Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The House met at 1:30 p.m.

Madam Speaker: O Eternal and Almighty God, from Whom all power and wisdom come, we are assembled here before Thee to frame such laws as may tend to the welfare and prosperity of our province. Grant, O merciful God, we pray Thee, that we may desire only that which is in accordance with Thy will, that we may seek it with wisdom and know it with certainty and accomplish it perfectly for the glory and honour of Thy name and for the welfare of all our people. Amen.

      We acknowledge we are gathered on Treaty 1 territory and that Manitoba is located on the treaty territories and ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Anishininewuk, Dakota Oyate, Denesuline and Nehethowuk nations. We acknowledge Manitoba is located on the Homeland of the Red River Métis. We acknowledge northern Manitoba includes lands that were and are the ancestral lands of the Inuit. We respect the spirit and intent of treaties and treaty making and remain committed to working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in the spirit of truth, reconciliation and collaboration.

      Good afternoon, everybody. Please be seated.

Mr. Bob Lagassé (Dawson Trail): I'd like to raise a point of order.

Point of Order

Madam Speaker: Oh, the hon­our­able member for Dawson Trail, on a point of order.

Mr. Lagassé: Madam Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart to raise this parti­cular point of order. I will explain why now is the right time.

      It is no secret that this place can be toxic, and extremely hard on one's mental health. I have witnessed day after day sitting here, whether through Zoom or in person, a degree and a lack of decorum that can be described as a schoolyard full of bullies. I've witnessed people yelling across the aisle at one another, mainly because one member may not agree with the other's opinion or agenda.

      To this, I would like to remind my colleagues that we were not elected for our own personal opinions, but rather to represent our con­stit­uents and try to get them the answers regardless of how they vote. And often, we forget three simple things that we should ask ourselves when making any decisions in this Chamber. Who did we help today? Who did we hurt? And who did we forget?

      This morning, I sat in an event hosted by Robb Nash and his project, and some­thing powerful hit me. When he said, it's a simple word that can push some­one over the edge, someone who has been suffering in silence. It hit me hard–sorry–as I've still been strug­gling in my own journey in whether I really want to be part of this place anymore. In that moment, Robb said, you are here and you have a purpose. And that solidified my decision that I'm in the right place and I'm doing the right job.

      If I don't speak up, then who will? I will continue to do my best to represent my con­stit­uents and Manitobans, as well as try to hear one another in this Chamber and remind us that we cannot pick and choose who we represent in Manitoba. But we choose to do our best, and our best should be not tearing each other down.

      As we hit the doors before this election, I would encourage voters to look at our behaviour and your candidates and ask if they're knocking one another down, if they're here to hear you and do what's best for all Manitobans.

      I can truly say, I want to be an example of someone who listens, and that is not knock others down because their opinions does not match, neces­sarily, my own.

      I'm not here to be an activist, but rather a legis­lator that looks out for all of Manitoba.

Madam Speaker: I would indicate to the member and thank him for bringing those powerful words forward. Although that is not a point of order, it is a good point that he is making today.

      And as I have said many times, decorum in this House is very im­por­tant. Politics is very fragile right now, not only here but in Canada and across the world. So we need to be the ones that elevate that debate in this House. We are place‑keepers. We are not here because necessarily–to represent just ourselves. We are place‑keepers for future politicians that will come here. We have a job to do.

      And the member has raised many good points, many of which I have raised over and over again, and the reminder today is a healthy reminder.

      So, I will thank the member for his words, and I'm going to wish him the very best. Mental health chal­lenges is some­thing that I have taken very seriously in my role, and in the Assembly we have tried to make it an im­por­tant issue that we always address amongst our staff.

      Mental health challenges are the one of the biggest challenges of our time in many different ways, and it's not always easy for somebody to come for­ward and speak out. But it is time to end the stigma, and by doing what he is doing, he is working toward that process. And to anybody in this House that has been struggling with some mental health issues, the message was im­por­tant today.

      And I do hope that anybody that does have some problems will seek help. It's not a sign of weakness; it's a sign of strength that you have the courage to do that.

      And so I thank the member for raising that today, and reinforcing the comments that I have made a number of times in this House, and asking for more civility toward–and respect toward each other.

      So I thank the member for those comments.

Mr. Dougald Lamont (St. Boniface): Just on a brief point of order.

Point of Order

Madam Speaker: The hon­our­able member for St. Boniface, on a point of order.

Mr. Lamont: I just wanted to recog­nize there was an accident today in St. Boniface at Fort–[interjection]–thank you–at Fort Gibraltar.

      A number of individuals were injured. A plat­form collapsed. There apparently are some quite serious injuries. At least 17 children were there and a teacher.

      So, I just–I'm hoping that all of us can come together and wish our best wishes to everyone who was harmed and a speedy recovery to all involved.

      Thank you.

Madam Speaker: The hon­our­able First Minister, on the same point of order?

Hon. Heather Stefanson (Premier): On the same point of order. I was going to bring this subject up, as I'm sure the Leader of the Op­posi­tion was going to, as well, during question period.

      But certainly, our hearts go out to the students, to the teachers and to the families affected by this morning's horrible accident that took place at Fort Gibraltar.

      I do know that Shared Health will be going out at   2 o'clock today with an update. There were 16 children involved in the accident, and one adult as well. And certainly, our hearts go out to them. They have all gone to the hospital; get, again, get an update on that.

* (13:40)

      I want to thank all of the first respon­ders who helped out on the scene and helped these individuals get to hospital. And I think, Madam Speaker, this is one of those moments where all of us can gather together and come together as Manitobans and share our support for these children, for their families, for the com­mu­nity at St. John's-Ravenscourt as well, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: The hon­our­able Leader of the Official Op­posi­tion, on the same point of order.

Mr. Wab Kinew (Leader of the Official Opposition): Yes. As a parent and as a Manitoban, this is one of those moments that really clarifies things and tugs at the heartstrings. And so, I join the Premier, as well as the leader of the Manitoba Liberals, in sending our deepest concern, our thoughts and our prayers for recovery for everybody affected by this terrible tragedy at Fort Gibraltar.

      It's tough not to empathize and see yourself in the shoes of those families which are certainly very concerned and impacted by today's events. I think we've all visited Fort Gibraltar. We all send our kids to school on field trips, and to understand now that some of our fellow Manitobans who we walk alongside are going to have some very, very tough hours ahead, and potentially days as well certainly demands all of us to set aside partisanship and to stand together to send them our best wishes.

      I know that as a person of faith, I also will be praying for these families. To hear the very serious injuries that befell some of these children, I think really means that we ought to devote every­thing that we can to ensure that their healing advances in a good way and for everyone affected: 16 children, one teacher, the other folks who, I'm sure, rushed to their aid quickly. The first respon­ders: we also thank them and acknowl­edge them at this time.

      Hopefully they know that Manitoba is with them. They know that the people of the province are wishing them well and we hope that God is with them at this time too.


Madam Speaker: While this is not a breach of the rules or practices of the House, I understand why members do want to bring this forward.

      This is a sig­ni­fi­cant event that is happening in our com­mu­nity right now, and I think best wishes from our group and prayers are definitely needed for these families, for a speedy recovery for those involved.

      So, I thank the members for their comments at this time.


Madam Speaker: Intro­duction of bills? Com­mit­tee reports?

Tabling of Reports

Hon. Kelvin Goertzen (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to table the following reports: (1) the Regula­tory Account­ability Review for Manitoba gov­ern­ment Regula­tory Account­ability Secretariat for 2023; and (2) the Vehicle 'impowment'–Impoundment Registry Annual Report for 2022‑2023.

Ministerial Statements

Madam Speaker: The honourable Minister for Sport, Culture and Heritage–and I would indicate that the required 90 minutes' notice prior to routine pro­ceedings was provided in accordance with rule 26(2).

      Would the honourable minister please proceed with his statement.

Filipino Heritage Month

Hon. Obby Khan (Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage): Madam Speaker, I rise today, May 31st: the day before June 1st–I know, a little unorthodox–to recog­nize and celebrate that tomorrow, June 1st, as the start of Filipino Heritage Month in Canada.

      On June 12th, 2023, the Republic of the Philippines will mark 125 years of in­de­pen­dence. Here in our province, over 100,000 Manitobans with Filipino heritage, along with their many friends and neigh­bours, will join in the celebration of this milestone.

      Madam Speaker, I was so honoured when I was asked to wear and celebrate this Philippine heritage attire by wearing this shirt called a barong. I want to thank Tita Clarita Nazario for provi­ding me with this beautiful shirt, and I'm just so pleased and honoured when any culture or com­mu­nity asks me to wear it to show my love and respect and admiration for that com­mu­nity.

      It is so–just fills my heart with joy. Some of these individuals from the Filipino com­mu­nity are present in the House every single day with us, and I'm honoured to share the Chamber with the MLA for Waverley, the first-born Canadian-Filipino minister in this province, the Minister of Labour and Immigration (Mr. Reyes) and the MLA for Notre Dame.

      I would also like to acknowledge the six previous trailblazing Filipino MLAs that have previously sat in this Chamber. I would like to take this op­por­tun­ity to recog­nize the work of the Philippine Heritage Council of Manitoba, which also celebrates a sig­ni­fi­cant 20‑year anniversary this year.

      The council has sought to protect, preserve and celebrate the culture of the Philippines in our prov­ince.

      Madam Speaker, we honour the important role Filipino Manitobans have played in our past, recog­nize the community's pivotal contributions today and the future and the important designation of June as Philippine heritage month by both the Canadian gov­ernment and the Manitoba government is a testament to the important role of the Filipino com­mu­nity.

      I encourage all Manitobans to engage in the programs and activities scheduled during the month of June, learn more about Manitoba's vibrant and growing Filipino community.

      Madam Speaker, we are stronger together, and our diversity is our strength. I want to thank you very much, and I want to wish everyone, tomorrow, a happy Philippine heritage month.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr. Diljeet Brar (Burrows): Mabuhay [Live], Madam Speaker.

      June is Filipino Heritage Month. In Manitoba, we are united in celebrating Filipino Heritage Month and all the many ways in which Manitobans of Filipino heritage contribute to this province.

      Folks of Filipino origin have been central to the cultural and economic life of Manitoba for decades. There are currently nearly 100,000 Filipino Manitobans living in this province and more than 50,000 people for whom Tagalog is their first language. They have played important roles in many different sectors of the workforce in Manitoba, including making significant contributions to our health-care system, the garment industry, edu­ca­tion, busi­ness, engineering and drafting legislation in this very Chamber.

      There are a number of specific organizations and people who deserve special recognition today. The Manitoba Filipino Business Council does great work to support businesses in the retail, manufacturing and restaurant industries, among others. ANAK Inc. is an award-winning youth organization working to preserve and promote Filipino culture in Manitoba. Pinays Manitoba works to address the unique chal­lenges faced by Filipino women. And there are many more.

      The Philippine Heritage Council of Manitoba is organizing events all June for Filipino Heritage Month, including a flag-raising and opening cere­mony this Saturday, June 3rd, at the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba. I encourage everyone to attend.

      While we celebrate Filipino heritage and the many contributions Filipino Manitobans have made to Manitoba, it is also important to acknowledge that they still face hardship and racism in this province. In particular, they were disproportionately impacted by COVID‑19 over the past few years.

      On behalf of Manitoba NDP, I want to reiterate our commitment to address the challenges and barriers still faced by Filipino Canadians. We all need to work together to eliminate anti‑Asian racism and systemic racism in all forms. As we celebrate Filipino Heritage Month, let's all recommit to taking action on these important issues.

      Salamat po [Thank you], Madam Speaker.

Ms. Cindy Lamoureux (Tyndall Park): Madam Speaker, I ask for leave to respond to the minister's statement.

Madam Speaker: Does the member have leave to respond to the statement? [Agreed]

Ms. Lamoureux: Thank you, Madam Speaker, and mabuhay [live]. I rise this afternoon in celebration as tomorrow we kick off Filipino Heritage Month.

      Five years ago, in 2018, the national government passed a resolution recognizing June as Filipino Heritage Month, and I believe this has caused a ripple effect. Since then, the member for Notre Dame (MLA Marcelino) has brought forward a private member's resolution about the quincentennial cele­bration of Christianity in the Philippines, and my colleague from Waverley, the minister, had a bill proclaiming that, prov­incially, the month of June be recog­nized as Filipino Heritage Month.

      Madam Speaker, the reason these pieces of legis­lation are so important is because June has become a month of op­por­tun­ity–opportunity to promote culture and heritage and to celebrate the many contributions of the Filipino com­mu­nity, where we now have over 1 million citizens and permanent residents of Filipino heritage here in Canada.

      Madam Speaker, we have such wonderful, strong and growing groups, many of who are hosting events next month, including the Manitoba Council of Filipino-Canadian Association, the Philippine Herit­age Council of Manitoba, the Manitoba Association of Filipino Teachers and many provinces and their associations.

      Now, just before wrapping up, Madam Speaker, I know all of my colleagues are thinking, where did she get the snazzy jacket?

* (13:50)

      Madam Speaker, I got this in the Philippines this past November, and I want to encourage all of my colleagues to go to the Philippines, check out some of the ANCOP homes, go and visit some of the white sandy beaches, check out the marketplaces and be sure to try all the different modes of trans­por­tation like the LRT and the MRT, because we all know, and the saying goes, it's more fun in the Philippines.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Further min­is­terial statements? The hon­our­able Minister of Families (Ms. Squires), and I would indicate that the required 90 minutes' notice prior to routine proceedings was provided in accordance with rule 27(2).

      Would the hon­our­able minister please proceed with her statement.

Manitoba Access Awareness Week

Hon. Rochelle Squires (Minister responsible for Accessibility): As Manitoba's Minister respon­si­ble for Ac­ces­si­bility, I am pleased to proclaim this week as Manitoba Access Awareness Week.

      Each year, Manitoba Access Awareness Week takes place simultaneously with National AccessAbility Week, promoting ac­ces­si­bility and inclusivity. This week recognizes the dedi­cated individuals working towards the pre­ven­tion and elimination of ac­ces­si­bility barriers.

      Our gov­ern­ment is committed to working in part­ner­ship to build a more ac­ces­si­ble Manitoba. This includes the dev­elop­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of five ac­ces­si­bility standards under The Ac­ces­si­bility for Manitobans Act, a five-year review of the act that is currently under way and through the Manitoba Ac­ces­si­bility Fund that offers grants of up to $50,000 each to assist munici­palities, post-secondary in­sti­tutions, health author­ities, non-profit organi­zations and busi­nesses to improve ac­ces­si­bility.

      During this year's celebration, the Manitoba Acces­si­bility Office will be hosting a virtual event on June 2nd. Four recipients of the Manitoba Ac­ces­si­bility Fund will high­light their exceptional efforts to make infor­ma­tion more ac­ces­si­ble.

      The Manitoba gov­ern­ment has allocated over $640 million to bolster dis­abil­ity services in the province this year, including $104 million to improve services and raising the wages of those who provide them. These efforts underscore the importance of fostering a more inclusive environ­ment, as we cele­brate our progress and reaffirm our dedi­cation to supporting persons with dis­abil­ities and advancing ac­ces­si­bility through­out the province.

      Today is Red Shirt Day, and Manitobans join fellow Canadians in creating a visible display of solidarity, as we show support to persons with dis­abil­ities and their families, we celebrate achieve­ments and pledge continued commit­ment to building an ac­ces­si­ble and inclusive society.

      Again, it is my honour to proclaim Manitoba Access Awareness Week in perpetuity, and I look forward to continuing work in building a more ac­ces­si­ble future for all in Manitoba.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

MLA Nahanni Fontaine (St. Johns): This week, Manitoba celebrates Manitoba Access Awareness Week annually to raise awareness about accessibility issues affecting people with disabilities and promote inclusivity, accessibility and equal opportunity for all Manitobans.

      This week also coincides with the National AccessAbility Week, which celebrates today as Red Shirt Day.

      This week serves as a platform to engage in dialogue, educate the public, and highlight the import­ance of creating an inclusive society valuing and respecting the rights of persons with disabilities.

      Accessibility is a fundamental human right, and yet many individuals face physical social barriers and limit their participation in various aspects of society, Madam Speaker.

      This annual event provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions of individuals with disabilities, who often overcome significant challenges to excel in their chosen fields. It highlights their resilience, deter­min­ation, talents, and challenging misconceptions and stereotypes that they often do face.

      By recognizing Manitoba Access Awareness Week, we acknowledge the importance of inclusivity and the need to create a society valuing the dignity and rights of all individuals.

      We also acknowl­edge all of those that are on the front lines working with Manitobans with physical dis­abil­ities. In the past, our province has stumbled on accessibility, with this present government missing deadlines like the accessibility compliance standards.

      However, I would urge all MLAs in this Legis­lature to support and participate and commit to Manitoba Access Awareness Week. Let's seize this opportunity and this week, not only this week or today, but for months to come, Madam Speaker, to amplify the voices of individuals with disabilities, advocate for all of their rights and commit to improving accessibility and inclusion in our great province.


Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, I ask leave to speak to the minister's statement.

Madam Speaker: Does the member have leave to respond to the min­is­terial statement? [Agreed]

Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, Manitoba Access Awareness Week, Red Shirt Day, which runs from May 28th through June 3rd, is an occasion to celebrate achieve­ments and to raise awareness about ac­ces­si­bility issues, which affect all people with dis­abil­ities.

      Strides have been taken to improve life for Manitobans with many dis­abil­ities, including passing Bill 23. But there is still much work needing to be done. Ac­ces­si­bility can mean the placement of a light switch or toilet for a person with dwarfism, audible street-crossing signals for a person who's deaf, to ramps and wider aisles for a person in a wheelchair.

