The first few days of November and the final days of the 3rd session of the 41st Legislature proved to be full of excitement at the Legislature as we debated several issues in the house.
Tempers flared as the leader of the NDP, Wab Kinew, was called out for making inappropriate comments to the MLA for Assiniboia.
Read about it here: Kinew apologizes to Fletcher in legislature after telling him to keep 'mouth shut' https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/kinew-apologizes-to-fletcher-in-legislature-after-telling-him-to-keep-mouth-shut-499976232.html
My constituency of St. Boniface faced a frightening situation on Monday as flames tore through an oilseed processing plant in Winnipeg's Mission Industrial Park. The fire produced a plume of thick black smoke that could be seen for miles.
I have heard from several area residents who are concerned about industrial fires and hazardous waste being stored in nearby industrial parks.
I echoed the concerns of St. Boniface residents in an interview with CBC Manitoba. 'Nasty soup' of chemicals in industrial park worries St. Boniface residents after latest fire https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/st-boniface-residents-concerned-nasty-chemicals-1.4894826
The Manitoba government has a serious credibility issue when it comes to cleaning up contaminated sites, including areas in St. Boniface.
Watch as I ask Premier Pallister when his government plans on getting to work: https://youtu.be/56d-ri8jBA8
SPECIAL DRUGS PROGRAM
The Pallister government’s cuts to Manitoba’s special drugs program is forcing some Manitobans with Diabetes to choose between insulin and bankruptcy because of new costs that are not covered by Manitoba's pharmacare program.
Watch the full video here: https://youtu.be/PV0XOv_i4tY
MANITOBA’S METH EPIDEMIC
Meth addiction is a fast-moving epidemic and the Manitoba government is stuck reacting in slow motion. This is not just a health issue. This is a community safety issue.
Yet, we haven’t heard a word on prevention from the Pallister government.
Earlier this week during question period, I asked the Premier to launch a public awareness campaign to help fight Manitoba’s meth epidemic.
MANITOBA’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE GOES UP
Last Friday, statistics came out showing that Manitoba was the only province where unemployment went up.
Large industries are seeing major job losses under Brian Pallister's watch. We need an economy that works for everyone, not just a few.
In 2017, there were +12,900 jobs and -2,200 jobs. The next year, there were +15,000 jobs - but losses of -10,100.
AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE
Winnipeg Free Press – November 5th More voices join chorus of critics against privatizing province's air ambulance service https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/more-join-chorus-of-critics-against-privatizing-provinces-air-ambulance-service-499726891.html
"You can’t have a situation where people are only going to be fighting profitable forest fires and answering profitable emergency calls. That’s not how emergency services can, or should, work," Lamont said.
Winnipeg Free Press – November 5th Province putting CancerCare Manitoba under financial microscope https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/province-putting-cancercare-manitoba-under-financial-microscope-499723961.html
Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont — took issue with government looking to hire another outside consultant to conduct another health-care review, after KPMG and Nova Scotia-based health-care consultant Dr. David Peachey trod similar territory of late, leading to the overhaul of emergency-care access in city hospitals.
"I have a problem with putting everything out to consultants, because they don’t have any skin in the game," Lamont said.
"...We also have a government full of people who are supposed to be paid to do this stuff. So why are we paying extra to outside consultants? I don’t understand. Doesn’t anyone who works for the PCs do anything?"
ABORIGINAL VETERANS' DAY
On Thursday, I had the honour of attending a flag raising at Winnipeg City Hall in honour of Aboriginal Veterans' Day.
Aboriginal Canadians have fought and died bravely for Canada in many conflicts. What is tragic is that despite their sacrifice, they were denied rights and basic benefits like pensions that others received.
Thanks to the Mayor and the City of Winnipeg for recognizing Aboriginal Veterans’ day.
It was an honour to rise and speak in remembrance as we approach the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War on November 11, 1918, and of all those who served before and since.
Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qDnjWUnhcw&feature=youtu.be
It may be difficult now to imagine the sheer horror and destruction of those wars which left so many million dead - so many young lives cut short.
Manitobans signed up in extraordinary numbers, and tributes to their sacrifice are seen not just down Memorial Boulevard, but in memorials and cenotaphs in every town.
I have many relatives who served in conflicts, in combat, non-combat and in civilian support.
They were lucky, and I am lucky, because they survived, as so many did not. In the midst of the horror of war, we need to recall the common humanity we share.
We remember on November 11th to recognize the sacrifice of the dead. We owe it to them, and to ourselves, to ensure that those who fought and those who died, did not fight and die in vain, but for a better world.
It is up to us to honour them by building that better world.