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.

Aristotleded24

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.

Aristotleded24

Looking for help chasing covid confirmed comrades?

Quote:

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

quote:

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.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

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

Aristotleded24

Emergency room closure in Western Manitoba:

Quote:

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?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Aristotleded24

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

Quote:

"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:

Quote:
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.

Aristotleded24

What is up with this?

Quote:

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.

Aristotleded24

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.

Aristotleded24

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

Aristotleded24

More about the plan to stop the privatization of Hydro:

Quote:

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.

Aristotleded24

Now CancerCare is under attack:

Quote:

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.

Aristotleded24

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

Topic

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

Description

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!

Panelists:
- Madeline Laurendeau, Manitoba Youth for Climate Action
- Eric Reder, Wilderness Committee
- Clayton Thomas-Muller, 350.org

Sponsored by:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Corporate Mapping Project, ECW Press, David Suzuki Foundation, 350.org 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.

Time

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

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

edit

Aristotleded24

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

Quote:

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.

jerrym

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:

https://www.mbenergyjustice.org/protect_the_pub?sp_ref=674500360.392.210...

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,

WK"

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

WEDNESDAY AT 5 PM – 7 PM

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.

Aristotleded24

They're not even waiting for privatization:

Quote:

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.

Aristotleded24

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

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