      But while those with visible dis­abil­ities are in­creasingly being helped, we also need to remove barriers for those whose dis­abil­ity we can't see. Sadly, people with invisible dis­abil­ities, like learning dis­abil­ities, ADHD, autism, FASD, are too often written off as unreasonable or difficult, and they are stigmatized.

      These can lead to frustration and mental meltdowns where some patience and under­standing would have been able to prevent this. Too often, individuals with invisible dis­abil­ities are excluded from programs like those offered by com­mu­nity living and disability services because their IQ is above 75. This must change. We need a society which fosters inclusion, not one which excludes.

      Helping a person with a dis­abil­ity has often led to advances in tech­no­lo­gy or in approaches which help everyone. This has led to approaches supporting uni­ver­sal design. The more we can move in this direction, the better.

      Today, during Access Awareness Week let us be sure to remember all people with dis­abil­ities, includ­ing those with invisible dis­abil­ities, so that they are able to follow their dreams.

      Thank you. Merci. Miigwech.

Members' Statements

Joe Nemeth

Hon. Audrey Gordon (Minister of Health): I rise in the House today to recog­nize the con­tri­bu­tions of Joe Nemeth and his family, small-busi­ness owners in the Southdale con­stit­uency.

      Joe Nemeth is well known in the com­mu­nity for his locally owned and operated family busi­ness, Nemeth Diamonds. From the begin­ning, Mr. Nemeth had dreams of one day owning his own jewellery store.

      He took the first steps in 1974 by graduating from Red River College's watch repair course and diamond appraisal course. He worked as a watchmaker for 11 years at Al's Jewellers. In 1986, he put every­thing on the line and opened his first jewellery store on the corner of Dakota and St. Mary's.

      At this time, the odds of a small busi­ness surviving its first year was one in 10. For Mr. Nemeth, failure was not an option. He worked long days and nights, and 11 years later, they had outgrown their space and needed to expand. In 1997, they officially opened the Southdale location and have been in the com­mu­nity ever since.

      He and his family have been dedi­cated to serving Southdale and surrounding com­mu­nities. Many people in the com­mu­nity have visited Mr. Nemeth's store as part of marking milestone events in their lives. From graduations and en­gage­ments to marriages, birthdays and more, Mr. Nemeth's store has been part of the fabric of the com­mu­nity for 37 years. He takes great pride in being a part of the local busi­ness com­mu­nity and building long-standing relationships with his customers.

      Mr. Nemeth continued to demon­strate an entre­preneurial spirit. Even when faced with challenges during the pandemic, he was deter­mined to continue the legacy of Nemeth Diamonds in Southdale. He developed new ways to provide the same quality customer service within a safe shopping ex­per­ience. While some celebrations were delayed during that time, Mr. Nemeth still helped many residents mark their special occasions.

* (14:00)

      Madam Speaker, it's my pleasure to recog­nize the dedi­cation and efforts of com­mu­nity members in Southdale.

      Please join me in celebrating Joe Nemeth and his family.

Seven Oaks School Division

Mr. Mintu Sandhu (The Maples): Seven Oaks schools need reliable, adequate funding so that students can succeed. This PC government has failed, through seven years of cuts, to properly fund our schools. The PCs love to make flashy announcements and empty promises, but we know these announce­ments will be paid for by more cuts to the classrooms.

      The PC government's underfunding means that schools in Seven Oaks are losing social workers. Social workers support students and families, ensuring their safety and academic success. Students in Manitoba deserve smaller class sizes, more one-on-one attention and more supports like social workers, meal programs for those who need it. Funding should, at the very least, keep up with rising costs.

      Despite promises from the PC government to establish a new education funding model, they post­poned it until after the election. We revealed that their  secret plan showed even more cuts, including $11 million from the Seven Oaks School Division.

      Schools and teachers are already facing many challenges, and the PCs' secret plan to cut millions more from our classrooms only makes things worse. Manitoba children deserve the best public education possible, and they won't get it if there are another four years of this PCs' education cuts.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Lac du Bonnet Summer Activities

Hon. Wayne Ewasko (Minister of Education and Early Childhood Learning): It gives me great pleasure today to rise to acknowledge upcoming cele­brations in my constituency of Lac du Bonnet.

      This July, Pinawa turns 60. The Pinawa townsite started in 1963 by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, AECL, to house the employees for its Whiteshell research laboratories.

      The town was initially designed to accommodate employees and their families and provided only a limited commercial base. But in July of 1963, the town and surrounding area was designated a local government district and the provincial government of Manitoba appointed a resident administrator to administer the town.

      This year, the community of Pinawa will be hosting a birthday weekend to celebrate its heritage and this milestone. The weekend will have social events, live music, a parade through town, a car show, beach activities, plenty of food, fireworks and more.

      Another amazing upcoming celebration in my constituency is the Great Falls hydroelectric gener­ating station turning 100 years old. Great Falls Generating Station is Manitoba Hydro's oldest hydro­electric plant, as the first of six generators went into service in 1923.

      Great Falls operates 16 hydroelectric facilities on the Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Burntwood, Laurie and Nelson rivers, one thermal and four generating stations. The station located on the Winnipeg River was developed by the Winnipeg Electric Railway Company.

      Great Falls was built in record speed, being a huge accomplishment given that only access for construc­tion materials and supplies to maintain the workforce was by rail.

      Today, Great Falls is the base for Manitoba Hydro's Winnipeg River operations, providing the lowest electricity rates in Canada.

      In July, Great Falls is hosting a fun-filled weekend in celebration of its 100th anniversary. There will be bonfires, brunches, barbecue lunches, group hikes, fireworks and more.

      This July, I encourage all to come by these great celebrations happening in the constituency of Lac du Bonnet. There will be no shortage of family-friendly outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Sidney Project

Mr. Eric Redhead (Thompson): The Sidney Project is a charitable community organization which works to provide new brand-name shoes for school-aged children in my home community of Shamattawa First Nation. The importance of this project cannot be overstated, as it seeks to address the pressing need, and empower and support our youth. The organization collects donations and distributes shoes to students from kindergarten all the way to grade 12.

      Access to quality footwear is crucial for the physical well‑being, self-esteem and academic suc­cess of our children. Unfortunately, many families in remote communities in northern Manitoba face finan­cial hardship, making it difficult to provide brand-name shoes that are often expensive but greatly desired by youth.

      On top of that, children are con­sistently growing, requiring clothes and shoes in new sizes frequently. As a result, children may feel excluded or self-conscious, leading to negative impacts on their confidence and overall educational experience.

      The Sidney Project is supposed to bridge a gap, ensuring that no child is left behind, by providing brand-name shoes to all school-age children, regard­less of their economic back­ground. They are fostering a sense of belonging and equality. This project recognizes the importance of eradicating social and economic barriers that hinder the educational progress of our youth.

      The tagline for the Sidney Project is: Making days a little brighter and lives a little better, two shoes at a time. It is so heartwarming to see the community sup­porting our youth by providing essentials that growing children need. I would like to sincerely thank all organizers and sponsors of the Sidney Project for their vision, dedication and commitment to our youth.

      Please join me in celebrating this initiative, and together let us work towards ensuring that every child has the opportunity to walk with pride, confidence and equal footing towards success.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Wenda Anderson

Hon. Doyle Piwniuk (Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure): Madam Speaker, today I rise to recog­nize one of my con­stit­uents, Wenda Anderson, from Killarney, Manitoba.

      Wenda Anderson provides tre­men­dous support to the com­mu­nity of Killarney through her work with seniors. As the co‑ordinator of service for seniors, a non-profit organization in Killarney, Wenda has been instrumental in supporting seniors and individuals with dis­abil­ities in the munici­pality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain since 2011.

      Residents of Killarney consider Wenda a lifeline in the com­mu­nity, as many of the seniors she assists are without family support. She fills that void, Madam Speaker, which results in high praise from entire com­mu­nity.

      Wenda provides a wide range of services, includ­ing infor­ma­tion and referral services, yard work, advocacy and companionship. Notably, her day dasher trips allow Killarney seniors to explore other com­mu­nities in our beautiful province of Manitoba.

      Upcoming outings include visits to Brandon on June 8th and on the 20th, a trip to the Sand Hills Casino in Carberry on June 13th, and a scenic drive around Killarney for ice cream on June 27th.

      With the support of volunteers and her husband, Brian, Wenda effectively manages service for seniors. However, they are always looking for ad­di­tional volunteers.

      Unfor­tunately, Wenda is unable to join us here today, but she is watching from Killarney. And I ask all my colleagues to join me in thanking Wenda for her dedi­cation and ongoing con­tri­bu­tions to the com­mu­nity of Killarney.

      Thank you, Wenda.

Introduction of Guests

Madam Speaker: We have some guests that I would like to intro­duce to you this afternoon. Seated in the public gallery we have Victoria Stefanson, who is the guest and daughter of the Premier (Mrs. Stefanson), and we welcome her here.

      And seated in the public gallery we have with us today the 2023‑2024 legis­lative pages.

      And on behalf of all hon­our­able members, we welcome you here today.

* * *

Madam Speaker: And at this time it is time, also, to say goodbye to two of our pages that are here today.

      Chloe Telenko: five years ago, she says, I never thought I would be standing here today. Having to beat cancer at such a young age really pushed me to view the world for all its worth and to find the beauty within it. Little did I know I'd find myself five years later cancer free and standing in this Chamber learning and witnessing about the process of Legis­lature.

* (14:10)

      I'd like to thank all the MLAs, clerks, Chamber branch as well as my fellow pages who I've gotten to know this past year. You have inspired me to pursue a degree in law and political science at the Uni­ver­sity of Manitoba; hopefully one day seeing me in this Chamber or the one in Ottawa as a legis­lative clerk. I'd like to thank each every one of you for all the hard work and commit­ment you do for Manitobans. I wish you all a great summer.

      And her guests here today are her mother, Amanda Normand‑Telenko and her friend, McKenna. And we welcome them here.

      And our other page is Harsh Mann. Harshnoor Mann, also known as Harsh, recently graduated from the Uni­ver­sity of Winnipeg Collegiate. As she looks forward to the upcoming fall, she is thrilled to attend the Uni­ver­sity of Winnipeg, where will–she will pursue an honours degree in political science.

      Being a legis­lative page this year holds a special place in Harsh's heart, as it has created lasting mem­ories. Through this ex­per­ience, she has not only formed meaningful friendships but also expanded her knowledge of the legis­lative processes.

      Harsh is parti­cularly grateful to her history teacher, Mr. Saj, who intro­duced the page program to her. Overall gratitude fills Harsh's heart as she reflects on this op­por­tun­ity. She aspires to carve a path in politics and is deter­mined to pursue a career in the field.

      She is eagerly anticipating the future and the adventures it holds. The journey ahead is brimming with possi­bilities, and Harsh looks forward to making a positive impact and embracing the future that comes her way. She is thankful to everyone who has been a part of this op­por­tun­ity and shaped her for the future.

      And she has a friend, Talia, in the gallery, who is here with her as well.

Oral Questions

Rural Paramedics and Nurses
Staffing Level Concerns

Mr. Wab Kinew (Leader of the Official Opposition): I would be remiss if I didn't applaud the pages for sharing their stories and their optimism. Thank you so much, and I hope that your time here has been a good learning op­por­tun­ity.

      Health care is in a state of crisis in Manitoba. We know that 300 nurses have been cut from the bedside; 87 paramedics cut from rural Manitoba; three emergency rooms closed right here in Winnipeg, along with one urgent‑care centre.

      Can the Premier tell the people of Manitoba why she cut health care?

Hon. Heather Stefanson (Premier): Well, Madam Speaker, the Leader of the Op­posi­tion's question, he started off so well and then it was just downhill from there.

      Once again, false infor­ma­tion on the record in the Chamber. We have made historic invest­ments in our health‑care system: almost $8 billion in this budget, Madam Speaker, in health care; a $668‑million increase over last year, 9.2 per cent increase; 22 per cent increase since we took office.

      Those are the facts.

Madam Speaker: The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition, on a supplementary question.

Mr. Kinew: The facts are these: there are 300 fewer nurses working at the bedside in Winnipeg since 2016. There are 87 fewer paramedics working in rural Manitoba just since the Premier took office.

      These are cuts to health care in some of the areas where they're needed most. There is a health‑care human resource hunt across the country, and yet this government is cutting the number of nurses at the bedside. There is EMS wait times ballooning in rural Manitoba, and this government is cutting the number of rural paramedics out there.

      It just doesn't make sense.

      Can the Premier explain why she continues cutting health care in Manitoba?

Mrs. Stefanson: Well, Madam Speaker, we continue to make record invest­ments in our health‑care system: $8 billion this year in our health‑care system; $668‑million increase over last year, 9.2 per cent increase.

      Those are the facts.

Madam Speaker: The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition, on a final supplementary.

Mr. Kinew: I just want to point out the Premier never contests the assertion that there are 300 fewer nurses at the bedside in Winnipeg because it's true. Because we've esta­blished it through research and docu­men­ta­tion which we shared with the public here in the House.

      Nor does she ever contest the fact that there are 87 fewer rural paramedics working across the prov­ince. Again, because through research and docu­men­ta­tion, we have proven it on the record here.

      Another fact that the Premier never contests is that under her watch, the 7,000 members of the Manitoba Association of Health Care Pro­fes­sionals, they voted 99 per cent in favour of a strike.

      This is all testimony towards the health‑care system being in crisis.

      In light of these facts, which the Premier always assents to, can she explain why she has made these cuts to health care in Manitoba?

Mrs. Stefanson: Madam Speaker, let me be very clear once again and put some facts on the record, because the Leader of the Op­posi­tion won't do so.

      The fact of the matter is that we are making record and historic invest­ments in our health‑care system in the province of Manitoba.

      A 9.2 per cent increase over last year; 22 per cent increase since we took office, Madam Speaker.

      Again, those are the facts.

Madam Speaker: The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition, on a new question.

Highway and Road Budget
Request for Investment

Mr. Wab Kinew (Leader of the Official Opposition): I just want to point out that the Premier continues to accept that there are 300 fewer nurses, 87 fewer rural paramedics in Manitoba.

      On the subject of highways–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Kinew: –people across Manitoba want to see more invest­ments in our roads and yet, they've only gotten cuts from this PC gov­ern­ment.

      As a matter of fact, when they were first elected in 2016, one of the first things that they did was cut the roads budget by–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Kinew: –$150 million. That's the reason why Highway 75 is in such disrepair today; it's because years of cuts that began the moment the PCs took office.

      Will the Premier tell the House why her gov­ern­ment has slashed the budget for roads and highways in Manitoba?

Hon. Heather Stefanson (Premier): Well, Madam Speaker, we continue to make record invest­ments in our roads in Manitoba. We've invested more than $500 million a year, and we will do that per year over five years.

      Those are historic invest­ments in our roads in Manitoba. Safety is paramount. But it's also–we also need to ensure that we're getting goods to market. That's why we will continue to make strategic invest­ments in our roadways.

Madam Speaker: The honourable Leader of the–[interjection]

      Order. Order.

      The hon­our­able Leader of the Official Opposition, on a supplementary question.

Mr. Kinew: Madam Speaker, Manitobans are rightly concerned about the state of our highways.

      We know that folks in Pilot Mound have been raising concerns about the state of Highway 3, and I'm sure that they would be shocked to learn that the Premier cut the budget for highways–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Kinew: –almost imme­diately upon taking office in 2016, and every single member of that PC caucus voted in favour of making that cut. Now what happens when somebody from Pilot Mound emails their MLA and asks the Minister of Infra­structure to take action? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

      That is case in point what the people of Pilot Mound have been reaching out to us–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Kinew: –to do to step in for the vacuum of action and the lack of leadership that you see when it comes to highways and infra­structure on the PC side of the House.

      Can the Premier explain to folks in Pilot Mound and along Highway 3 why she has cut the budget for highways?

Mrs. Stefanson: The litany of false accusations by the Leader of the Op­posi­tion never ceases to amaze me, Madam Speaker, but let's put some facts on the record.

      The fact of the matter is, we have committed, five-year commit­ment, $500 million per year to our roads alone across this great province of ours, Madam Speaker. Those are the facts. And that was in our budget, a budget that the Leader of the Op­posi­tion and all the NDP voted against.

      We will take no lessons from the members opposite.

* (14:20)

Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.

Madam Speaker: Order. Order. Order.

      The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition, on a final supplementary.

Mr. Kinew: It's really some­thing to see the PCs' election‑year gonna strategy; it's all about what they're gonna do if they get another kick at the can.

      But Manitobans are seeing what they have done–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Kinew: –over the past seven years. They've cut highways, and now people who rely on Highway 75, who rely on Highway 3, who rely on any number of roads, bridges and pieces of infra­structure across the province have been left wanting more. In fact, they can't even get an email or a phone call returned from the Minister of Infra­structure.

      Will the Premier (Mrs. Stefanson) tell the people of Manitoba the truth about her plan: that she plans to continue cutting the highway budget in order to pay for all of her fancy promises? [interjection]

Madam Speaker: I'm going to have to call the mem­ber for Springfield‑Ritchot (Mr. Schuler) to order.

      The hon­our­able First Minister–[interjection] Order.

Mrs. Stefanson: Madam Speaker, we continue to make record and historic invest­ments in our roads in Manitoba. We've committed more than $500 million per year over five years. That is a long-term commit­ment towards our roads in Manitoba.

      And I was pleased to join the Minister of Trans­por­tation and Infra­structure (Mr. Piwniuk) last week, or a couple weeks ago, when we announced the twinning of the highway, Highway No. 1, Madam Speaker, the Trans‑Canada Highway, from Falcon Lake right to the Ontario border.

