Criticism of Manitoba Conservative government and Pallister

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laine lowe laine lowe's picture

It really is so weird to spend a quarter of a million dollars on this campaign. Obviously too many people are not that confident with easing into economic and social normalcy as Pallister is and they are trying to sway people to embrace this "restart" in a brave new world. But the most galling thing was that he said that people complained about him not spending enough money on the pandemic at the start of the pandemic and he is now being criticized for spending money. Does he not get how idiotic and insensitive he sounds. Spending for health and economic support is completely different than spending for an advertising campaign to shore up support for your policy choices. He really is the worst.


laine lowe wrote:
It really is so weird to spend a quarter of a million dollars on this campaign. Obviously too many people are not that confident with easing into economic and social normalcy as Pallister is and they are trying to sway people to embrace this "restart" in a brave new world. But the most galling thing was that he said that people complained about him not spending enough money on the pandemic at the start of the pandemic and he is now being criticized for spending money. Does he not get how idiotic and insensitive he sounds. Spending for health and economic support is completely different than spending for an advertising campaign to shore up support for your policy choices. He really is the worst.

I would actually like an apology from Roussin, Pallister, and all the other public health officials, politicians, and all the other media people not only for myself, but for anyone else who questioned the necessity of these restrictions and everyone they have wagged their fingers at. They are responsible for creating an environment where questioning these restrictions or mentioning their downsides were villified as uncaring, selfish people who didn't care about the elderly. When our numbers were much lower, there was much moralizing about how it wasn't okay to do the regular things people do, whether it was visiting people at Easter or playing basketball on a court. Well, today we tied a record for the highest ever number of new cases recorded. On the current path, we are likely to go past that. The active case count is also high. Hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and even deaths are likely to increase on this path. Why? Most of the new cases are happening in Brandon, and are said to be connected to a Maple Leaf plant. Granted it appears that health authorities are on top of tracking the cases at the moment. But can someone tell me why a similar trend which made it too dangerous for me to go to church in Easter is not dangerous enough to close down that meat packing plant, when they were notorious for spreading the virus? Just goes to show how much of a hypocrite Pallister and his government is.

The best way to restart the economy is to eliminate the virus. People won't go out if they are afraid of getting sick. I do believe in many cases that the fear is not justified by the facts, however making it seem like you don't care doesn't address that fear at all.


Looking for help chasing covid confirmed comrades?


The Manitoba government is looking for private call centres to help with COVID-19 contact tracing in case its current system can't keep up.

The province's Department of Health, Seniors and Active Living has put out a request for proposals to help with investigating cases of COVID-19, notifying close contacts of potential exposure, and following up daily with those people who are self-isolating.

The aim is to "proactively establish additional capacity" in case the health system's current contact tracing and case investigations can't keep up with demand, or if they are interrupted for some reason, the request for proposals reads.

This is very troubling for a number of reasons. Are they suggesting they believe a scenario will arise where contact tracers can't keep up with demand? What about the risks that onboarding the new client will slow down the response when time is of the essense in this outbreak? Why isn't the government instead building up surge capacity within the Health Links system now so it's ready to go if it's needed?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

This trend towards outsourcing such critical public services is very bothersome. All that is required is to ramp up staffing for public systems already in place. The same could be said with that idiotic move made by the Feds with WE charity. At least Manitoba is not sole sourcing although they did award a sole source contract at the start of the pandemic to be a call centre clearing house to handle all COVID programming/changes questions. Have no idea how that worked out since people still go to whatever crown or department they have a query with.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Manitobans For a Safe Return to School in September


We the undersigned call on the Government of Manitoba to provide a safe and equitable school reopening by committing to:

  1. Publicly-funded, school-supported instruction and assessment for all students, whether they are learning in the classroom or remotely from home. This requires sufficient staffing levels to not increase the workload of individual teachers. Medical documentation should not be required as a condition of access to public education for children who stay home;
  2. Provide school employees who request to work remotely appropriate opportunities to support students learning at home;
  3. Class sizes small enough to support physical distancing of two metres; 
  4. Make mask use mandatory for all teachers, staff and students, providing exemptions where appropriate;
  5. Assess ventilation and/or filtration systems in all school settings and follow all  recommendations for upgrades required to drastically reduce virus transmission;
  6. Reinstate the mandatory two-week self-isolation order for all non-essential out-of-province travellers; 
  7. Provide full paid sick leave to all divisional employees who self isolate while ill, awaiting COVID-19 test results or recovering from COVID-19, including substitute employees;
  8. Hire additional supply teachers and educational assistants to address staff on leave. This will allow divisions to limit the number of classrooms and school contacts they are exposed to and exposing.

We know a safe return to school is possible - other countries have demonstrated this.

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Rally for a Safe September

Parents, students, teachers & community members: you are all invited to gather together and march to show the provincial government that we demand a new and better plan to keep children and teachers safe when they go back to school. Everyone is invited.

 5 pm, Thursday, August 27
Begin at Legislative Building then march to Vimy Ridge Park


Emergency room closure in Western Manitoba:


Residents in Roblin, Man. are frustrated and angry after they were told by Prairie Mountain Health the lab staff they've been recruiting for their town might not be stationed there. 

This comes after it was announced last Thursday the town's two lab technicians are temporarily being relocated to Russell, a town 50 kilometres south of Roblin.

On Friday, Manitoba Shared Health and Prairie Mountain Health announced the emergency department at the Roblin District Health Centre will be closed until further notice.

In an email release, the health authorities said staff shortages created by retirements, maternity leaves and staff departures prompted the shut down. 

Worried that their diagnostic and emergency services will disappear for good, the Roblin Clinic Board, a group of six volunteers — three council members and three community members — who run the local health clinic, began recruiting more lab technicians.

I should note that recruitment and retention problems for health care practitioners in the rural areas has long been a problem. How do you sell small-town living to medical professionals trained in big cities?

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Guess who's now picking personal fights with the President of the MMF:


"It's just David Chartrand looking to sue somebody and there's not many people in Manitoba that he hasn't chosen to sue," said Pallister. "David Chartrand likes to sue people and used to getting paid when he does it. What he's selling, we're noting buying."

Pallister said he has plenty of Metis friends and has too much respect for them to try to buy them to be his friends.

He added that Chartrand should return his emails, phone calls, and texts.

"I can only say to President Chartrand, if you really care about representing your people, stop trying to weasel money out of everybody, including Metis people, and start getting to the table and looking after the best interest."

Not that I'm a fan of Dr. Roussin or Cameron Friesen, but they were far more professional in their comments regarding the matter. This little shot I found interesting:

He (Chartrand) added he thinks Pallister's time is limited as the head of the conservatives. Chartrand believes the PCs will come to the MMF with an apology and try to work with the federation again once Pallister is gone.


What is up with this?


Some senior positions in Manitoba's health-care system will be eliminated, though it's unclear which jobs or how many people will be affected.

Some "redundant" positions will be eliminated, Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen confirmed on Thursday during a 1 p.m. COVID-19 update.

"There will be some positions that are shed," he said.

Friesen said the redundant jobs include back office, payroll, human resources and accounts receivable positions. Some positions are being consolidated, he said.

This doesn't seem like a suitable time to do this kind of restructuring.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

No, it doesn't. I think Pallister is trying to shove whatever is in his hit list agenda before an election where he might be defeated. He is also trying to push privatization of Manitoba Hydro, or at least some divisions. The privatization and dismantling of Ontario Hydro under Harris was at total shit show that ruined affordable energy for Ontario residents for decades and still going poorly.


