding done.       There is time, still, 'til the June 20th, ordinary date for crop insurance, for seeding to be completed. I called, twice, on the gov­ern­ment to make a decision to extend the crop insurance. I'm not sure if extending the paperwork also 'instends' the planting date. If that's true, that's good.       I've

The Jewish Heritage Month Act

 On Tuesday May 31, I spoke to Bill 240, The Jewish Heritage Month Act. My comments are below.  Bill 240 – The Jewish Heritage Month Act Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):  Madam Speaker, I speak to this bill, which is an im­por­tant and sig­ni­fi­cant one. I want to recog­nize the members of the Jewish com­mu­nity in Manitoba who are here. Thank you for coming and thank you for your con­tri­bu­tions to Manitoba and to Canada.       When I grew up in Saskatoon, my best friend in high school was a member of the Jewish com­mu­nity in Saskatoon. And I learned much from him, just as I have learned a great deal from many others who I have met along my life's journey. In Montreal, when I was at medical school, there were many of my fellow students and members of the local McGill campus Liberal club who were Jewish, so we had many good times together. *  (10:40)       Here, in Winnipeg, I have been fortunate to represent River Heights, and many people in the Jewish com­mu­nity. I