      We listen to Manitobans; we want to make our roadways safe for Manitobans and we want to make sure we get our goods to market, Madam Speaker. We will continue to make record invest­ments in our roads in Manitoba.

Home-Care Support Workers
Staffing Vacancies

MLA Uzoma Asagwara (Union Station): For months, we've continued to hear devastating stories that make things crystal clear, Madam Speaker: the PCs are failing Manitobans who rely on home-care services.

      High staffing vacancies have led to hundreds of ap­point­ments being cancelled, and now we've learned that the PCs are refusing to fill vacant home support worker positions in Winnipeg.

      Home support workers help older adults living on fixed incomes who often don't have family or friends to help them with daily tasks like cleaning and laundry. They help seniors age in place with dignity.

      Can the Premier explain why she has cut home-support workers in Winnipeg?

Hon. Scott Johnston (Minister of Seniors and Long-Term Care): May I indicate to the member that this gov­ern­ment supports the services for seniors by results.

      And, Madam Speaker, may I say that the Stevenson report was put forward to ensure that seniors in this province are taken care of.

      Madam Speaker, $31-million invest­ment to find supports for seniors, which the NDP voted against.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for Union Station, on a supplementary question.

MLA Asagwara: Madam Speaker, the minister is talking about a report specific to personal-care homes. I'm asking a question about home-care support workers.

      These workers provide crucial supports like cleaning and laundry. These services greatly improve the quality of life for seniors and provide them with the dignity that they deserve in order to age in place.

      Yet, the PCs are refusing to fill the vacant positions for home support workers and has led–that has led to a loss of these workers in Winnipeg. We've heard that this is leading to mental health issues with seniors, evictions from their homes, Madam Speaker, lengthy hospital admissions and more. That is the wrong approach.

      Can the Premier explain why she's failed to sup­port seniors in Manitoba?

Mr. Johnston: Our gov­ern­ment's support for seniors, I think, is evident based on a 72 per cent increase to this de­part­ment, repre­sen­ting $92 million, which the NDP voted against.

      Madam Speaker, when it comes to home care, there are 50,000 seniors that are taking advantage of home care; $300 million are invested by this gov­ern­ment to ensure those needs are fulfilled. This represents a 3.66 per cent increase this year.

      We are supporting the seniors of this province.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for Union Station, on a final supplementary.

MLA Asagwara: Madam Speaker, respectfully to that minister: no, you are not supporting seniors.

      You are failing seniors across this province, and you're failing seniors in Winnipeg who have hundreds of their ap­point­ments cancelled, who can't get cleaning, who can't get laundry done, who can't get their basic needs met and live with dignity in their own homes.

      That's an abject failure of this minister and this gov­ern­ment. It's totally unacceptable. This province needs to step up for seniors and their families.

      Will the Premier commit to stop cutting home-care support workers in Winnipeg?

Hon. Audrey Gordon (Minister of Health): Madam Speaker, our gov­ern­ment is committed to ensuring the staffing shortages that are being seen here in this province–that's not unique to Manitoba, but across Canada and globally–is dealt with.

      That is why I was so pleased to stand with our Premier (Mrs. Stefanson) in November of 2022 to announce the health human resource action plan: $200-million invest­ment, Madam Speaker, to add 2,000 ad­di­tional health pro­fes­sionals, including home-care support workers, health-care aides and more.

      What did they do, Madam Speaker? They voted against it.

Madam Speaker: Just a caution to members that when posing questions, the question should be posed through the Speaker and not directly to a minister.

Manitoba Pride Parades 2023
Request for Gov­ern­ment Attendance

Ms. Lisa Naylor (Wolseley): Our NDP team is looking forward to showing our support for the 2SLGBTQ+ com­mu­nity by walking in Pride parades across our province this summer.

      Manitobans were disappointed last year when the Premier promised she would walk in the Winnipeg Pride parade, but instead left and chose not to walk in the parade. This was extremely disrespectful to organizers and to the entire 2SLGBTQ+ com­mu­nity.

      Manitobans need leadership. That's why we think every member of this House should show solidarity by walking in a Pride parade this year.

      Will the Premier commit that she and every member of her caucus will walk in a Manitoba Pride parade this year?

Hon. Rochelle Squires (Minister responsible for Gender Equity): Well, I will agree with the members opposite on one small point, and that is that Manitobans need leadership. And that's exactly what they got.

      This last week, the Premier and I were very, very pleased to make an an­nounce­ment of a new, expanded mandate within gov­ern­ment of Manitoba to include Gender Equity. That is why the Premier and I were very pleased to provide $250,000 to Pride Winnipeg for its operations.

      That is something that Pride has been asking for decades, and for the entire time that the NDP were in office, the answer was no. Under this gov­ern­ment, the answer was yes.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for Wolseley, on a supplementary question.

Ms. Naylor: Madam Speaker, the Premier's record of disrespect speaks for itself.

      She was banned from speaking at Pride after breaking her promise to walk in the parade, she refused multiple times to unequivocally condemn the banning of books and she published an an­nounce­ment on gender-affirming care and then deleted it the same day.

      Manitobans should know if every PC MLA will commit to walking in a Pride parade this year.

      Will the Premier do the right thing, and will she commit–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Ms. Naylor: –that a hundred per cent of the PC caucus will–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Ms. Naylor: –walk in a Pride parade in Manitoba this year?

Ms. Squires: I apologize that I did not hear that member's question. It's unfor­tunate that members of her own caucus were heckling her during that question.

      But what I think she had asked is whether or not we will be at Pride. And Madam Speaker, we are very much looking forward to attending Pride this coming Sunday. This is a–there's been an entire week of activities.

      We were very pleased the other day to raise the flag in Memorial Park with many of our com­mu­nity friends and stake­holders, including Pride Winnipeg and Rainbow Resource Centre. I want to thank them for coming out to the flag-raising ceremony in Memorial Park. Very pleased that that flag is flying.

      Very much looking forward to a wonderful cele­bration on Sunday morning.

* (14:30)

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: The hon­our­able member for Wolseley, on a final sup­ple­mentary.

Ms. Naylor: I'm also proud of the history of this Legislature because that flag has been flying for over a decade every Pride, and that's some­thing we should be celebrating.

      The Premier (Mrs. Stefanson) used last year's Pride rally as a photo op and then broke her promise to walk along beside the 2SLGBTQ com­mu­nity. And Brian Pallister used to do the same thing, which is why they made that rule that if speakers–if people had the op­por­tun­ity to speak, they must also walk in the parade. The Premier knew this, but broke her promise anyway.

      Madam Speaker, 2SLGBTQ Manitobans deserve a gov­ern­ment that proudly shows their support. Every member of our NDP team will be walking in one of the Pride parades across the province this year.

      Will the Premier promise Manitobans that every gov­ern­ment–

Madam Speaker: The member's time has expired.

Ms. Squires: Madam Speaker, while the members opposite may want to politicize this event, this is the time that the LGBTQ+ com­mu­nity needs to know that everybody–that the gov­ern­ment of Manitoba and that everybody in Manitoba–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Ms. Squires: Madam Speaker, it's really unfor­tunate that the members opposite, and parti­cularly the member for St. Johns (MLA Fontaine) and the member for Union Station (MLA Asagwara), are heckling me as I'm trying to express a statement that our gov­ern­ment and everyone in Manitoba should come together and support the com­mu­nity, and to pronounce that love is love in the province of Manitoba and that we will not–that we stand united against hate and we stand in love.

      Unlike members opposite, on this side of the House, love is love. [interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order. Order.

Drug Overdose Deaths
Request for Public Reporting

Mrs. Bernadette Smith (Point Douglas): Instead of taking action to address the drug crisis in Manitoba, the PCs are trying to pretend like nothing's wrong. They've re­peat­edly refused to release timely overdose data and acknowl­edge the drug poisoning crisis and to ensure all Manitobans are aware of the current public health crisis.

      They've intro­duced Bill 33, which would hamper the efforts of front-line organi­zations, and they've refused to open a safe, supervised con­sump­tion site, despite experts calling for one. And they've done all of this as we've seen a dramatic increase in overdose deaths in Manitoba.

      Will the Premier commit to stop standing in the way and release timely overdose data today?

Hon. Janice Morley-Lecomte (Minister of Mental Health and Community Wellness): Bill 33 was a bill that would provide safety for Manitobans. It provided medical; it provided support and a pathway to recovery.

      On this side of the House, we believe in safety. Members opposite must not; they choose not to support the bill.

Madam Speaker: The hon­our­able member for Point Douglas, on a sup­ple­mentary question.

Mrs. Smith: Preliminary data shows that at least 418 Manitobans died from a drug overdose in 2022. This is the result of this gov­ern­ment's inaction. There is a crisis that needs urgent attention. They need–we need to do every­thing we can do to save lives here in Manitoba.

      Yet, the PCs have, instead, failed to take mean­ingful action and have tried, have actively tried, to stand in the way of life-saving work by intro­ducing Bill 33 and refusing to open a safe con­sump­tion site.

      The PCs are still refusing to provide monthly overdose data and even acknowl­edge that there's a drug poisoning crisis in our province.

      Will the Premier do the right thing and commit to releasing timely data on overdose deaths here in our province?

Ms. Morley-Lecomte: On this side of the House we support individuals who are seeking support for their addictions, and we have provided funding through Huddle for youth, who are able to seek mentorship; they're able to seek resources. [interjection]

       I'm not sure if the member from St. Johns wants to hear this or not, but we have put funding to seek support–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Ms. Morley-Lecomte: –for youth and adults in our province.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for Point Douglas, on a final supplementary.

Mrs. Smith: We need a gov­ern­ment that's committed to harm reduction and will actually acknowl­edge that there's a drug poisoning crisis here in our province that is taking lives of Manitobans.

      These are someone's loved ones. These aren't numbers, they don't need prayers from this gov­ern­ment; what they need is actual action. They need to know what drugs are out there and how many Manitobans are actually dying of drugs monthly.

      Will this Premier (Mrs. Stefanson) do the right thing; will she support–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mrs. Smith: –a safe con­sump­tion site and commit to releasing timely data, so Manitobans know about the drugs that are poisoning and taking lives here in our province?

Madam Speaker: I'm just going to remind members again to respectfully listen to the questions and listen to the answers. I think there's been a bit of slippage in the last number of minutes.

Ms. Morley-Lecomte: I just want to continue on with the invest­ments that we have done to support indiv­iduals.

      We have invested in six RAAM clinics, with a seventh RAAM clinic opening up with an $835,000 invest­ment to assist individuals. We've invested in supports in the North, in the central part of the–and in Winnipeg.

      We believe–we want all Manitobans to be safe.

Allied Health Professionals
Collective Bargaining Negotiations

Mr. Mintu Sandhu (The Maples): Manitobans know that the PC gov­ern­ment does not respect collective bargaining or health-care workers.

      Front-line health–allied health workers like ruler paramedics, 'pharmist' techs, M-R-A techs, radia­tional therapists and 190 other allied health pro­fes­sionals have had their wages frozen by this PC gov­ern­ment for five years. This is unacceptable.

      Will the Premier give allied health-care workers a fair deal today?

Hon. James Teitsma (Minister of Consumer Protection and Government Services): That mem­ber knows full well that negotiations are continuing. And he also knows full well that every collective agreement that this gov­ern­ment has arrived at with the health-care sector has included retroactive pay, has included compounding increases.

      Wages are not frozen, Madam Speaker; they're–are on the bargaining table. They need to be resolved there, and we encourage both parties to reach a reso­lu­tion as soon as possible.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for The Maples, on a supplementary question.

Mr. Sandhu: These workers are waiting for five years. They needed a bargaining agree­ment yesterday, not tomorrow. They are still waiting.

      Madam Speaker, 99 per cent of the health-care workers voted in favour of strike. This highlights the profound failure of this PC gov­ern­ment on health care. Allied health-care workers feel disrespected and they have had enough of this gov­ern­ment's incompetence.

      Will the minister apologize for the gov­ern­ment's failure and give allied health workers a fair deal today?

Mr. Teitsma: I'll be very direct with the member: what he's doing here in this House today is–and what his fellow colleagues have been trying to do–is to disrupt the bargaining process. Shame on them.

      They should at least listen to the former NDP minister, Jennifer Howard, who said: I believe and I know that collective bargaining can be a very delicate process. I wouldn't think that any of us in this House would want to inter­fere with this process because they want to take political advantage of the situation.

      Shame on those members.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for The Maples, on a final supplementary.

Mr. Sandhu: This PCs are always trying to change the channel from their failure on our health-care system.

      A five-year wage freeze during a cost of living crisis: that's policy of this gov­ern­ment. On this side of the House, we respect allied health-care workers and we believe in caring for those who care for us.

      Why this–has this PC gov­ern­ment failed to give front-line health–allied health-care workers a fair deal?

Mr. Teitsma: You know, Madam Speaker, I've been out at doors talking to Manitobans quite often in the last few weeks.

* (14:40)

      And I can tell you–I can tell the members opposite that few Manitobans believe the NDP when it comes to health care; looks like nobody should. [interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order. Order.

Wait Times Reduction Task Force
Concerns Over Independence of Task Force

Mr. Dougald Lamont (St. Boniface): The report we heard from the wait times task force today is not reassuring.

      Not only are sleep doctors saying lower costs and more effective public treatments are being ignored, the task force seems to be cherry-picking data to make the gov­ern­ment look good, because their own online dashboard shows that wait times are either the same or getting worse for cardiac surgery, CT scans, MRIs, myocardial profusion and ultrasound. And the waits for orthopedic hip re­place­ments got worse: from 20 to 30 weeks.

      We talk all the time about the priva­tiza­tion of health care, but not enough about the politicization of health care. As I table, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Cullen) confirmed last week that the head of the wait times task force was also negotiating new funding for his own clinic while provi­ding advice to gov­ern­ment.

      Does the task force have any in­de­pen­dence or is it just part of the PCs' PR spin machine?

Hon. Audrey Gordon (Minister of Health): Madam Speaker, it's clear that the member for St. Boniface missed the an­nounce­ment earlier today with Dr. Ed Buchel and Dr. Peter MacDonald, as well as David Matear, who are part of the Diag­nos­tic and Surgical Recovery Task Force, so let me update him.  

      Over 72,300 total procedures have been funded through the Diag­nos­tic and Surgical Recovery Task Force, including exceeded targets for hip and knee surgeries across most of the province. More than 43,600 of these procedures have been completed in the public health system. And Dr. Peter MacDonald, and I quote, said: Today's progress update is proof the approach is working, as thousands of Manitobans are no longer–

Madam Speaker: The member's time has expired.

      The honourable member for St. Boniface, on a supplementary question.

Manage­ment of the Health-Care System
Request to Call Legis­lative Com­mit­tee to Review

Mr. Dougald Lamont (St. Boniface): The PCs' task force excluded the Manitoba Association of Health Care Pro­fes­sionals, who represent every person who does diagnostics in the public system. And people in the system are often afraid to speak up because they'll be punished, because our health-care system has been designed to suit the party in power instead of patients.

      When we ask what's going on, we always get a 'deflaction' to ask Shared Health or the WRHA. How can we do that? In Public Accounts, we ask deputy ministers directly about why things aren't getting done, and at com­mit­tee we ask questions of CEOs and board 'chembers'.

      Will the Premier (Mrs. Stefanson) call a legis­lative com­mit­tee so that MLAs can directly ask questions to find out how Shared Health, RHAs and the wait times task force are spending $7.6 billion in public money? Because that would be historic.

Hon. Audrey Gordon (Minister of Health): Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to share with the member what's going on and what is getting done: over 72,300 total procedures. Now, he may think that's a number, but those are Manitobans that are receiving the care they so very much need.

      And let me update the member as well. Madam Speaker, 17 areas with 100 per cent 'elimited' pan­demic backlog: cataracts, cath lab, pacemaker, ultra­sound, CT scans, pediatric neural assessment, neur­ology, ortho, oral surgery, echocardiagraphy, cardiac electrophysiology, MRI, pediatric sleep, myocardial profusion, transplant, adult allergy–

Madam Speaker: The member's time has expired.

Work Permit Holders
Access to Health Coverage

Ms. Cindy Lamoureux (Tyndall Park): I'm working on three cases right now where temporary workers are unable to access prov­incial health coverage because their work permits are a few days shy of a year. One of these individuals are pregnant and due in October.

      Now, we recog­nize this is a work permit technicality, but this Province, our Health Minister, needs to step up. It's her job to work with all levels of gov­ern­ment to ensure no one falls through the cracks between now and the time it takes for the prov­incial De­part­ment of Health and the federal De­part­ment of Immigration to figure out a plan.

      Will this minister commit today that Manitobans here on work permits, even though shy of few days of a year, will have access to health-care coverage?

Hon. Audrey Gordon (Minister of Health): Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for bringing this to the floor of the Chamber because this is some­thing that I have raised with the federal Liberal-NDP party.

      And this is an issue that relates to the way they classify their work permits, Madam Speaker, and a change needs to be made federally so that individuals can access health coverage here in the province. I encourage the member to call their cousins in Ottawa and get them to make a change–[interjection] Well, actually her father, thank you.

      Madam Speaker, the change needs to be made federally.

      Thank you.

Diag­nos­tic and Surgical Recovery Task Force
Update on the Progress of Task Force

Mr. Len Isleifson (Brandon East): While the NDP continues to politicize health care here in Manitoba, our gov­ern­ment is focused on increasing surgical capacity–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Isleifson: –within our health-care system to ensure that Manitobans who are waiting in pain get their procedures.