This is the exact scenario I was afraid of. Pallister is old enough that after this term he wanted to retire and not go for term number 3 for a long time. That means he has nothing to lose. He'll go ahead with his privatization agenda, leave, and let his party take the fall for it in the next election. The scary thing is that the damage will be so severe that actually undoing it will be an uphill battle, if any successive government attempts to do so as well.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Exactly, Aristotleded. That was definitely what Ontario experienced. Doer and the NDP couldn't undo the privatization of MTS. And lots of privatization also happened under Mulroney and Harper that will never be undone.


I would quibble and say that Doer didn't undo the privatization of MTS rather than he couldn't, but otherwise I agree.


More about the plan to stop the privatization of Hydro:


Kinew added the NDP is going to go a step further than providing public pressure, he said the party will introduce legislation that it intends to bring to a vote as soon as possible when the legislature resumes.

“We are going to bring forward a bill that says should this government seek to privatize that fiber-optic backbone that they’d have to have a referendum first,” he said.

In a statement, Crown Services Minister Jeff Wharton said “Manitobans Hydro belongs to Manitobans and will remain public.”

He added the province is “committed to strengthening Hydro as a public asset that benefits all Manitobans.”

I don't know if it will do much good since the PCs have the numbers to stop this bill fron even coming to a vote. Pallister may not care about re-election, but hopefully enough of his MLAs do that they stand up and put a stop to this. That's the best case and only realistic thing I can see.


Now CancerCare is under attack:


CancerCare Manitoba staff are concerned that the upcoming closure of two sites in Winnipeg could be detrimental to patients' health, and goes against the mission of the organization, according to a letter sent to the provincial government earlier this month.

The provincial cancer care agency announced on Sept. 4 that people receiving outpatient cancer care at Concordia Hospital and Seven Oaks General Hospital were told to make plans for accessing care elsewhere in Winnipeg. Those sites are going to shut down, according to a news release, with a planned consolidation of CancerCare's six Manitoba sites to four expected to be completed by the end of the year.

"To say we are disappointed is a huge understatement," staff members from the Concordia location wrote in a letter to Premier Brian Pallister and Health Minister Cameron Friesen.

"Many of our patients have expressed their disappointment with the news. They state this will have a definite impact on their cancer journey.… One patient stated this will affect her decision on whether she will even continue on treatment at all."

The Opposition NDP obtained a copy of the letter, dated Sept. 10, through a freedom of information request, and released it to the news media on Friday.

The NDP also released a copy of a 2019 public tender that was issued to hire a consultant for an operational review of CancerCare Manitoba.

During a health crisis of all times?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

What an asshole move. CancerCare Manitoba is one of the best run and quality treatment programs in the country in my view.


I have to wonder if he think's he's hurting Winnipeg specifically because he knows he can beat up on the city without facing any real reprecussions? Would this move also have an impact on the rural constituents who make up the PC voting base and have to go into Winnipeg to get much of their health care needs met?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I knew someone living in Portage that had to come to Winnipeg for his cancer treatments so I imagine so do many rural constituents who have cancer.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Virtual Manitoba Book Launch Webinar Registration


A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency in Manitoba


Join us for an evening of music, a reading, author Q&A, and a panel discussion with local climate emergency activists.

Featuring a musical performance by Decades After Paris!

- Madeline Laurendeau, Manitoba Youth for Climate Action
- Eric Reder, Wilderness Committee
- Clayton Thomas-Muller,

Sponsored by:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Corporate Mapping Project, ECW Press, David Suzuki Foundation, Canada, Climate Action Network Canada, The Council of Canadians, CUPW, University of Winnipeg Department of Urban and Inner-City Studies, McNally Robinson, Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition, and Climate Action Team Manitoba.


Sep 29, 2020 07:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture



This year-old story is now coming back to haunt the province:


The head of the Manitoba Nurses Union says she is not surprised by figures that show an increase this year in vacant nursing positions — and what she describes as record numbers of nursing vacancies in the health-care system. 

