Last week the Legislative Assembly finished its spring sitting after three long months. I am excited to have more time to connect with people in The Pas-Kameesak and look forward to meeting constituents this summer. There is so much that happened in this recent session, and I want to give a brief overview of some of the most important issues.
The NDP fought back against health care cuts, stood in solidarity with flood-affected Manitobans and demanded the government make life more affordable for families. We’ve held the government to account for their decisions, including the premier’s decision not to immediately address the minimum wage, which is the second lowest in the country. Despite very high inflation, we still don’t know when the PC Government will address the low wages of working people. We have been pushing this government to raise the minimum wage to a living wage and will continue to do so in the future.
This spring session we used our powers as Official Opposition to block the passage of a PC bill that will weaken public oversight of Manitoba Hydro and raise rates by as much as 5% per year. We also delayed a PC bill which would make it easier to spray harmful pesticides in areas where children and communities gather.
The NDP passed three bills in the spring session: Bill 234 to honour caregivers who are grieving the loss of a loved one from an overdose, Bill 228 making Feb 1 – 7 of each year Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and Bill 227 which sets April 13th as Turban Day in recognition of the turban’s significance to Sikh Canadians.
As the Opposition Critic for Child & Family Services, I also supported legislation that will allow government to share information held by the province with Indigenous governments and their providers who have chosen to take authority over children in care. Earlier this year, Peguis First Nation took jurisdiction over child welfare. They were the first in Manitoba to do so. The new legislation acknowledges this change and is a step towards first nation jurisdiction over child welfare across the province.
The NDP caucus has long advocated for improved CFS legislation to better protect children in care and keep them in their home communities, surrounded by family and friends, as much as possible. We want children to grow up in safe and loving homes with the supports they need to get a strong start, a good education and good jobs and want to see real action to reunify families and reduce the number of children in care.
As always, if you have any issue or question, please get in touch with my office by emailing Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-204-623-2034.