      That is why our gov­ern­ment launched the Diag­nos­tic and Surgical Recovery Task Force, and over the last two years, has invested over a quarter of a billion dollars. Because of these of invest­ments, tens of thousands of Manitobans have received their scans, their diagnostics and their surgeries.

      Can the minister provide a further update to this House on the progress of this task force?

Hon. Audrey Gordon (Minister of Health): Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Brandon East for the question.

      I'm pleased to share with the House that over 72,300 total procedures have been funded through the Diag­nos­tic and Surgical Recovery Task Force. More than 43,600 of these procedures have been completed in the public health system. Over 28,200 cases were completed with our contracted Manitoba Health service providers, which is less than 0.01 per cent of the total cases that were completed outside the prov­ince.

      There are now 17 pandemic backlog areas that have been 100 per cent eliminated, including cata­racts, CT scans, ultrasounds and MRIs.

      Madam Speaker, these are the results, and they stand for them­selves, and that is what is going on in this province.

Northern Health-Care System
State of Health Services

MLA Tom Lindsey (Flin Flon): Let's talk about the state of health care, parti­cularly in northern Manitoba.

      We know that the hospital in Lynn Lake is shut down because–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

MLA Lindsey: –of this gov­ern­ment. We know the hospital in Leaf Rapids shut down because of this gov­ern­ment. Hospital in Snow Lake–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

MLA Lindsey: –shut down because of this gov­ern­ment. Most services in Flin Flon shut down because of this gov­ern­ment.

      Will this Premier (Mrs. Stefanson) stand up today and commit to restoring services for health care in northern Manitoba?

Hon. Audrey Gordon (Minister of Health): Madam Speaker, I wasn't here in the Chamber, but I was certainly working in the health-care system when the NDP drove around the province, and they were iden­tifying which emergency de­part­ments they should close. Initially they said they'd only close them temporarily, but then they closed them permanently.

      And I was so pleased to have the op­por­tun­ity–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Ms. Gordon: –to meet with leadership from Vita, Madam Speaker, who shared with me that, during the dark days of the NDP, they closed their emergency de­part­ment.

      And here in the North, they have done the same–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Ms. Gordon: –to–Madam Speaker, I know the mem­bers opposite don't want Manitobans to hear about their record, but they will be knocking on doors and running on that record of closing 20 emergency depart­ments–

Madam Speaker: The member's time has expired.

      The honourable member for Flin Flon, on a supplementary question.

MLA Lindsey: Let's talk about this gov­ern­ment's record on health care, parti­cularly in northern Manitoba.

      We know that most of our hospitals are now shut down or don't provide any services because of this Premier (Mrs. Stefanson) and this Health Minister. We know that Lifeflight has been privatized, making it harder for people to get to the health care they need in the south.

* (14:50)

      This PC gov­ern­ment has damaged health care so bad in the North that people in the North don't have access to health care anymore.

      Will this Premier commit today to stopping the cuts and restoring services that northern Manitobans depend on?

Ms. Gordon: Madam Speaker, it was our gov­ern­ment that invested in the new emergency de­part­ment in Flin Flon. It was our gov­ern­ment that asked over 30 stake­holder groups to come to the table of solutions to talk about the issues in the North and how we can work in part­ner­ship to address them. I didn't see the member for Flin Flon there.

      It was our gov­ern­ment that also invested $812 million into northern and rural health care, Madam Speaker. That is our record.

      We have not closed emergency de­part­ments, we have restored northern patient transport. They decimated it, permanently closed emergency de­part­ments.


Madam Speaker: The member's time has expired.

      The honourable member for Flin Flon, on a final supplementary.

MLA Lindsey: Well, this Minister of Health likes to put misinformation on the record about not having shut down any ERs.

      I welcome her to come to the town of Leaf Rapids and find an ER that's in service, because it isn't anymore. I welcome her to come to Lynn Lake and see the hospital that isn't in service anymore. Please come to Snow Lake, see the hospital that isn't in service anymore.

      Madam Speaker, this gov­ern­ment, this Health Minister, this Premier need to commit today to restoring services in northern Manitoba so that northern Manitobans can have access to health care.

Ms. Gordon: Madam Speaker, our gov­ern­ment is committed to provi­ding equitable health-care services to all Manitobans, whether they live in the North or in rural com­mu­nities.

      But in the North and rural com­mu­nities, we have invested $812 million into a clinical pre­ven­tative services plan. Madam Speaker, we are at the table of solutions with stake­holders throughout–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Ms. Gordon: –the North and through­out rural com­mu­nities to talk about solutions–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Ms. Gordon: –and to–I know, Madam Speaker; every time I stand in the House, the members opposite shout me down.

      They don't want Manitobans to hear about what we are doing in terms of invest­ments in the North or rural com­mu­nities. They won't come to the table of solutions when they're invited, Madam Speaker. They just want to–

Madam Speaker: The member's time has expired.

      The time for oral questions has expired.

Speaker's Ruling

Madam Speaker: And I have a ruling for the House.

      Following oral questions on May 15th, 2023, the honourable member for St. Boniface (Mr. Lamont) raised a matter of privilege alleging that on May 11th, 2023, the honourable Government House Leader (Mr. Goertzen) and the honourable member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway) had attempted to intimidate him.

      The member claimed that these two members told his colleague in the Chamber that he would face retaliation if he kept asking questions in the House about issues and policies related to allowances for MLAs, and what could be purchased with those allowances. The member contended that being told that he should not ask questions in the House is a prima facie violation of his privilege and his freedom of speech as a member of this House.

      The member concluded his remarks by moving: "that the members for Elmwood and Steinbach be asked to apologize to the House for their violation of privilege and that it be referred to an all-party committee for immediate consideration."

      The honourable Government House Leader (Mr. Goertzen) and the honourable Official Oppos­ition Leader spoke to the matter of privilege before the Deputy Speaker (Mr. Micklefield) took it under advise­ment.

      As members know, there are two conditions that must be satisfied in order for a matter raised to be ruled as a prima facie case of privilege: Was the issue raised at the earliest opportunity, and was sufficient evidence provided to support the member's claim that their privileges or the privileges of the House were breached?

      Regarding the condition of timeliness, in his submission on this matter the honourable member for St. Boniface (Mr. Lamont) stated that it concerned remarks made in the House on the previous sitting day and, therefore, this was his first opportunity to raise the issue. However, that is not exactly accurate, as the member could have raised the matter at 1:30 p.m. on May 15th, after the prayer and land acknowl­edge­ment. Our rules do prohibit matters of privilege from being raised during oral questions, but not before question period, so the member could have raised this earlier than he did.

      I am not saying this matter of privilege is out of order because it was not raised at the earliest op­por­tun­ity; I am simply noting that it would have been possible to raise this matter of privilege earlier that day, and I would ask members to note this for the future.

      On the second condition of whether the member provided sufficient evidence to support a prima facie case of privilege, I would note that the honourable member for St. Boniface related that the comments in question were shared with a colleague of his and not with him directly. As well, the remarks were not made on the record.

      I am concerned that such remarks could have been shared between members, and I would concur that if such comments were, in fact, made, then they could have had the effect of potentially causing a member of this House to feel intimidated. However, there is a significant grey area in what the member related in his submission. That the fact that the comments were not first‑hand, and that they were off the record makes it more challenging to draw any conclusions from this alleged interaction.

      Bosc and Gagnon affirm this sentiment on page 109 of the third edition of House of Commons Procedure and Practice when they note that: "In order to find a prima facie breach of privilege, the Speaker must be satisfied that there is evidence to support the Member's claim that he or she has been impeded in the performance of his or her parliamentary functions."

      In the current case, I am not satisfied that sufficient evidence was shared with the House to validate the case raised by the honourable member for St. Boniface. Accordingly, I am ruling that a prima facie case of privilege was not established in this case.

      Thank you for your attention to this ruling.


Madam Speaker: The–are there any petitions?

Catalytic Converter Engraving Credit

Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood): Madam Speaker, I wish to present the following petition to the Legis­lative Assembly.

      The back­ground to this petition is as follows:

      (1) The spike in catalytic converter thefts occurring across North America has hit Winnipeg. The price of precious metals in catalytic converters, like rhodium, palladium and platinum, are worth thousands of dollars an ounce. Scrap metal recyclers have catalytic converters priced to the vehicle, with some catalytic converters worth $800.

      (2) Organized groups of criminals are climbing under vehicles and cutting catalytic converters, and selling them to scrap metal recyclers for cash, without any record of these transactions.

      (3) Catalytic converter thefts cost consumers about $2,000 for each replacement. Manitoba Public Insurance charges a betterment fee for new re­place­ments, so insurance doesn't cover the full cost.

      (4) Vehicles are manufactured without catalytic converters having part numbers or any other identification that would properly identify their origin.

      (5) Marking catalytic converters on new and used vehicles with vehicle identification numbers, VIN numbers, when sold will enable police and scrap metal recyclers to identify parts' origins.

      We petition the Legis­lative Assembly of Manitoba as follows:

      To urge the prov­incial gov­ern­ment to adopt catalytic converter theft pre­ven­tion measures that would require new and used cars being sold in Manitoba to have their catalytic converters marked with their vehicle's vehicle identification number.

      And this petition is signed by many, many Manitobans. [interjection]

* (15:00)

Madam Speaker: Order.

      In accordance with our rule 133(6), when petitions are read they are deemed to be received by the House.

      Are there any further petitions? If not, grievances?



Motions of Condolence

Madam Speaker: As agreed to by the House on May 30th, 2023, the House will now consider condolence motions for former members of this Assembly. These motions will be called in the following order: Edward Williams, Jean Allard, Jim Carr, Michael Kawchuk, Joseph Marion, Clif Evans, Jay Cowan.

      For each motion, the mover may speak for up to 10 minutes and any other member wishing to speak will have up to five minutes. Once all members wishing to speak have done so, I will put the question asking members to approve the motion by observing a moment of silence. The House shall not see the clock today until the con­sid­era­tion of all seven motions conclude.

      So, I will recog­nize the first motion–the–will be related to Edward Williams.

Edward Joseph "Joe" Williams

Mr. Shannon Martin (McPhillips): Madam Speaker, I move, seconded by the MLA for Brandon West, that this House convey to the family, the late Edward Joseph "Joe" Williams, who served as a member of the Legis­lative Assembly of Manitoba, its sincere sympathy in their bereavement and its ap­pre­cia­tion of his devotion to duty in a useful life of active com­mu­nity and public service, and that Madam Speaker be requested to forward a copy of this reso­lu­tion to the family.

Motion presented.

Mr. Martin: Madam Speaker, I would like to start by extending my sincere con­dol­ences to the family of Edward Joseph "Joe" Williams and to say a few words to honour his member–his memory as a member of the Legis­lative Assembly here in Manitoba.

      "Joe" Joseph Williams was born in Brandon in 1918 and passed away in 2021 in his 104th year. He left behind an in­cred­ible legacy of service to his com­mu­nity, which now could be celebrated by his family and the many, many others who knew him during his long life.

      As a young man, Joe spent six years overseas with the Canadian army during the Second World War. However, this is only the begin­ning of a long list of experiences and accom­plish­ments that he would have during his many years of life.

      In 1958, he was elected as the first MLA of the new con­stit­uency of Churchill. He was very passion­ate and knowledgeable about his com­mu­nity, and this led him to make many more im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tions here in the province of Manitoba.

      After his time as MLA, Joe served as president of the Churchill Chamber of Commerce and also managed the Hudson Hotel in Churchill for a number of years. He was also in great deal respon­si­ble for bringing the first TV station to Churchill in 1965.

      Joe was a pillar in his com­mu­nity, and his dedi­cation resulted in many outstanding and lasting achieve­ments. His legacy of public service continued even after his passing, Madam Speaker. In honour of his 100th birthday, his family esta­blished an annual bursary for northern Manitoba students attending the Uni­ver­sity of Manitoba. Joe is still having a positive impact on the people of his com­mu­nity today, and I'm sure that this continues to make his family and friends very proud.

      Joe's wife, Ella May, passed away in 2001, but the two of them spent 58 years together that included many blessings and wonderful memories.

      Joe is survived by his sons Hector, Bruce and David, and their wives Caroline, Cathy and Brenda.

      Joe was also blessed with grandchildren: Elizabeth Dylke, Emily Williams and Andrew Williams, as well as great-grandchildren: Mataya and Hugo Dylke and Torin Joseph Mackay‑Williams.

      We wish them our most heartfelt con­dol­ences in this Chamber today. We are consoled by the fact that they are left with many in­cred­ible stories and mem­ories of Edward Joseph "Joe" Williams.

      It has been an honour to share some of the details of his life in the Chamber today. We thank Joe for his con­tri­bu­tions, Madam Speaker, and it should also serve all of us a reminder that only is our time here in the Legislature brief, but our time here on this earth is brief, and so we all must be cognizant of the fact that, at one point, other MLAs will stand and reflect on our time and our career here in the Manitoba Legislature. And it is my sincere hope that we all follow the example of Joe and lead a life of giving, of generosity and of longevity.

Mr. Andrew Micklefield, Deputy Speaker, in the Chair

      Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Eric Redhead (Thompson): It's an honour to speak about Edward Joseph Williams's history and con­tri­bu­tions to this province.

      Edward Williams passed away at his home in Nanaimo on August 18th, 2021 in his 104th year. That's a heck of a life, and we can all hope to get that far one day.

      He was born in Brandon on January 28th, 1918 and grew up in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay. He served in the military for six years, from 1939 to 1945. He was overseas in the UK, France and Iceland during the Second World War, first with the 4th Field Ambu­lance and later received his com­mis­sion in the Royal Armoured Corps from Royal Military College in Sandhurst.

      He had a long association with northern Manitoba and served as the first MLA for the new con­stit­uency of Churchill in Duff Roblin's gov­ern­ment in 1957 to '58.

      Churchill was created by redistribution in 1956. During its existence, Churchill encompassed the northernmost region of the province. In 1999, the riding of Churchill was eliminated and then it was divided into what is now Keewatinook, Flin Flon and Thompson.

      He also managed Regimental Institutes, the non-military activities at Fort Churchill. Later, he managed the Hudson's Bay hotel in Churchill and served as president of the local Chamber of Commerce.

      He was part–he was a part of bringing the first TV station to Churchill in 1965. That same year, he moved to Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, as director of industrial dev­elop­ment for the Mackenzie district.

      Then he later moved to Ottawa, Moose Factory, Peterborough, serving with Indian Affairs until his retirement in 1983.

      In celebration of his 100th birthday, his family esta­blished an annual bursary for northern Manitoba students attending the Uni­ver­sity of Manitoba.

      Joe was preceded by his wife Ella, and is survived by his sons Hector, Bruce and David, wives Caroline, Cathy and Brenda; grandchildren Elizabeth, Emily, Andrew, and great-grandchildren Mataya, Hugo and Torin.

      Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Mr. Deputy Speaker, it is with sadness that I rise to speak about an eminent Manitoban, Edward Joseph "Joe" Williams.

* (15:10)

      He was a cherished father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He passed away August 18, 2021, at his Nanaimo home, in his 104th year. He left behind a remark­able legacy of service and dedi­cation.

      He was born January 28th, 1918, in Brandon. He grew up in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay, married his wife Ella, and together they had many things that they did together, and had a long part­ner­ship, with children and grandchildren who have done well. Joe shared a close bond with his sister, Marjorie, who preceded him, dying in 2006.

      In the Second World War, Joe served overseas for six years, from 1939 to 1945: in the United Kingdom; in France; and in Iceland. Initially, he was with the 4th Field Ambulance and later receiving his com­mis­sion in the Royal Armoured Corps from the Royal Military College.

      Joe had a long and deep connection with northern Manitoba, where he made sig­ni­fi­cant con­tri­bu­tions there, and also in the Northwest Territories. In 1957 to 1958, he served as the first member of the Legis­lative Assembly for the newly esta­blished con­stit­uency of Churchill. While he was in the Legislature, he was also managing the non-military activities at Fort Churchill regimental institutes.

      He didn't speak much in the Legislature, but I did find twice where he commented. And I think the member for Keewatinook (Mr. Bushie) will ap­pre­ciate this. He commented, and I quote, it's ironical that I should come from the largest land area in the province and have the least miles of roads, and still nothing in this for me. He's–he said, I feel some­what like Cinderella. I feel in similar circum­stances as the hon­our­able member for Rhineland, the only differ­ence being that the fairy godmother has–[interjection]

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Gerrard: –not visited my area yet. And he added, that I understand the fairy godmother has been very good to the member for Rhineland.

      On another occasion, he was discussing inter­national nickel in Thompson. And he commented: This area happens to be my con­stit­uency. First of all, on some of these things that have been said, the Churchill con­stit­uency is almost half the area of this province. It has been under­developed for at least 20 to 25 years; there has been very little done up here.

      He–there was a discussion at the time in the Legislature of the fact that many who were working up north were working 12 hours a day, seven days a week. And this was described as a very bad and poor situation. But when Joe Williams got up, he pointed out that, in fact, this work pattern–12 hours a day, seven days a week–was actually requested by the men them­selves, because when they came north there wasn't a lot else to do, and so they liked to work as much as they could and make as much money as they could before going south again.

      Joe's dedi­cation to the com­mu­nity in Churchill extended beyond politics. He managed the Hudson Hotel, he held the position of president of the local chamber of commerce and he played a pivotal role in bringing the first television station, CHGH, to Churchill in 1965.

      Later on, he relocated to Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories, serving as the director of industrial dev­elop­ment for the Mackenzie district. His career then led him to Ottawa, Moose Factory and Peterbury [phonetic]–Peterborough–

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon­our­able member's time has expired.