"It's exactly what nurses have been saying for the past two-and-a-half years," said Darlene Jackson.

"What I am hearing on the front line is that we have gone from a chronic nursing shortage to an acute nursing shortage. The vacancy rate speaks for itself."

Winnipeg regional health authority figures provided to CBC News on Thursday actually show there were 88 more active nurse positions as of Aug. 24 this year than in August 2018 — 7,615 active nurses as opposed to 7,527.

However, those figures also show the vacancy rate in those nursing positions has gone up.

According to the WRHA, there were 1,350 active vacant nurse positions in the Winnipeg health authority region and Shared Health areas of Winnipeg as of Aug. 24, which represents 17.7 per cent of the nursing workforce.

Those numbers are up from August 2018, when the WRHA says there were 1,171 vacant nurse positions — a rate of 15.6 per cent.


Aristotleded24 wrote:

This is the exact scenario I was afraid of. Pallister is old enough that after this term he wanted to retire and not go for term number 3 for a long time. That means he has nothing to lose. He'll go ahead with his privatization agenda, leave, and let his party take the fall for it in the next election. The scary thing is that the damage will be so severe that actually undoing it will be an uphill battle, if any successive government attempts to do so as well.

Ever since I learned that he was taking two months holidays in Costa Rica, I felt he would try to get re-elected to "prove" his agenda was popular and then quit before the end of his second term to semi-retire with long holidays while "working" part-time in his corporate sector reward at an enormous salary. 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Meantime, as Pallister tries to dismantle our province's public goods and oversights, I suggest Manitobans on this board read and sign this letter/petition:

I liked Wab Kinew's email response:


I have opposed Bill 44 from the outset and agree wholeheartedly with the concerns you've raised.

That's why my team and I in the NDP caucus worked hard to delay this bill past certain legislative deadlines in March of this year - so Manitobans could have time to learn about this bill and speak out, and not have to do so while rightfully paying attention to the pandemic.

Yesterday we learned that we succeeded in effectively killing Bill 44, at least for this year, because due to our work in March the government has now run out of time to pass it before the upcoming throne speech when the legislative agenda resets.

This is an important victory but may be short lived. I fully expect Mr. Pallister to bring this bill back with a new number (so it won't be bill 44 anymore). So please do keep an eye on these developments and keep speaking out.

We will work hard to ensure the PUB and by extension Manitobans have a voice in ensuring fairness in our Province.

Take care,


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..signed. txs laine.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

'Very dark day in Manitoba history': NDP criticizes sale of Manitoba Hydro subsidiary

The Manitoba NDP is calling out the Pallister government for the sale of a subsidiary which was owned by Manitoba Hydro.

Teshmont was sold to Stantec on Thursday, with NDP Leader Wab Kinew saying this is the first step from the government to privatize Manitoba Hydro.

Kinew said in Hydro's annual report, which was released earlier this week, the Crown corporation was listed as the owners of Teshmont.

"The Pallister government as recently as yesterday, the executives at Manitoba Hydro as recently as yesterday, were saying there would be no privatization and yet today in black and white, we clearly see Manitoba Hydro has broken off a piece of their corporation and sold it off to a private company," said Kinew.

He said this is concerning because Manitobans have invested in the Crown corporation to keep their bills low.

"This government has no right to privatize Manitoba Hydro. This government has no right to break off our most important Crown corporation and sell it off, right from under our feet.

"It's a very dark day in Manitoba history."

Kinew said Teshmont has contributed millions of dollars to Hydro, and because of that, it was helping keep bills low for Manitobans.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The (Haunted) House Is Back In Session


Hosted by Communities Not Cuts Manitoba

The Manitoba Government resumes on Oct 7th, and people are scared. This government continues to make cuts and pursue an agenda of austerity and privatization amidst the pandemic.

Join us in taking action to tell the Pallister government that the actions and cuts they are making have serious implications, and Manitobans are scared.