Mr. Brad Michaleski (Dauphin): I'm grateful for the op­por­tun­ity to put a few words on the record in honour of Edward Joseph "Joe" Williams.

      Joe was a true Canadian who lived in service to his country. At the age of 21, he joined the Canadian army. He served overseas in the Second World War from 1939 to 1945. During this time, he was sent to the United Kingdom, Iceland and France. He was in the 1st Canadian Division, which went to Brest in June 1940 after the evacuation at Dunkirk. In the defence of France, Joe and many of his fellow soldiers destroyed hundreds of vehicles to keep them from falling in the hands of the enemy troops. He was lucky to survive and then continued on to Iceland in 1941, where he served for six months with the Allied occupation forces.

      After returning to the UK, he eventually went to the Royal Military College Sandhurst, and earned his com­mis­sion as second lieutenant in the Royal Armoured Corps. He also had the chance to serve on the Free French destroyer La Commandant [phonetic]. His family remembers his commenting on his ap­pre­cia­tion of the food and wine that he enjoyed there.

      Later in his life, Joe became actively involved in the con­stit­uency of Churchill, where he served as MLA. He also managed all non-military facilities at Fort Churchill, and then Camp Petawawa.

      Joe lived a remark­able life that took him to many different places. He was born in Brandon, he grew up in Thunder Bay, but he also worked in Marathon, Ontario, as well as in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. Where he started his work–when he started his work at the De­part­ment of Indian Affairs in Ottawa, he had assignments in Quebec and the Maritimes. After his retirement in 1983, him and his wife moved to White Rock, British Columbia, and travelled extensively in the United States, Mexico, Europe and China.

      It is clear that this was a man who lived a most remark­able life, both in service to his com­mu­nity, professionally in his varied career and also in adventures that he shared with his loved ones.

      I want to extend my deepest con­dol­ences to his family and also take this time to express our gratitude and ap­pre­cia­tion for every­thing that Joe did for this country and his com­mu­nity.

      It is so im­por­tant that we honour the memory and legacy of people like Joe Williams, and I am very proud to have had that op­por­tun­ity to do that today.

      Thank you.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is it the pleasure of this House to adopt this motion? [Agreed]

      Would hon­our­able members please rise and remain standing for a moment of silence to indicate their support for the motion.

A moment of silence was observed.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Please be seated.

Jean René Allard

Mr. Ian Bushie (Keewatinook): I move, seconded by the member from Point Douglas, that this House convey to the family of the late Jean René Allard, who served as a member of the Legis­lative Assembly of Manitoba, its sincere sympathy in their bereavement and its ap­pre­cia­tion of his devotion to duty and a useful life, active com­mu­nity and public service, and that Mr. Deputy Speaker be requested to forward a copy of this reso­lu­tion to the family.

Motion presented.

* (15:20)

Mr. Bushie: It gives me great honour to stand and share a few words of con­dol­ence, but more so of the accom­plish­ments of Jean René Allard, in the memory of himself as well as to his family.

      Jean was born on September 22nd, 1930. He moved from Manitoba to British Columbia as a young person, where he worked in deep-sea fishing, logging and as a cannery worker.

      While in BC, he married and had a daughter and soon after he moved back to Manitoba, but returned to BC when his wife was diagnosed with leukemia and tragically passed away.

      He continued working as a fisherman to support his daughter and, soon after, he returned to Manitoba once again.

      In the 1960s, Jean attended the Uni­ver­sity of Manitoba. Afterwards, he began his life as a civil servant where he worked in various roles in northern Manitoba. He decided to run in the 1969 election for the Manitoba NDP, where he was elected as the  MLA  for Rupert's Land, which is now my constituency of Keewatinook, and served under Ed Schreyer's NDP gov­ern­ment.

      Mr. Deputy Speaker, to this day, there is a number of com­mu­nity members, and elders spe­cific­ally, in our–in my con­stit­uency, Keewatinook, who still refer to it as Rupert's Land, and it's some­thing that's very common for the area.

      Most com­mu­nities will not even necessarily know how the lines were divided and whatnot, so Mr. Allard, his career as an MLA meant that he was on the highway a lot.

      And I know we've–we kind of make light of the fact that the con­stit­uency of Keewatinook now, which was formerly Rupert's Land, is geographically one of the largest in the province; and very few roads. So, Mr. Allard would have spent a number of days, weeks, on the road, in the air, on the land, just being able to encompass and visit all the com­mu­nities and all the people within the con­stit­uency.

      And it was also noted that he often kept a fruitcake in his glove compartment because he felt that if he ever hit the ditch, he would have some­thing of nourishment to eat. And understand that that's just the reality of life of a northern MLA, and in parti­cular, Mr. Allard, kind of thinking ahead, thinking what would happen if I had this. So, that's just an interesting anecdote that I thought of.

      And, Mr. Deputy Speaker, when thinking about Jean René Allard, we had talked about bringing forth con­dol­ence motions over this entire term–this entire four-year term.

      So it had given me the op­por­tun­ity from almost two years ago now to actually look into Mr. Allard and kind of researched some of the little things that he was a part of, and I found the reference to keeping fruitcake in his glove box in case he happened to hit the ditch in a remote part of the con­stit­uency to be quite humorous and in–actually, based in reality.

      But after politics, Jean returned to school and earned a law degree from the Uni­ver­sity of Manitoba.

      He married Beverley Bohonos and together they had five children. In the 1980s, the family moved to St. Laurent, where he ran a land dev­elop­ment busi­ness called the Lake Manitoba Estates.

      Well, Mr. Allard–well, Jean René Allard, to be specific, he was very proud of his Métis and his French‑Canadian heritage, and was passionate about achieving justice for Indigenous people in Manitoba.

      He served his com­mu­nity in many ways, including being president of L'Union nationale métisse Saint‑Joseph, and developed and writing Big  Bear's Treaty: The road to freedom, an unpub­lished manuscript on the topic of Indigenous gov­ern­ance.

      And I'm sure Mr. Allard, over the course of his time visiting Indigenous com­mu­nities, shared that knowledge, but also heard that knowledge. And that was very im­por­tant to Mr. Allard, to be able to bring and encompass those interactions that he had from his own heritage and his own back­ground to then–that what–the Indigenous people here in Manitoba.

      So, it was great that he was able to develop, to write and to share those teachings with all of us.

      In 2002, he co-founded the Treaty Annuity Working Group, which advocated for the imple­men­ta­tion of a modernized treaty annuity. He also served as an honorary member of its 'successtor', the Modernized Annuity Working Group, which was founded in 2019.

      One of the things that I found very interesting about Mr. Allard and his work, there was his work as the MLA, but there was also more spe­cific­ally his advocacy for Indigenous people and Métis people here in Manitoba.

      And he fought vehemently against removal of the controversial at the–controversial-at-the-time statue of Louis Riel that used to reside on the Legis­lative grounds. Alongside several other protestors, Jean camped out at the statue at the legis­lative grounds to prevent its removal. Although he was unsuccessful at the time in thwarting the removal of the statue, the statue lives on at the grounds at St. Boniface.

      And, Mr. Deputy Speaker, when we talk about passion in politics and the passion that people have, not just for their con­stit­uents, but more im­por­tantly with who they are and who their family are, it was some­thing that I was quite proud of and quite in awe of Mr. Allard having that compassion and that passion for Indigenous people here in Manitoba.

      As I'm sure everybody in the Chamber is very familiar, northern Manitoba has a strong popu­la­tion of Indigenous people, and in parti­cular, the con­stit­uency of Keewatinook which is formerly Rupertsland. I time and time again say, 95-plus per cent is Indigenous people.

      So, for Mr. Allard to have that passion and that dedi­cation for what it is to be an Indigenous person here in Manitoba, and as I've mentioned, he was very proud of his own Métis and French-Canadian herit­age. To bring that passion to this Legislature, to bring that passion to the com­mu­nity is some­thing that he and his family should be extremely proud of.

      So, those con­tri­bu­tions that Mr. Jean René Allard brings to this Chamber and brings to his legacy and to his family's legacy is some­thing they can be extremely proud of.

      Mr. Deputy Speaker, as I mentioned a little earlier on, when I got to actually read and find out a little bit more research about Mr. Allard, I was extremely proud–extremely proud knowing that at the time, in this Legislature, that someone like Jean René Allard was, in fact, our repre­sen­tative in this Chamber, our repre­sen­tative in this Legislature.

      And when I say our, I mean because I resided in the com­mu­nity that at the time was Rupertsland, which is now Keewatinook. But at the time it was Rupertsland. So, he was, in fact–he served prior to me being here, mind you. But he served with–repre­sen­ting my parents, my grandparents, my com­mu­nity, as well as my neighbouring com­mu­nities.

      And for the most part, a lot of Treaty 5 com­mu­nities. So, Mr. Allard's passion and dedi­cation to Indigenous people, and again, to the Métis people and the French-Canadian people that he represented also, is some­thing we need to be proud of. It's some­thing we need to be able to share and say, great job, I'm proud of you, I'm proud for how you advocated for us, for our com­mu­nity, for our area, and your family should be extremely proud to have you on a permanent record here in the Manitoba Legislature.

      Not just on a day like today, on a day of con­dol­ence, but for the work and the advocacy and the comments that you had made during your time in this Legislature. Because sometimes you're not without controversy. Sometimes when you're talking about some­thing that was 20, 30 years ago, and in parti­cular with Mr. Allard, when he first got elected, it wasn't a great time, it was not a great time.

      And it's still not a great time for Indigenous people here in Manitoba. But the advocacy and the passion from Mr. Allard to bring those voices for­ward, to actually bring to this legis­lation the concerns that are raised by Indigenous people, by Métis people, by French-Canadian people. To bring that–because that's who he was, is a testament to exactly that: who he was.

      A great and passionate advocate on behalf of the people of Manitoba, and it gives me great honour to share these few words about Mr. Allard who, in fact, was my family's repre­sen­tative here in this Chamber at one point in time, and will continue to be on and have that legacy that he brings forward and be able to proudly say that his con­tri­bu­tion made a positive impact for the lives of Indigenous people, Métis people here in Manitoba.

      Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Ms. Janice Morley-Lecomte (Seine River): Jean René Allard was a passionate individual who served in his role as an MLA for only a short time, but who lived a very full life. Allard was elected to the Manitoba Legislature in 1969 as the member repre­sen­ting Rupertsland.

      Originally, he served as a member of the New Democratic Party, but he left the party to sit as an inde­pen­dent in 1972 and did not seek re-election in 1973. During his short time in gov­ern­ment, Allard dedi­cated his work to the northern com­mu­nities in his con­stit­uency.

      He fought for access to jobs that met the needs of the com­mu­nities he had spent years in as a civil servant. Allard was always a man who strived to build com­mu­nity wherever he found himself. A proud part of his legacy, as a member of the Legis­lative Assembly, was partici­pating in the process of honouring Louis Riel with the first version of his statue to be con­structed on the Legis­lative grounds.

* (15:30)

      Allard was a proud Métis man, and he worked his entire life to raise awareness about the struggles of Canadian Indigenous peoples. He took on leadership roles in his com­mu­nity through his presidency of the Union nationale Métisse St. Joseph and in authoring his manuscript, Big Bear's Treaty.

      He was involved in various groups advocating for Indigenous peoples, including co-founding the Treaty Annuity Working Group.

      Allard thrived in many industries before and after his time in Legislature. In his youth, he worked as a logger, deep-sea fisherman and a cannery worker, among a variety of other careers, before moving on to spend many years working as a civil servant in northern Manitoba.

      After his time in politics, Allard went back to school for law and, in 1980, he moved his family to St. Laurent to start a land developing busi­ness.

      Family was always the priority to Allard. He had one daughter, Sylvette, with his late wife, Catherine, and five children, Paul, Pierre, Luc, Marika and Marc, with his second wife, Beverley. Allard found–or sorry, felt it was im­por­tant his children were exposed to multiple cultures, so the family of seven began a tradition of loading into a van and driving to Mexico for several winter trips.

      Allard was passionate about edu­ca­tion for his kids. He spent years driving the kids to school in Winnipeg each day to ensure they had the best op­por­tun­ities.

      We remember Jean René Allard for his con­tri­bu­tion to politics, his com­mu­nity and to Manitoba.

      Thank you.

Mr. Dougald Lamont (St. Boniface): I rise today to pay tribute to Jean Allard, a former MLA and a constit­uent of mine in St. Boniface, who died in 2020, working and hoping for the future until his very last day,

      Jean was very proud of his Métis heritage and his chairmanship of the Union nationale Métisse St. Joseph, a Métis organi­zation founded by Louis Riel and his supporters after the Battle of Batoche. And, of course, Jean loved his family and his com­mu­nity. He was a contrarian and a maverick. He was always sure to attend St. Boniface Cathedral on the anniversary of the death of Louis Riel.

      Jean was born in St. François Xavier, near Headingley, and, in fact, our families knew each other for decades. As a Liberal in the 1960s, he worked on campaigns of my uncle; and my aunt, as a lawyer, worked as his real estate deal–lawyer in the deals in the Métis com­mu­nity of St. Laurent.

      His obituary says he was a proud pépère [grandpa] to 12 grandchildren and four great-grand­children.

      And he faced in­cred­ible challenges at a very young age. In his younger years, Jean, like many young prairie fellows, moved to make his fortune in BC. Amongst many careers and jobs, he worked as a logger, deep-sea fisherman and cannery worker. And while out west, he met his first wife, Catherine, and soon welcomed their first child, Sylvette.

      Shortly after Sylvette's birth in 1952, he brought his family back to Manitoba. Unfor­tunately, while in Manitoba, Catherine was diagnosed with leukemia. Jean brought Catherine back to Vancouver to see her family in 1956, where she sadly passed away, leaving Jean and Sylvette to mourn her. At 25 years old, he was a widower with a young child.

      While on the west coast, he continued to work on fishing boats while his brother, Guy, off the cold waters of BC to support his daughter, Sylvette.

      The 1960s were a whirlwind, and Jean attended the Uni­ver­sity of Manitoba, where he made lifelong friends. And he went to work in northern Manitoba, where he was appalled at the living con­di­tions of First Nations.

      In 1966, he was–he–one of the first people to argue that we needed to have a statue of Louis Riel on the Legis­lative grounds.

      In 1969, Jean ran and won in Rupertsland as an NDP MLA with Ed Schreyer in the Manitoba Legislature. That meant he was often on the highway in his con­stit­uency. He always carried a fruitcake in his glove compartment, as he felt if he landed in the ditch, he had nourishment.

      In 1970, he was a new member of the Legislature and legis­lative assist­ant to Premier Schreyer and was given the special respon­si­bility for developing innov­ative job programs for people in northern Manitoba, about 90 per cent of them Indigenous.

      With the support of the Manitoba Indian Brother­hood, the Manitoba Métis Federation, mining interests and unions, Allard worked hard to pull together a new commuter flight service in the North that would allow Indigenous men to fly in and out of a newly opened mine operation on a two-week cycle, so they could earn good money and still remain in their home com­mu­nities.

      Sadly, just as the new program was about to be announced, the gov­ern­ment pulled the plug and decided the gov­ern­ment would build a brand new town from scratch in the wilderness near the mine. He abruptly and bitterly quit the party in April 1972 and sat as an in­de­pen­dent.

      Alors que d'autres demandent que la statue de Louis Riel soit enlevée, Allard l'aimait. Il s'y est même enchaîné lorsqu'il a été question de la démolir en 1994, bien qu'elle ait été déplacée au Collège Saint-Boniface.  


Whereas others asked for the statue of Louis Riel to be removed, Allard liked it. He even chained himself to the statue when the possibility of its destruction was raised in 1994, even after it was moved to the grounds of St. Boniface College.  


      The statue of Louis Riel, created by Marcien Lemay and Étienne Gaboury showed Riel naked, unprotected and tormented. While others called for it to be removed, Allard loved it and chained himself to it for days. And during that time, as he was chained to a statue of Riel, he began to formulate what he saw as the answer to poverty on First Nations: updating treaties to modern times and to modern levels to create a guaranteed income.

      I ran into him from time to time in St. Boniface. In 1992, he and I had been part of a French language com­mit­tee to oppose the Charlottetown Accord and appeared on a Radio-Canada panel together with: Richard Chartier, the former Chief Justice; myself; Jean; and others.

      While campaigning, I ran into him in 2018 at McDonald's and I recog­nized him imme­diately. And he imme­diately started intro­ducing me around to people there, and also started telling me right away about the idea of modern treaty annuities and what we could do to solve the problem of poverty in First Nations for good.

      To his last days, he maintained a passion for justice for Indigenous people in Canada.

      Jean leaves behind many loved ones. His former wife, Beverley, children and grandchildren, and friends and com­mu­nities.

      Our con­dol­ences to all who knew and loved Jean. He will be missed.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt this motion? [Agreed]

      Would the hon­our­able members please rise and remain standing for a moment of silence to indicate their support for the motion.

A moment of silence was observed.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Please be seated.

James Gordon "Jim" Carr

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Mr. Deputy Speaker, I move, seconded by the MLA for Tyndall Park, that the House convey to the family of the late James Gordon "Jim" Carr, who served as a member of the Legis­lative Assembly of Manitoba, its sincere sympathy in their bereavement and its ap­pre­cia­tion of his devotion to duty in a useful 'lise'–life of active com­mu­nity and public service, and that Madam Speaker be requested to forward a copy of this reso­lu­tion to the family.

Motion presented.

Mr. Gerrard: Mr. Deputy Speaker, my friend, Jim Carr, was an oboist, a journalist, a leader of busi­ness leaders in Manitoba and a politician who spoke and led with grace, and strove through­out his life to understand others and to build bridges.

      Born and raised in Winnipeg, his journey began in River Heights. He exemplified the values of music, politics, family and curiosity. He was handed a oboe in an orchestra program at Grant Park High School. By the age of 16, he was a member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Music remained a lifelong passion.

      Some under­standing of the range of his interests is found in his remarks during a Throne Speech debate of August 3rd, 1988, after his first election.

      He was concerned about the environ­ment, saying a tragic neglect of our rivers is one of the shameful legacies of succeeding gov­ern­ments. The vast potential of these rivers, their potential and source of recreation for our people has been lost and squandered by short-sightedness.

      He was concerned about those who are margin­alized, saying this gov­ern­ment must never forget those among us who, through the accidents of birth and circum­stance, struggle to maintain their dignity and their sense of worth.

      He was a champion for Manitoba and Canada, saying time and again, the human spirit overcomes impossible odds and prevails. This is the story of our province and of our country.

* (15:40)

      He played the oboe in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and he commented: It is often said that an oboe is an ill wind that nobody blows good. And then he said: I hope hon­our­able members will find other ways of describing my own performance in this House.

      He was long an observer of prov­incial politics and commented: Under the former NDP gov­ern­ment, people realized that they were paying more and they were getting less. We could see our health-care system begin to slip while our paycheques got smaller and smaller.

      In his speech, he commented on the Meech Lake Accord. During his time as an MLA, Jim Carr was known for his wisdom on con­sti­tu­tional issues.

      Jim was aware of the need for work-life balance. I remember meeting him in the summer of 1990, in the run-up to the prov­incial election that year. The election had not been called. Jim was tanned and fit. He'd been spending time in the Whiteshell hiking and getting prepared physic­ally so he'd be ready for the rigors of going door to door and up and down the stairs of apartments and condominium buildings.

      In February 1992, Jim stepped away from prov­incial politics. He worked as a columnist and on the editorial board for the Winnipeg Free Press.

      In 1998, he left and became president and CEO of the Busi­ness Council of Manitoba, an organi­zation which he co-founded and stayed with until 2015. While there, much of his efforts were related to promoting immigration to meet Manitobans' need for skilled workers and on attention to the support of Indigenous youth to get an edu­ca­tion.

      In 2015, Jim re-entered the political arena. He was suc­cess­ful in getting elected in Winnipeg South Centre and shortly afterwards was sworn in to the Cabinet as minister of Natural Resources. While he was a Member of Parliament, we worked together to help residents in River Heights and, indeed, around the province.

      As minister, he launched the Gen­era­tion Energy initiative in April 2017. The ideas that came from the dialogue with several hundred thousand Canadians resulted in billions of dollars of invest­ments in electrical vehicles and alter­na­tive fuels, smart grids, clean energy solutions for rural and remote com­mu­nities, energy-efficient buildings and emerging renewable power solutions.

      July 18, 2018, Jim was moved to become minister of Inter­national Trade Diversification. The title sig­nalled a new focus on diversifying Canada's trade partners beyond the United States. It also welcomed more inclusive trade with more Canadians encouraged to partici­pate in inter­national trade and invest­ment, including small and medium enterprises owned by women, Indigenous peoples, youth and those who identify as LGBTQ2.

      Jim also oversaw the expansion of Canada's Trade Com­mis­sioner Service, including re-opening the original regional hub office in Winnipeg. He wel­comed the entry into force of multilateral trade agree­ments, the Com­pre­hen­sive and Progressive Agree­ment for Trans-Pacific Part­ner­ship, and two bilateral ones with Chile and Israel.

      He also intro­duced a new inter­national edu­ca­tion strategy and em­pha­sized cor­por­ate social respon­si­bility.

      Jim was re-elected in the 2019 federal election. I had joined him going door to door. And just a day or so before the election, I was with Lloyd Axworthy and Jim, and we noticed that his strength was weakening. And then, the night of his victory, he gave an in­cred­ible speech done with great courage.

      He went for a checkup the next day and was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. He had to step down from Cabinet but accepted a role as federal gov­ern­ment special repre­sen­tative to the Prairies, the Prime Minister's eyes and ears and voice in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

      On January 12, 2021, Jim returned to Cabinet as minister without portfolio. He was re-elected to a third term in the 2021 federal election and appointed chair of the Standing Com­mit­tee on Public Safety and National Security.

      In his final speech in the House before his death, on bill C-235, Jim said, I love every square metre of this country, in English, en français, in Indigenous language, in the language of the newly arrived and all that represents Canada and Canadians.

      So, it is with heavy hearts we gather day–today to honour the life and mourn the loss of Jim Carr, a dedi­cated Member of Parliament and an MLA, a beloved husband, father and esteemed member of our com­mu­nity. Jim passed away December 12, 2022 at the age of 71, leaving behind a legacy of commit­ment, of passion and of service.

      'Demite'–despite his demanding career, Jim's commit­ment to the com­mu­nity never wavered. He was the executive director at one time of the Manitoba Arts Council. He served on numer­ous boards, includ­ing the United Way of Winnipeg, the Canada West Foundation, the Winnipeg Airports Author­ity, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, St. Boniface Hospital, Canadian Club of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council, the Inter­national In­sti­tute for Sus­tain­able Dev­elop­ment and the Mauro centre for peace and justice.

      Above all, Jim Carr loved his hometown of Winnipeg, the Prairies and Canada. He was known for his outgoing and enthusiastic personality, always treating others with respect and kindness. His passion for connecting with people from all walks of life and listening to different perspectives was evident in his interactions. His love of teaching led him to offer classes to seniors at the Uni­ver­sity of Winnipeg. He cherished the exchange of knowledge and learning from his students.

      Jim's devotion to his family was unwavering. He took great pride in his wife Colleen's accom­plish­ments and cherished their shared experiences, from travels across the globe to summers spent at Caddy Lake. He was immensely proud of their blended family and celebrated the achieve­ments of each of their children, and I'm sure he'd be proud that Ben is run­ning to be the next MLA–or, next MP for Winnipeg South Centre.

      Jim's passion for cooking was well known. His brisket was hailed as perfection. Together with Colleen, they hosted family, friends and guests from near and far around their generous dining room table. Jim held a deep ap­pre­cia­tion for his Jewish heritage and frequently spoke about his eastern European roots. He remained committed to the Jewish com­mu­nity while actively promoting local Jewish-Arab dialogue.

      Through­out his endeavours his primary objective was to foster under­standing and to bridge divides. Jim was a beacon of positivity, always maintaining an infectious smile. Even in the last years, when he had to have dialysis several times a week in order to live, his unwavering optimism and his deter­min­ation propelled him forward until his private member's bill, the Building a Green Prairie Economy Act, suc­cess­fully passed through the House of Commons shortly before his passing.

      This remark­able achieve­ment stands as a testa­ment to his indomitable spirit.

Hon. Kelvin Goertzen (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): Jim Carr, you know, one of the–my memories that I'll remember most of Mr. Carr was in Niverville, not his con­stit­uency and not my con­stit­uency, either. But we were both there for the opening–or, for the an­nounce­ment, I should say, of a new rec centre. I think it was actually the first funded project under the ICIP program in Manitoba, if my memory serves me correctly.

      And it was a little bit of a tricky one because this long-awaited recreation centre in Niverville was being attached to the new high school that was just built by the prov­incial gov­ern­ment. That's why I was there as the minister of Edu­ca­tion, because there was an edu­ca­tion component attaching it to the gym in Niverville.

      So, at this really great com­mu­nity celebration–the MLA for Springfield-Ritchot was there and emceeing the event–it was just so well received by everyone; they'd waited for so long. It was the first one of the ICIP projects coming forward.

      And Jim took me aside after the picture, and he said, you know Kelvin, like, this isn't my riding and it's probably not a riding that we're going to win as federal Liberals anytime soon; it's in the riding of Provencher. He says, but it's the right thing to do. And you can just see, you know, how happy everybody is in the com­mu­nity and what a creative effort it was to get it done, attaching it to the school.

* (15:50)

      And I said, yes, Jim, you're right; you're likely not to win this as Liberals anytime soon. The riding in Provencher was last held, I think, by David Iftody federally, back when the Conservatives were splitting the vote in different ways. So, it is very gracious of you not only to agree to the funding.

      And he was the senior minister at the time, and I don't think he would've been driven, you know, overtly politically on the funding, but he came to the event, which isn't always the case. Sometimes, in those sorts of an­nounce­ments, federal gov­ern­ment might not have the repre­sen­tative or might, you know, send somebody else. But the senior minister came, and he said, I wanted to come here because I know it's im­por­tant to the com­mu­nity; has nothing to do with politics, just because I think it's really im­por­tant.

      And that spoke to who the individual was. And I relied upon that a few months later when I was the interim premier and I was calling Jim–at that time, he was still the senior minister–and I said, we have a bit of a challenge when it comes to this great big regional waste-water treatment plant. We can't seem to get money under the Canada Infra­structure Bank because the project is actually too small. And, you know, he–I didn't know he wasn't going to be in Cabinet that much longer, but he said, leave it with me. I'll try to, you know, bring it back to officials and see what we can do.

      So this, again, is in the southeastern part of the province involv­ing, ironically again, Niverville, but other com­mu­nities as well. And he delivered on that. He was, you know, only in Cabinet at that point, then, for a little while longer, but he made sure before he left that he found a way within the Infra­structure Bank and other ways, to get support from the federal gov­ern­ment for that regional infra­structure project because he knew that it was im­por­tant to the area, he knew that it was im­por­tant for Manitoba, but he just knew it was a good project.

      And so, I leave those two stories, in the short time that I have, as a remembrance of an individual who I won't remember as a Liberal MP, but as a Manitoba MP, who just really wanted to do what was best for Manitoba. Regardless of the area, the con­stit­uency, the political value that may or may not have been involved with it, he just wanted to do the right thing.

      He was a good and he was an hon­our­able man. He served Manitoba well. He'll be missed by his family, he'll be missed by his con­stit­uents. We send our thoughts and, of course, our con­dol­ences to each of them at this time, and we thank Mr. Carr for his service.

Mr. Wab Kinew (Leader of the Official Opposition): I wanted to take the op­por­tun­ity to share a few words in memoriam for the dearly departed Jim Carr, because he's a heck of a guy, one very large presence as a Manitoban, as we've heard testimony from the other MLAs who've spoken to this con­dol­ence motion.

      There's many things that we could say about Mr. Carr. He was a father, a husband, an MLA, an MP, a leader in the busi­ness world, a philanthropist, a musician. But I would note that I knew him as a predecessor, as the Fort Rouge MLA–as he repre­sented the same con­stit­uency as I do today–and as a friend, somebody that I had the op­por­tun­ity to get to know a little bit over the years. I feel like I was very lucky to have that op­por­tun­ity and to build a relationship with him.

      I first met Mr. Carr when he was the CEO of the Busi­ness Council of Manitoba. I think he was actually the founding CEO of this organi­zation, which, in itself, this organi­zation is a testament to our province. This is about the homegrown, large employers and busi­ness leaders coming together here to stand up for Manitoba values and to stand up for Manitoba's economy. And Jim Carr was the person that they tapped on the shoulder to express and articulate their views and to stand up for their priorities. And I think he did a very im­por­tant job.

      One of the things that the Busi­ness Council is proud of to this day, that began under Mr. Carr, is their scholar­ship and bursary program for Indigenous stud­ents, and I know that Mr. Carr was very, very proud of starting this initiative. And over the years, they have supported thousands and thousands of students who are using edu­ca­tion as a tool to improve their lives and the lives of their families for the better. And I can say people that I'm related to have benefited from this scholar­ship initiative them­selves.

      So, certainly, I know Mr. Carr was very, very fond of his work on that.

      We also crossed paths quite a bit because we shared a good friend in–another former MLA by the name of Lloyd Axworthy, and I think it's fair to say that Lloyd was Mr. Carr's mentor. And so, Jim was around the Uni­ver­sity of Winnipeg quite a bit at the time that I worked there as well.

      And Mr. Carr left the, you know, busi­ness council and other en­gage­ments that he had in order to run for the federal Liberal nomination. So, I'd see him out and about, you know, doing the things that are familiar to many of us in this Chamber who have gone through, you know, races like that.

      And I remember seeing him at one event at a home in River Heights, and he came up to me, pulled me aside, and I asked him, what are you doing. He said: I sell memberships. That's my job now, he dead­panned to me. And so, we had kind of a little chuckle there and, you know, obviously, I encouraged him and we had some good–some visits there.

      Not too long later–a few years later, probably–the tables were turned and I entered politics and went through my own, you know, first at bat there, and was elected. And I have to say that Jim Carr was probably one of the first people to call me after I was suc­cess­ful in being elected as the MLA for Fort Rouge. And he was definitely the first person from another party to call and con­gratu­late me.

      And his words were very encouraging, and, you know, we obviously shared a lot of con­stit­uents, him being the MP for Winnipeg South Centre at the time, which overlaps with my con­stit­uency quite a bit.

      And he shared some good advice. One piece that I think it–I don't think I'm breaking any con­fi­dence to share–is he said, you know, get your eight hours of sleep each night. All the other problems that you're going to encounter in this political world are a lot easier if you manage to sleep eight hours.

      And my answer to him on that day would be the same answer I'd give him today, were he to still be with us: I'm working on it.

      Of course, we saw him achieve many, you know, big things for Manitoba in his role as a federal minister of the Crown, Cabinet minister, but I think it's his legacy and family and com­mu­nity that he was most proud of. I know that he had deep love for the Lake of the Woods, as do I, and he passed that on to his children. And so, he is dearly missed and mourned by his kids, by his wife, by his family, by all those who worked with him.

      And I do think it's very, very fitting that his last bill received royal assent, I believe on the day–or on the week–that he passed, about building a clean economy in the Prairies, tying neatly together many of the strands of his life in the forms of the prairie economy, the province that he loved and the public service that he dedi­cated himself to.

      So, I'd just like to join in the chorus of people saying to Jim Carr, thank you for your service. Our province is better for having known you.

Mr. Dougald Lamont (St. Boniface): I won't speak too long. I know that my colleague, the MLA for River Heights, knew Jim much better than I did, but our paths crossed for so many years.

      And when you think about his impact on the province of Manitoba, it really is quite remark­able, though I think I really would rather talk about his–I would say, his character. He was always generous; he was always open; and he was always–he had a fairness to him, which is very at odds with so much of the conflict and dif­fi­cul­ties we sometimes mount here.

      He was a musician. He was a musician at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He loved his chil­dren; he loved his grandchildren.

      And he was the deputy leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party and MLA for Fort Rouge during an absolutely critically time, both for Manitoba as well as for Canada. It was the time of the Meech Lake Accord. There were extra­ordin­ary pressures. There was a–extra­ordin­ary pressures because, in this room, we were facing decisions that would shape the entire future of Canada.

      And historic decisions were made, and Jim was a part of that, along with Sharon Carstairs and Gary Doer and Gary Filmon. It was a really in­cred­ible time where, at one point in–history passed through the  hands of a single person, that person being Elijah Harper.

      But he went from being deputy leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party to going to work at the Winnipeg Free Press. He was very, very close, as the MLA for Fort Rouge mentioned, with Lloyd Axworthy. He then went on to work at the Manitoba Busi­ness Council and then as a Member of Parliament.

* (16:00)

      And those are–those were all extra­ordin­ary things to be a part of. So, he was part of the arts, he was part of prov­incial politics, part of the–really, Manitoba's and Winnipeg's paper of record, the Winnipeg Free Press, during a critical time for our province, part of the Manitoba Busi­ness Council–the founding CEO of the–or, director of the Manitoba Busi­ness Council, which has played an enormously im­por­tant role in working with gov­ern­ments and guiding gov­ern­ments and giving advice to gov­ern­ments.

      And when you would run into him, though, he was always very simple and he was very basic. I think he–I remember asking him what his advice to any candidate would be, and it was the simplest thing. He said, get lots of sleep, make sure you eat right and get exercise. Those are the only three things he gave me advice on. All of which are actually really, really im­por­tant pieces of advice for anybody who's running for office, especially if they're going door knocking.

      But it was such a terrible shock that he ran for re‑election, and he'd been feeling low, he didn't know if it was a cold or whether he was just under the weather leading up to an election.

      And then, on the day of his re-election, he gave a speech and went to the hospital, and was shocked to find out that he was not just ill, but very ill. It was an–just an in­cred­ible miracle that he lived, actually, and that he had a chance to spend more time with his family, more time with his grandchildren and more time with all of us.

      And the level of his dedi­cation–he really worked to the end, to the very end, working in the interests of his com­mu­nity, of Winnipeg, of Manitoba and of the–all of western Canada, to be working that–to that extent, to be able to get one last bill passed just days before he died.

      And he was–I think he was at peace. I think he was–it helped him be at peace with what he'd accom­plished. He–and his family would say this, too–he would–expected many, many more years of life and many 'moriny'–more years of con­tri­bu­tions to make. And it was a very difficult shock, both the news of his illness as well as his passing.

      So, with that, I will offer my deepest con­dol­ences and thanks to his family, to his com­mu­nity and to all those who loved and supported him.

      Thank you.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion? [Agreed]

      Would hon­our­able members please rise and remain standing to indicate their support for the motion.

A moment of silence was observed.

Michael Kawchuk

Mr. Diljeet Brar (Burrows): I move, seconded by member for Flin Flon (MLA Lindsey), that this House convey to the family of the late Michael Kawchuk, who served as a member of the Legis­lative Assembly of Manitoba, its sincere sympathy in their bereave­ment and its ap­pre­cia­tion of his devotion to duty in a useful life of active com­mu­nity and public service, and that Madam Speaker be requested to forward a copy of this 'resolation' to the family.