As MLA’s return to the Leg, we will have it decorated with “tombstone” signs that lament all of the things (services, organizations, experiences, etc) that are lost or under threat due to the cuts of this government. Due to COVID, we will not be gathering in person but will be collecting signs and having a small group put them up at the Leg.

Ways you can take action!
Make a sign - Cut out a tombstone from cardboard and make a sign with the services that you are missing due to the government's cuts. We will post locations for sign drop off or arrange pick ups to get them from you.

Post on social media with the prompt: “What scares you about the actions of Manitoba's government?” and hashtag #WhatScaresYouMB
Follow along on Oct 7th on this event page and CNC social media to amplify the action.

Tune in to our online broadcast at 5pm!

We will also be having a small, socially distanced art build in Vimmy Ridge Park on Sunday October 4, 1-4pm. Please message us if you can make it or have materials to offer, and we will be making a schedule to less than ten people at a time.


They're not even waiting for privatization:


Manitoba Hydro is being told to charge customers an extra 2.9 per cent for electricity starting in December.

The provincial government introduced legislation Friday that includes the rate increase, bypassing the usual practice of Hydro asking for a rate increase and then the Public Utilities Board having the final say.

NDP Leader Wab Kinew decried the government order, found in the Budget Implementation and Tax Statutes Amendment Act, as sneaky and underhanded.

"As it stands, there should be no increase to people's hydro bills this coming year, but because of this bill, introduced at the last minute, the Friday before a long weekend, now Mr. Pallister and his PCs want to raise your hydro bills going into the next year," Kinew said.

"I don't think that's fair."

Kinew said his party will try to stop the legislation from passing.

I thought the PCs were all about reducing burdens and making life mor affordable for everyday people? Will this not have an impact on the small businesses they claim to care about? Weren't they particularly angry over the PST increase?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Maybe they want to turn around the fact that Manitobans pay much less for electricity than their counterparts in other provinces that went the privatization route. Perhaps if they unilaterally hike up the rates, they can make the claim that private industry will provide it cheaper due to the old canards of competition and non-unionized efficiencies (cheaper labour). Hopefully, the MTS mistake won't be made again. Privatization of Ontario Hydro was a disaster.


Yet another encampment reminds us that Brianvilles remain a problem in the city.


Dangerous infection moving through Winnipeg streets:


An infectious diseases specialist is calling on doctors to be aware of the signs of a rare illness he recently diagnosed four times among homeless people in Winnipeg — one that commonly afflicted soldiers during the First World War.

Dr. Carl Boodman says trench fever is also known to infect people in crowded refugee camps, but he treated four patients within a couple of months, and they had all lived in shelters.

The disease is transmitted through the feces of body lice, which can be left on clothing and trigger an itchy reaction, causing people to scratch their skin to the point that they end up with abrasions, Boodman said.

That is one of the telltale signs of the misunderstood infectious disease, which can also cause fever, shin pain and a potentially fatal heart infection called endocarditis.

Aside from the four cases this year, only four other cases are known to have occurred in Canada since the mid-1990s, said Boodman, who is also training in medical microbiology at the University of Manitoba.


"It's a disease associated with wartime conditions and refugee camps and it's found in Canada. If we didn't have this degree of poverty in Canada, we wouldn't have this disease," he said.

People living in shelters may share clothing on which the bacteria in dried feces of body lice can survive for weeks, Boodman said, noting there's a public health need for access to laundry facilities and showers as well as affordable housing to prevent spread of disease in general among people who are under-housed across Canada.

He treated his first case of trench fever in February when a patient visited an emergency department in Winnipeg.

The 48-year-old man with shortness of breath and chest pain had repeatedly sought medical care in the previous year and a half for episodes of chest pain and body lice infestation, Boodman said about the patient, who was in ICU and spent a month in hospital following heart surgery for endocarditis. He has since recovered.

About two weeks after starting to treat that patient, Boodman was so "baffled" when he saw a second patient with what appeared to be trench fever that he had the lab tests repeated twice before confirming the diagnosis.

He treated a third patient for the same disease at a different hospital about a month later, before a colleague mentioned a mysterious case involving a man who had endocarditis. Lab tests confirmed he, too, had trench fever.

I had never heard about this disease before, and I am disgusted that poverty has been allowed to run so rampant in this country as to allow it to become established here. How is an illness from the First World War making its way into our communities? Do you think it's really a coincidence that the illness is showing up in this country and gaining ground while the pandemic is raging?

But oh no, protecting middle-class people from covid is the only thing that matters these days. Flatten the curve! Flatten the curve! Flatten the curve! Who cares how many people need to be thrown under the bus towards this ojbective, even if the total lives lost because of these measures exceeds the number of lives that would have been lost to covid had covid been allowed to spread unmitigated?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Tuberculosis is considered mostly erradicated but it is still somewhat prevalent on First Nation reserves. It is also a disease associated with poverty and crowded living conditions. Not sure what that has to do with COVID-19.


The fact that this illness was detected in Winnipeg a month before covid 19 and the media just decided to report on this now is concerning. For the unforseeable future, we are going to be subjected to daily updates about covid 19 in the province. Will we hear any more about trench fever? I doubt it. Trench fever will probably be swept under the rug and ignored by the media, the medical system, and the general public.


We have a poll:

The results show the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) now has the highest level of support in the province for the first time since the party lost power in the 2016 provincial election. Four-in-ten decided and leaning voters now say they would vote for an NDP candidate in a hypothetical provincial election (41%, up from 34% in September). Support for the PCs decreased by nearly the same margin, with the party sitting at 37 per cent today (-6% vs. September). Support for the Manitoba Liberals sits at 14 per cent (-2% vs. September), with the provincial Greens at six per cent (+1%). Fifteen per cent of all Manitobans surveyed are undecided.


Petition the World Health Organization to immediately declare the covid pandemic over:


Pallister said in interviews during the 2019 election campaign that he would serve a full second term if re-elected. He repeated the message a few months later when he said he planned on completing his second term and might run for a third if the public would have him.

Now, he appears committed only to staying on to guide the province through the COVID-19 crisis.

"I'm committed to seeing [the pandemic] through," Pallister said in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press when asked whether he'll serve his full term.

"Never say 'whoa' in a mud hole."

It's an old expression about the dangers of stopping a horse-drawn wagon in muck before getting to dry ground.

Asked two more times about his intentions, he said: "I hope COVID's over next week. But as long as COVID's here, I'm going to be here."

For once, I actually agree with Pallister and I also hope the covid pandemic is over soon, especially if that's what it's going to take for him to leave office. I hope he takes Goertzen and Friesen with him.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

He's in his second term and who knows whether COVID-19 will be controlled or erradicate before his term is over. I think he is just trying to boost his image with this comment after the bad reviews. It's a desperate plea and I am sure he will take his ball and walk away from the game as soon as COVID-19 is over and try to claim the he got Manitoba through it as his legacy.


To state the obvious:


Save the cake that normally commemorates National Nursing Week, and give nurses the respect they deserve and a new contract offer that shows it, the Manitoba Nurses Union is telling the province.

President Darlene Jackson said nurses don't want a "thank you" as the annual week begins — they want a new contract.

But the likelihood of a new agreement has hit a setback. Last week, MNU cancelled a negotiation session with management, Jackson said, after the union told its members in an email that the latest employer proposals are "far too disturbing" for MNU to "even consider." 

"Nurses have heard empty platitudes and lots of thanks from [Premier] Mr. [Brian] Pallister and from the health minister throughout this pandemic," Jackson said.

"But you know, they really haven't done anything substantial to actually show their gratitude other than saying thank you."