Motion presented.

Mr. Brar: I rise in the memory of Michael Kawchuk, a great Manitoban and a great leader in many ways. There are not too many people in this society who are–who choose to serve this society or show leadership in many ways.

Madam Speaker in the Chair

      There are people who work in one field of life and are suc­cess­ful and passionate, but while learning about Michael, I realized that Michael showed great leadership not just in provincial politics, but also local politics, munici­pal politics. He was a busi­ness leader, as well. And he was a religious leader, as well. An impressive personality.

      I feel honoured and sad at the same time remem­bering about Michael today.

      Michael was born in Keld, Manitoba in 1931. He studied at Brandon agri­cul­ture school and the Uni­ver­sity of Manitoba, earning a diploma in agri­cul­ture from the latter in 1955, after which he returned home to work on his family farm.

      Michael married Nettie Frykas in 1957, and seven years later, they moved to Gilbert Plains. They had four children together.

      Michael was dedi­cated to public service from early in his life. In 1966, he was first elected as an MLA for Ethelbert Plains as a member of the New Demo­cratic Party. In 1969, he departured prov­incial politics to continue his service at the munici­pal level, becoming the mayor for Gilbert Plains.

      He also served as a trustee of the Gilbert Plains district hospital board, was a member of the Manitoba Water Com­mis­sion, the Manitoba Public School Finance Board, the Farm Machinery Board and was director of the Pool elevator and Manitoba Farmers Union. He chose to serve this society using so many diverse platforms.

      Michael died peacefully on Sunday, January 24th, 2021, in Brandon, Manitoba. He was 89. My deepest con­dol­ences to his family and friends.

      He attended the Lemberg School in Keld until transferring to the Dauphin Collegiate In­sti­tute for high school.

      I salute his passion to serve, his vision for Manitoba, his hard work for Manitobans and his sense of giving back to the society.

      In addition to his wife, Nettie, Michael is survived by his children, Brenda Hewlko, Murray, Marlo and Bonnie, his brother Mervin and sisters-in-law Elsie and Marjorie. He was a proud father and a proud Gida who sparkled at the mention of any of his five grandchildren, Mallory and Brittany Hewlko, Meghan Roberts, Jamie Kawchuk and Bronte Luke.

      Michael started a farm implement busi­ness in Gilbert Plains in 1969 and expanded it to Dauphin in 1974. It soon became one of the largest busi­nesses of its kind in western Manitoba. With a handful of years, he also built two wood product manufacturing busi­nesses in Dauphin.

      His staff, con­stit­uents and customers were extended family. He worked tirelessly for them, moving nimbly between meetings, hospital, school and church boards, town council and other civic duties, com­mu­nity service clubs and customer calls.

      Public service played a central role in Michael's life from an early age. At 35, he was elected as member of Legis­lative Assembly, Ethelbert Plains, in 1966, an office he held until he was elected mayor of Gilbert Plains in 1969.

* (16:10)

      He was president of Keld's Ukrainian church and Holy Cross Catholic Church of Surrey, BC. This was his religious leadership. Of all his com­mu­nity service roles, serving as secretary-treasurer of Lemberg school board, a role his grandfather held after helping to esta­blish the school upon immigrating from Ukraine, held special meaning for him.

      Michael was central figure in the com­mu­nity and a great busi­ness man. When the Legis­lative Assembly was in session, he travelled back and forth to Winnipeg. The kitchen table was always open to travel­ling dignitaries, employees, customers, neighbours and friends. On Saturdays, it became a con­stit­uency office. Customers knew they could call the house at 2 a.m. during harvest, and within minutes the shop, as the farm implement busi­ness was known, was open.

      After retirement, he and Nettie moved to the lower mainland of British Columbia, eventually returning to their beloved Prairie to split their time between Brandon and Clear Lake. Michael was hap­piest in the outdoors, farmland or forest. He cherished memories of seasonal camping with family and friends at Blue Lake and was most content chopping wood and listening to the loons at his cottage on the north shore of Clear Lake. He enjoyed curling, car­pentry, a good debate and long family road trips with his camper, the Shadow.

      Family and friends, including those of younger gen­era­tions, found him engaging; his intelligence and pragmatism fed a stream of astute observations.

      Michael will be remembered as generous in spirit, colourful in character and purposeful in his mission to support the com­mu­nities and economic stability of the Parkland region.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. James Teitsma (Minister of Consumer Protection and Government Services): It's my hon­our and my privilege to say a few words in memory of Michael Kawchuk, or Mike, as he liked to be called.

      You know, just like the current MLA for Dauphin, I think Mike had some Ukrainian blood in his past, and he's also got some ex­per­ience in busi­ness, that I'm sure he put to good use, and a good busi­ness sense likely helped him in his years of service here in the Manitoba Legislature.

      He was only 35 years old when he was first elected here as a member of the Legis­lative Assembly for Ethelbert Plains, 1966. I should mention that Mike was born in a small town of Keld, Manitoba. I think that's about 20 minutes southwest of Dauphin, if my geography is correct; I'll look at the member for Dauphin (Mr. Michaleski) for confirmation. I got a nod from the member for Dauphin, so ap­pre­ciate that.

      So the–yes, when he was first elected as member of the NDP, he held that seat for a few years, but then, as sometimes happens, redistribution occurred and a new riding, the riding of Roblin, was created, and he just lost it by–the election by just a handful of votes, I think about 170 votes. And so his time as an MLA came to an end.

      But while he served as an MLA, you know, he ex­per­ienced what so many of my rural colleagues have to ex­per­ience–and I have tre­men­dous respect and ap­pre­cia­tion–which is living a few hours outside of Winnipeg, having to come to Winnipeg and to be here and to work here all week away from your family, and then only getting to return on the weekends or when the Legislature's not in session. I know that's–that can be a tough life, and for Mike Kawchuk, that was his–that was the reality of his existence for the three years that he served.

      But his commit­ment to public service did not miss a beat. He–the same year that he lost that election in Roblin, he was elected the mayor of Gilbert Plains, and he was happy to serve in that role. And, in fact, if you look at his biography and his obituary, there's just a tre­men­dous record of service.

      Not only did he serve as a member of the Legis­lature, not only did he serve as the mayor of Gilbert Plains, but he also served as–on the Gilbert Plains district hospital board. He also was a director of the Pool elevator. He served with the Manitoba Farmers Union. He served on the Manitoba Water Com­mis­sion. He served on the Manitoba Public School Finance Board. He served on the Farm Machinery Board. He was the president of Keld Ukrainian Church and the Holy Cross Catholic Church of Surrey, BC, as well, for a while.

      And he served on the Lemberg school board. He served in Kinsmen. He served in the Knights of Columbus. His was a life of service, and it's one that he took to heart 24-7, welcoming people into his home even at two in the morning.

      So that life of service, I think, is a good example for all of us, and that willingness to continue to serve either while being a member of the Legislature or both before and after those years of service, to find ways to contribute to your com­mu­nity. That's what Mike did, and I think his family has every reason to be proud of his legacy of public service.

      I should note that he briefly fell for the allures of lower mainland British Columbia after he retired; so many of us, you know, are sometimes tempted to think that living in another part of the country or another part of the world might be more appealing.

      But it didn't last: he returned right here to Manitoba, found himself a beautiful place on the north shores of Clear Lake, and that's where he spent his remaining years enjoying all the beauty and quiet and nature that Manitoba has to offer, especially in Clear Lake and the Riding Mountain area.

      I think his greatest legacy is his children and his grandchildren, and I believe the member opposite already noted them, but I'll make special mention of his grandchildren. That's dear to me as well; when my father wrote his memoirs, he didn't call them, I remember, or Dad remembers; he called them Grandpa remembers, because he wanted his grandkids to know what he had done with his life. And I think the same is true here, with Mike Kawchuk, the MLA for Ethelbert Plains.

      So, with those few words, I want to conclude my con­dol­ences here and thank the Legis­lative Chamber here for their acceptance of my remarks.

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Yes, Madam Speaker, I would like to add a few words on the passing of Michael "Mike" Kawchuk, a revered politician, esteemed com­mu­nity leader and a devoted family man.

      We mourn alongside others in Manitoba as we remember and honour his remark­able life and extra­ordin­ary and exceptional con­tri­bu­tions.

      His dedi­cation to public service and his tireless efforts in serving his con­stit­uents were exemplary. Throughout his political career he con­sistently demon­strated a steadfast concern for the betterment of Manitoba, championing issues that were close to the hearts of the people of our province and striving to make a positive impact on their lives.

      He was approachable, he was humble, he was willing to lend a listening ear to the concerns of his con­stit­uents and he was a beloved figure within the com­mu­nity.

      Born April 23rd, 1931 in Keld, Manitoba, Mike was the eldest son of Nicholas and Annie Kawchuk. He pursued his edu­ca­tion with diligence, attending the Lemberg School, later transferring to Dauphin Col­legiate Institute for high school. Continuing his pur­suit of knowledge, he studied at the Brandon agri­cul­tural school, and went on to obtain a diploma in agri­cul­ture from the Uni­ver­sity of Manitoba in 1955.

      With a passion for farming he returned to the family farm, where fate would intro­duce him to the love of his life, Nettie Frykas. They embraced the journey together, exchanging vows June 8th, 1957 and settling in Gilbert Plains in 1964.

      Public service became an integral part of Mike's life. At age 35 he embarked on his political journey and was elected as a member of the Legis­lative Assembly for Ethelbert Plains in 1966, a position he held until 1969 when he became mayor of Gilbert Plains.

      During his time in the Legislature, one of his major focuses was on improving the highway program and getting a more orderly process for its dev­elop­ment. I quote from one of his speeches in Hansard, when he said as follows: It is high time that a program of orderly dev­elop­ment of our highway system was incorporated, whereby the members of this House could have an op­por­tun­ity to see what was on the priority list, insofar as our highway construction is concerned.

* (16:20)

      It is up to the gov­ern­ment to give a dynamic drive in leadership to have the highway system developed to a 20th-century system like was oft proclaimed by a lot of the candidates in the last June 23rd election. This was his focus for much of his time in the Legislature.

      After the Legislature and through­out his career, he had an unwavering commit­ment to serving people of Manitoba and left an indelible mark. His dedi­cation was evidenced in his numer­ous ap­point­ments and roles, including serving as a trustee of the Gilbert Plains district hospital board, director of the Pool Elevator and Manitoba Farmers Union and an appointed member of esteemed in­sti­tutions like the water–Manitoba Water Com­mis­sion, the Manitoba Public Schools Finance Board and the Farm Machinery Board.

      He also partici­pated actively in his com­mu­nity with leadership roles at Keld Ukrainian Church, Holy Cross Catholic Church in Surrey, BC and serving as secretary-treasurer of the Lemberg school board, a position of special sig­ni­fi­cance, given his family's history and ties to the school.

      In addition to his public service, Mike was a prominent figure in the busi­ness world. In 1969, he esta­blished a farm implement busi­ness in Gilbert Plains which soon expanded to Dauphin in 1974. Under his guidance, the busi­ness flourished and became one of the largest of its kind in western Manitoba. Further­more, he ventured into wood product manufacturing, esta­blished two suc­cess­ful busi­nesses in Dauphin.

      We mourn the loss of a remark­able individual whose con­tri­bu­tions to our province have left an indelible mark in our hearts and in our minds as we speak here today.

      Thank you.

Madam Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt this motion? [Agreed]

      Would hon­our­able members please rise and remain standing to indicate their support for the motion.

A moment of silence was observed.

Joseph Paul Marion

Madam Speaker: I will now call the con­dol­ence motion for Joseph Paul Marion.

Mr. Dougald Lamont (St. Boniface): I move, seconded by the member for River Heights (Mr. Gerrard), that this House convey to the family of the late Joseph Paul Marion, who served as a member of the Legis­lative Assembly of Manitoba, its sincere sympathy in their bereavement and its ap­pre­cia­tion of its–his devotion to duty in a useful life of active com­mu­nity and public service, and that Madam Speaker be requested to forward a copy of this reso­lu­tion to the family.

Motion presented.

Mr. Lamont: It gives me great pleasure to speak about Paul Marion and his life. I first met Mr. Marion on the campaign trail five years ago. I knocked on his door and he welcomed me in and intro­duced me–intro­duced himself to me as the previous–or one of the former Manitoba Liberal MLAs.

      And we had a lovely talk, because we know so many people in common. He knew former leader and senator, Gil Molgat; he knew former leader, Israel Asper; and he had known my father and my uncle, Frank and John Lamont. So, it wasn't quite a family reunion, but it was certainly very touching.

      He was very generous with his time. And we met again on the street a couple of years later, or at least a year later when I ran for re‑election, walking along in north St. Boniface where the newer dev­elop­ments are all named in honour of their French heritage: Molière, Gabrielle-Roy and others.

      And, finally, I joined him and his family and friends at a funeral mass that was held at St. Boniface Cathedral.

      Paul Marion est né à Saint-Boniface le 8  décembre 1927, aîné des huit enfants de L. Paul Marion et de Marie Tytgat, petit-fils de Joseph Aldéric Marion qui était un pilier de la communauté de Saint‑Boniface et qui a donné son nom à l'École Marion.

      Il a été grandement inspiré par son grand-père et ses con­tri­bu­tions à la communauté. Il retourne à Winnipeg et fonde les Manor House Cafeterias, et puis achète l'entreprise de restauration ferroviaire R. Smith Limited.


Paul Marion was born in St. Boniface on December 8, 1927. He was the eldest child of L. Paul Marion and Marie Tytgat’s eight children, and the grandson of Joseph Aldéric Marion–who was a pillar of the St. Boniface community and for whom the École Marion School is named.

Paul Marion was greatly inspired by his grandfather and his grandfather’s contributions to the community. He returned to Winnipeg and established Manor House Cafeterias, and later purchased the railway catering business R. Smith Limited.


      Paul Marion was a very suc­cess­ful businessman. He owned Manor House Cafeterias. He ran R. Smith Limited for food for railways.

      En 1963, il est élu par acclamation au Conseil scolaire de Saint-Boniface, et en 1961, il devient conseiller munici­pal de Saint-Boniface. L'année suivante, il est élu maire adjoint de Winnipeg.


In 1963, he was elected by acclamation to the St. Boniface School Board, and in 1961 he becomes a city councillor for St. Boniface. The following year, he was elected deputy mayor of Winnipeg.


      He was deputy mayor of Winnipeg as well as being elected by acclamation to the St. Boniface School Board and was–and in 1971, became the munici­pal councillor for St. Boniface.

      Lors des élections générales provinciales de 1963–1973, il est élu sous la bannière libérale dans la circonscription de Saint-Boniface, battant le député sortant, Laurent Louis « Larry » Desjardins, par un seul vote après un recomptage effectué par la Cour d'appel du Manitoba.


During the 1973 General Elections, he was elected under the Liberal banner in the riding of St. Boniface, beating the outgoing MLA, Laurent Louis “Larry” Desjardins, by a single vote, after a recount by the Manitoba Court of Appeals.


      If you want to understand how im­por­tant voting is, remember that Paul Marion won by one vote, and that's how he became MLA. Although, it was chal­lenged in November 1974.

      Une décision des juges Israel Nitikman et John Roman Solomon de la Cour de la Reine déclare son élection nulle.


A ruling by Justices Israel Nitikman and John Roman Solomon of the Court of Queen’s Bench declared his election void.


      So, after a year they called for a re-election, at which point there was another by-election and Larry Desjardins won by about 600 votes, in a by-election of the 20th December, 1974.

      Mr. Marion was married twice; first with Pierette Masserey, who lived from 1928 to 2006, with whom he had six children. In–shortly after the death of his first wife, he married Colette Moureaux, who pre­deceased him.

      He was elected president of the Winnipeg Execu­tives Association. He was president of the Carleton Club. And Paul died in Winnipeg on the 15th of January, 2023.

      Le monument commémoratif témoigne de sa foi, de sa citoyenneté et ses con­tri­bu­tions à sa propre communauté, et de l'amour qu'il a inspiré aux autres, à sa famille, à ses amis et à ses collègues.


The commemorative monument bears witness to his faith, his citizenry and his contributions to his own com­mu­nity, as well as to the love he inspired in others–his family, his friends and his colleagues.


      If you ever see a picture of Paul Marion, if you just search him up and see what his obituary is like, the photos from his obituary, he has a wonderful sparkle in his eye and a little crooked smile, and that was how he–that's how he looked all the time. It was–it's quite amazing that in any one of those pictures it captures a perfect example of his generous character, his friendliness, his–like I say, a twinkle in his eye and his sense of humour.

      He was also a deeply religious man. He was a man of tre­men­dous faith, who worked with the Knights of Columbus. And it was a tre­men­dous honour to attend the funeral mass in January with his family, with his friends, where there was an absolute outpouring of love about–not just about–not just for who he was but for the wonderful con­tri­bu­tions he made to the com­mu­nity, which were broad and deep.

      So, as I said: Si vous voyez une photo de Paul Marion, vous verrez qu'il a toujours une lueur dans ses yeux et un sourire sur son visage. C'est ainsi qu'il était dans la vie aussi.

      Paul, tu as bien mérité ton repos.


If you see a picture of Paul Marion, you will see that there is always a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face. That is how he was in life as well.

Paul, you earned your rest.


      Paul, you earned your rest.

      À tous ceux qui l'aimaient, nous présentons nos plus sincères condoléances.


To those who loved him, we offer our most sincere con­dol­ences.


      To all those who loved him and knew him, we offer our sincerest con­dol­ences.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood): I, too, would like to express con­dol­ences to the family of Paul Marion.