Nurses in the province have gone four years and counting without a collective agreement — which means wages have been stagnant for a group of workers regularly hailed as heroes during a pandemic that has strained the health-care system.


What a weak response from Nahani Fontaine:


NDP justice critic Nahanni Fontaine said the province could help the situation by more clearly promoting the rules people are expected to follow. Public health measures have changed many times during the pandemic’s three waves.

We the People have no meaningful representation in our elected legislatures or Parliament at all. Just puppets reading from the same script, speaking within very narrow parameters, and faking outrage at people on the other team to lull us into thinking our voice actually matters.

“There’s a lot of confusion on what’s allowed, what’s not allowed.”

Fontaine said she knows of a restaurant owner who believed rules were being followed, but who was handed $2,500 in fines.

“You have to have (enforcement) with a robust comprehensive public education (campaign), and I would submit to you that that hasn’t been pursued or done as well as it could have been, or as well as we need.”

So if the province more clearly communicated expectations around the draconian rules they expect everyone to follow, everything would be alright. The question of whether or not these restrictions and fines are unreasonably draconian in the first place should be off the table for discussion.


What a perfect time for covid-mania to distract us from this:


The provincial government wants the City of Winnipeg to explore expanding and operating the North End Sewage Treatment Plant through a public-private partnership that would privatize the city's entire treatment system, the director of the water and waste department says.

Moira Geer's report to members of the city's executive policy committee says the Progressive Conservative government has directed the city to engage a consultant for an "analysis of the feasibility of a public-private partnership (P3) procurement methodology" for the sewage plant's biosolids and nutrient removal facilities.

The city wants to take advantage of the federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help pay for the upgrades, estimated at $1.8 billion, but the application must be approved and forwarded to Ottawa by the provincial government. Instead of forwarding a request for funding, the province has asked that a public-private partnership be explored.

Because the city's treatment plants work in tandem and any public-private partnership contract could run as long as 30 years, Geer has concluded a P3 would effectively take control of the whole system out of the hands of the city.


How much worse can things get?


As Manitoba grapples with an overrun health-care system, with dozens of patients being flown out of province for intensive care, nurses have begun casting their votes on whether or not they want to take strike action after working without a contract for over four years.

"Had we been able to make any different choice we would have not even thought of doing this action at this point," said Manitoba Nurses Union president Darlene Jackson.

"This government has basically painted us into a corner, we have no options, we have to do this now."

A vote does not mean a strike will happen, and nurses must still provide care since they're deemed essential service providers, even if they choose to strike.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

The nurses union is absolutely right. The Pallister government is introducing new legislation that will further tie union hands in negotiations. Can't wait till Pallister and his party are kicked to the curb. Hopefully sooner than later so that the changes they introduce are not irrevocable.


Eileen Clarke, Manitoba PC Indigenous Affairs Minister, has resigned over the colonialist comments made by Premier Brian Pallister, who said "The people who came here to this country before it was a country and since, didn't come here to destroy anything – they came here to build, they came to build better," Pallister said following the toppling. "They built farms and they built businesses and they built communities and churches, too."

 Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Eileen Clarke has stepped down from Premier Brian Pallister’s cabinet. ... Clarke is the PC MLA for Agassiz.The move comes a week after the premier made controversial comments about colonial settlers in relation to the toppling of statues by Indigenous protestors. ...

In response, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Interim Grand Chief Leroy Constant called the premier's comments, 'abhorrent and offensive to First Nations peoples in Manitoba.' "To minimize, romanticize and celebrate the settler colonialism that displaced First Nations from their ancient and sacred lands in the most brutal and heinous ways the way he did in his comments, is unconscionable and a desecration to the graves of the ancestors on which the legislature is built and on which the City of Winnipeg now lies," Constant said in a statement following the premier's comments.

On Wednesday, Constant said the AMC was disappointed to hear of Clarke's resignation, but commends her decision. "Ms. Clarke has had a difficult job over the last several years, a job that is difficult at the best of times," Constant said in a statement. "However, the difficulty has been exacerbated recently by a tense First Nations’ relationship with the Premier, a global pandemic and the province’s difficult journey of truth and reconciliation with First Nations peoples in this province.”

A statement from her constituency office says Clarke will not be responding to media requests at this time out of respect for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs election Wednesday.


Former Manitoba PC Indigenous Affairs Minister Eileen Clarke says she will not make further comment on her resignation over Pallister's colonialist comments but will remember a member of the legislature. 

Clarke confirmed her resignation on Wednesday morning and said Pallister's comments were a factor in that decision, although she did not specify which comments. ...

Mary Jane Logan McCallum, a history professor at the University of Winnipeg and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous people, history and archives, says she was initially surprised to learn of Clarke's resignation but ultimately felt the move made sense. "When you think about that kind of work that she has to do with First Nations people, how can she build those relationships and work with people when she represents … a party with that kind of leadership?" said McCallum, a member of the Munsee-Delaware Nation in Ontario. ...

Paul Thomas, a professor emeritus of political studies at the University of Manitoba, says even Pallister's "political friends" have described his latest comments as inappropriate.

But it's still unlikely those remarks will be enough for anyone within the party to challenge his leadership, especially since he's left the door open to stepping down before his term is up.


NDP Leader of the Opposition Wab Kinew has challenged new PC Indigenous Minister of Indigenous Affairs Alan Lagimodiere over comments he made about residential schools, forcing him to issue a statement admitting that residential schools goal was to "assimilate Indigenous children and eradicate Indigenous culture". Good on Kinew. The url below includes a video of Kinew's forceful denunciation of the Minister's statement. Having an indigenous political leader made this all the more forceful.

It was a tense start for Manitoba's new Indigenous reconciliation and northern relations minister, who was called out publicly by the province's opposition leader over comments he made about residential schools. PC MLA Alan Lagimodiere entered Premier Brian Pallister's cabinet Thursday morning, being sworn in as the new Indigenous reconciliation and northern relations minister. ...

The province said Lagimodiere, who is Métis, has been mandated to develop an agenda for reconciliation in consultation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit leadership.

"From my knowledge of it, the residential school system was designed to take Indigenous children and give them the kind of skills and abilities they would need to fit into society as it moves forward," Lagimodiere said during his first public appearance minutes after being sworn in as minister.

The comment sparked immediate backlash from the province's opposition leader.

"I cannot accept you saying what you just said about residential schools," Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew told Lagimodiere. "It was the express intent of residential schools to kill the Indian in the child—it is not cultural relativism, it is not revisionist history for us to say that that was wrong." Kinew went on to tell Lagimodiere that if he is going to take his appointment as the Indigenous reconciliation and northern relations minister seriously, he has to change his opinion. "You can't be out here defending residential schools if you want to work with Indigenous communities."

In a statement posted on his Twitter account, Lagimodiere said he misspoke regarding residential schools. "As an Indigenous Manitoban, I sincerely believe that residential schools were tragic and were designed to assimilate Indigenous children and eradicate Indigenous culture. That was wrong then, and it is wrong now."


To show how racist they truly are the Manitoba Progressive Conservative caucus sent out a tweet saying Wab Kinew was grandstanding and bullying by critcizing PC Indigenous Minister of Indigenous Affairs Alan Lagimodiere  over his comment that "the residential school system was designed to take Indigenous children and give them the kind of skills and abilities they would need to fit into society as it moves forward".  Realizing how bad it made themselves look they quickly took it down. 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Wab Kinew did great today! He was toatally justified and freaking amazing in challenging Alan Lagimodiere right then and there. His words were not rude but strong. I have never felt prouder of Wab than I did today. As for Pallister, I am sure he and his staff prepared the statement. I think the novice Metis cabinet minister felt ashamed and tried to back track and he issued an apology.