      And Paul Marion, some, I guess, 52 years ago, was running in one of the civic wards when the Schreyer gov­ern­ment amalgamated the City of Winnipeg and created 50 constituencies. And so, there was a lot of new politicians that came to prominence during that period who eventually moved up into the Legislature here. And Paul was one of the those who won in St. Boniface

* (16:30)

      And a year later–this was in fall of '71–and a year later, he was elected the deputy mayor for this newly created unicity; in fact, he was the acting mayor from '72 to '73. In 1973, Paul ran against Larry Desjardins for the St. Boniface seat, and he did win and he was a member of the Legislature here for roughly a year and a half.

      And, as the member for St. Boniface (Mr. Lamont) pointed out, that was a year, 1973, when we had made a little bit of history in Manitoba when, in fact, three prov­incial con­stit­uencies ended up being resolved by one vote.

      But I would have to say that, having been the returning officer in Wolseley at the time and having the tiebreaking vote between the Liberal leader Izzy Asper and Murdoch MacKay, my tiebreaking vote–there is a chance to have three tiebreaking votes in any election. The first is after the returning officer's count, when all the ballots come in, and that–Wolseley was the only one in that situation, where we had a tie after all the votes came in. And after–the election was June 25th–after a month, I cast the vote on national TV for Murdoch MacKay, so the NDP actually won the seat for a week.

      And the other two seats where the vote was tied was St. Boniface, but that was after the recount. That's the second time, is after the 'jujicial' recount, and the third time you could potentially have a tie vote is after the appeal. So you could have three. We almost had two in Wolseley, but the judges decided on, you know, opening some ballots that nobody else opened before. So it was different.

      But there was a lot of drama here during that period of time.

      And so, Paul Marion was the MLA for St. Boniface for that year and a half while the process was followed, and there was a by-election called and Larry Desjardins was returned as the member for St. Boniface. And it was Ed Schreyer's birthday, which I'd believed–the member for St. Boniface said it was the 20th, but I thought it was around–a little different date, but close enough, in that month.

      So, Paul Marion did have a very good history in politics in this province. He exploded on the scene at a time when unicity was brand new, the whole NDP gov­ern­ment was brand new and was making a lot of progress here in Manitoba. And he did not stay here very long, but I think he enjoyed his time being elected official at the school board level, at the city council level and at the MLA level.

      And, once again, I want to express my con­dol­ences to the family of Paul Marion.

Mr. Shannon Martin (McPhillips): Madam Speaker, today we honour Joseph Paul Marion, who led an in­cred­ible life as a businessman, a politician, a family man and, generally, as a memorable Manitoban.

      Born in St. Boniface in 1927, he spent most of his public life here in the wonderful province of Manitoba. He died at age 95, having lived a life filled with public service and dedi­cation to his family.

      Joseph was known as a talented businessman. He studied busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion and worked for Picardy Ltd. of Winnipeg, and then also as a manager for several years in Alberta.

      When he returned home to Winnipeg, he esta­blished Manor House Cafeterias. Later on, he also purchased the R. Smith Ltd. catering company, which catered to the rail workers of the Canadian Pacific line.

      People of this calibre helped to build and shape our great province and were part of making it what it are–what we have today. Their hard work and leadership continue to have a great impact.

      Joseph was in­cred­ibly active in his com­mu­nity, involved in the Carleton Club, previously known as the Com­mercial Club of Winnipeg. It was incor­por­ated in 1901 by a group of merchants and busi­ness­men, and he served as the president of that club, being one of only four people to hold the title. He was also president of the Winnipeg Executive Association and a founder of the Club des hommes d'affaires franco-manitobains. He served as a member of the St. Boniface School Board and as a St. Boniface city councillor and, of course, MLA for St. Boniface.

      Joseph was an exceptional leader who possessed a deep under­standing of the unique needs of his com­mu­nity that he represented. Through his actions, he inspired many to follow his example and work tirelessly on the betterment of those that we serve.

      On behalf of our caucus, I want to give my condolences to Joseph's family and to those who knew and loved him. It is difficult to lose someone who had the capacity to touch the lives of so many. He was a pillar in the com­mu­nity and his loss will be felt in many ways, but his con­tri­bu­tions will always be remembered.

      In Joseph's memory, let us recommit ourselves to the principles he held dear and continue his noble work. Hopefully, we will all find peace in the knowledge that his legacy will endure and that his con­tri­bu­tion will continue to shape Manitoba for gen­era­tions to come.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt this motion? [Agreed]

      Would hon­our­able members please rise and remain standing to indicate their support for the motion.

A moment of silence was observed.

Clifford Brian "Clif" Evans

Madam Speaker: I will now call the condolence motion for Clifford Evans.

Mr. Nello Altomare (Transcona): I move, seconded by the member for Flin Flon (MLA Lindsey), that this House convey to the family of the late Clifford Brian Evans, who served as a member of the Legis­lative Assembly of Manitoba, its sincere sympathy in their bereavement and its ap­pre­cia­tion of his devotion to duty in a useful life of active com­mu­nity and public service, and that Madam Speaker be requested to forward a copy of this reso­lu­tion to Clifford's family.

Motion presented.

Mr. Altomare: It's an auspicious occasion when the member or the MLA for Transcona has an op­por­tun­ity to put a few words on the record for a Transcona boy–as Clif often referred himself as, a Transcona kid.

      Now, like many that went to school in Transcona, Clif actually came first from the North End of Winnipeg and then from Elmwood, kind of like my in-laws. They moved from Elmwood, but they wanted to leave the city, Madam Speaker, so they moved out to Transcona–the city of Transcona, at the time–because they wanted to be away from the hubbub of Winnipeg, if you can imagine that, in the 1960s.

      In his youth, Clif spent a lot of time at East End Com­mu­nity Centre. Now, East End Com­mu­nity Centre, just to give you a bit of an idea, is in Regent Avenue East. At the time, faced Pandora, but the other part was also facing Melrose.

      And Clif grew up around in that area there. A very famous area, because, at that parti­cular time, Clif was also good friends with my cousins, Angie and Teresa Caputo, who grew up in the same area and are around the same age as Clif, and they remember, of course, going to the dances at East End and getting to know Clif, and Clif was often the life of the party.

      But the reason Clif spent so much time at East End, Madam Speaker, was because he was really an accom­plished athlete–a really good hockey player, an accom­plished fastball player and also was pretty good at badminton. For–at the time and that place, East End was one of the few places that had an indoor area large enough to have a badminton court and could actually play without the shuttlecock hitting the ceiling. And so, he was actually quite accom­plished in that, as well.

* (16:40)

      In his youth, Clif attended first Transcona Collegiate which, at the time–and I know for some of us that aren't familiar with Transcona–was located at north Day Street on the corner of Day and Rosseau.

      But what happened was, because of–the city of Transcona, at the time, was growing so quickly, they built Murdoch Mackay Collegiate in the very far east reaches of Transcona on a street called Redonda, at the corner of Victoria and Redonda. He was one of the first students, as a grade 10, along with my cousin, to attend Murdoch Mackay Collegiate, graduating in 1966; started, of course, in 1963, when Murdoch first opened.

      And he took a great deal of pride, of course, in being part of that class that first opened up Murdoch Mackay Collegiate. It was a big deal at the time. It was a modern facility, one of the largest places where, at the time, he could hone his skills as a badminton player again because it had one of the largest gyms in–at the time, the old Transcona-Springfield School Division and was often used for many of the track and field events, of which, again, Clif was very accom­plished at. And so, he spoke quite fondly of his times, and as his–of his Transcona roots.

      But, of course, we all age, we all mature and we all have to move on and move into our lives as adults, and he did so. Meeting his wife, Linda, while working at the City Centre Hotel in Winnipeg–not the Central Hotel, which used to be in Transcona, which was part of our family and owned by my uncle, but he–where he often spent some time in a place called Angela's [phonetic] beverage room–but we won't go too deeply into that.

      But Clif was very much a family man and a person that really enjoyed his time at parties and at gatherings with people so that they could swap stories and share some of the really im­por­tant things because he was always really, really quite proud of his family, Madam Speaker.

      Clif and Linda were married in March of '73 and then decided to raise their family by moving out to Riverton, and that's where some of his political career began. He and his wife were married for 49 years. The children, of course, from the family were really im­por­tant to him: son, Tyler; daughter, Kelsey; also his sister, Lorna; brother, Randy; brothers-in-law, Darrell, Wayne; nieces and nephews, Jamie, Marissa, Jason and Jeremy; as well as numer­ous extended family members and very dear friends. He was predeceased by his parents, Alice and John Evans.

      In his pro­fes­sional life, Clif worked in the oil and gas industry, working a little bit with Shell and Imperial Oil. I don't know if you remember, Madam Speaker, but Shell did have a refinery in St. Boniface–actually, east St. Boniface–that kind of–up against Transcona–that refinery that was on. Now, I'm trying to remember the road–it's Dugald Road now, but it was called some­thing else at the time, and the other one that goes this way–Panet Road, of course. That's where the refinery was and that's where Clif worked.

      Through the '70s and into the '80s, they moved back to Winnipeg and then bought the Killarney Hotel and also had some time in Killarney. They then bought the Olympic Restaurant in Birds Hill up here on north 59.

      Finally, in 1986, they bought the Sandy Bar Hotel and moved back to Riverton, where they sold it again in 1993.

      Just prior to serving as an MLA in the Interlake electoral district, Clif began his life in public service as he was elected to serve as mayor of Riverton in October of 1989.

      So, as you can see, Madam Speaker, a long political history.

      The following year, he was elected to the Legislature as the NDP MLA for the Interlake. As an elected official, Clif was known as very much a con­stit­uency-based politician. He really cared about his con­stit­uents, and it really didn't matter to Clif what­ever political stripe, if you had an issue that needed to be dealt with, Clif would do it. He would do it because it meant a lot not only to that con­stit­uent but also to his com­mu­nity. And he certainly was very true to that right to the end.

      As a matter of fact, Madam Speaker, I remember when I was first elected in 2019, Clif showed up at the Transcona con­stit­uency office. And one of the first pieces of advice he gave me–because actually, Clif and Linda moved back to Transcona once he retired, once he sold his last hotel. And one of the first, best pieces of advice he gave me is to always be con­stit­uency-focused. It's always about the people you represent.

      And that has certainly stuck with me, and that's some­thing that I take with me every day when I come here to this House. And that was a quality of his that was greatly admired because he never let party politics get in the way of finding a solution and moving his com­mu­nity forward, which was really im­por­tant to Clif. He, you know, was really, really well known for that parti­cular piece, and I really can't overem­pha­size how im­por­tant that was to him. And, like I said earlier, this is some­thing that he was conveying to me in September of 2019.

      Clif passed away, unfor­tunately, in May of 2022. Madam Speaker, 2022 was an auspicious year for politicians in Transcona because we also lost Bill Blaikie in September of 2022. And Clif and Bill were very good friends and would often offer advice to people–solicited and unsolicited, of course, but always in good humour and in good faith–because they really cared about their communities, especially Clif.

      Clif was a dyed-in-the-wool Transcona kid. Always saw himself as a kid and certainly was very proud of where he came from, the people he represented and his family, most im­por­tantly.

      And with those words, Madam Speaker, I'd like to convey my con­dol­ences to Clif's family. And to everybody that had been exposed to Clif, this is a good time for us to really express these–our con­dol­ences. So thank you for your time.

Mr. Ian Wishart (Portage la Prairie): I'd like to put a few words on the record in honour of Clifford Evans.

      Clif isn't someone that I had the pleasure of serving with in the Legislature, but he was still around the Legislature 'perforting'–performing some services to the minister of Infra­structure, actually, mostly during the flood of 2011 and the year that–fallout. And during that period of time, my con­stit­uency was heavily impacted, of course, by that flood, and I interacted with Clif a great number of times and got to know him and respect him very much.

      And the member for Transcona (Mr. Altomare) has outlined in fair detail–obviously knows him very, very well–the fact that he's very much about the individual; he's a con­stit­uency man. And during his time as MLA here in the Manitoba Legislature, after he was elected 1989, he was very much known for that and the service he provided to his com­mu­nity.

      During the time I interacted with him, of course, it was much more than his imme­diate con­stit­uency. The flood covered a large area of the province and he had to deal with a lot of the problems that were evolving. They were new to Manitoba, very different and difficult to deal with. We had never had anything quite of this scale in modern history. It would be–we'd be looking back into the 1950s to have anything in terms of a comparable flood of that time.

      But it was also very obvious that he valued his family quite a lot because he mentioned it on a number of occasions, mentioned it–his wife and his kids, and he very much ap­pre­ciated the time he spent with them, and I know that the time he took to deal with issues, like the flood, he took that away from the family, and I'd like to express my ap­pre­cia­tion to the family for letting us have that piece of his time. He did a great job in terms of working with us.

      He very often had to clean up what had turned out to be, quite honestly, a mess, in many cases. I know I was dealing with him on the whole issue of the Hoop and Holler cut that they were planning on making, and the minister he worked for was respon­si­ble for that. They had absolutely no idea what they were doing and what damage they could do. But he was patient enough to listen to our concerns, and we did what we could, working with him, to minimize the impact of a very poor idea that was done out of desperation, I think.

      And he was good to work with. And then, of course, afterwards when we were trying to find compensation and deal with the damages that had occurred, not only from that parti­cular instance, but the flood itself in general, he was very good to work with.

* (16:50)

      So, I ap­pre­ciated the time I got to know him, and I certainly grew to respect him, certainly as his time at the Legislature, but also as his time as a civil servant here in the Legislature, dealing with a disaster situation. Great to work with and very pro­fes­sional about it.

      So, I would like to express my con­dol­ences to his family for their loss, and Clif's legacy will not be forgotten. Through his actions, he reminds us all of embracing both our pro­fes­sional and personal respon­sibilities, finding some level of harmony between the  two kinds of commit­ments and cherishing the moments that we have when we're here.

      So, thank you very much. My pleasure to put a few words on the record in memory of Clif Evans.

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Yes, Madam Speaker, I rise to offer con­dol­ences to the family and friends of Clif Evans. He was a beloved husband, father, brother, member of our community. I got to know him and met him on many occasions, starting when I was the Member of Parliament for Portage-Interlake.

      Born May 16, 1948, in Winnipeg, Clif's child­hood was full of lots of fun and joyful memories. Grew up in the North End, Elmwood and in Transcona. He forged lifelong friendships and cherished the camaraderie of playing baseball and street hockey with the neighbourhood children. The East End Com­mu­nity Centre had a special place in his heart, and he spent the winters playing hockey, skating and building lasting connections.

      He excelled as an athlete in his youth, earning accolades as a champion high school badminton player, playing junior hockey for the Winnipeg Monarchs and the West Kildonan North Stars.

       After high school, he continued partici­pating in sports, catching fastballs in the Winnipeg Fastball League and playing for travelling tournament teams like the Pandora Inn and Transcona OVs.

      His commit­ment to public life began in the Interlake, where he served as the mayor of Riverton starting in October 1989. In 1990, he transitioned to prov­incial politics, being elected in the election of that year as the member of the Legis­lative Assembly for Interlake and for the New Demo­cratic Party.

      Through his tenure, he demon­strated unwavering dedi­cation to his con­stit­uents, tirelessly addressing their concerns and working across party lines.

      Some of his concerns he outlined, as an example, in the Throne Speech in 1990, when he responded to the Throne Speech, talking about the importance of parent and child centres, of the Lundar-Eriksdale-Ashern proposal for a family resource centre, the proposal for a personal-care home in Riverton, the importance of the Washow Bay project, the import­ance of an alfalfa processing plant in the Interlake.

      And through­out all his efforts, he was supported by his wife, Linda; and his son, Tyler; and daughter, Kelsey.

      It is noteworthy that he was very committed to ensuring the demo­cratic process and ensuring that elections were held properly.

      After the 1995 election, he worked closely with his colleague, Tim Sale, to expose the election she­nanigans of the PC Party in the Interlake and worked hard to prevent the undermining of the demo­cratic process. There of course was a long and extensive in­vesti­gation, but his commit­ment to demo­cracy was certainly understood by everyone and was very im­por­tant.

      After retiring from elected office in 1999, Clif continued to serve his com­mu­nity in various volunteer efforts, working as a min­is­terial assist­ant, devoting his time to the former MLAs association. He worked on floods, as has been noted, on many other items; he worked well with others and across party lines to get things done for people and for Manitoba. He took great pride in serving on the executive com­mit­tee supporting the Youth Parliament of Manitoba. Even in semi-retirement he remained active and worked as con­stit­uency assist­ant for Niki Ashton.

      Sadly, in 2009 he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. Then, subsequently we honour today the life and achieve­ments of Clif Evans, recog­nize the profound impact he had on the lives that he touched and his im­por­tant and value, and efforts in supporting demo­cracy.

      Thank you.

MLA Tom Lindsey (Flin Flon): I'm honoured to put a few words on the record in recog­nition of Clif.

      I didn't get to know him until after I got elected in 2016, so sometime after that when I first spoke to him. And he was still–at that point, he was working for Niki Ashton on a part-time basis as one of her riding assistants in the Interlake.

      And my connection with him was that he would phone, advocating for people in the con­stit­uency, parti­cularly fishers, and problems that they were having with CEDF at the time and trying to get loans, and trying to do different things.

      And really that was my intro­duction to Clif was him standing up, fighting for those con­stit­uents, to make sure that they could get the best deal to survive in a tough busi­ness, in a tough economy, in a tough life. And he was always there fighting for them.

      It was any number of times that we spoke on the phone, primarily, that it was going to be a short con­ver­sa­tion just to update each other on what was taking place. But I came to discover that a short con­ver­sa­tion with Clif was never really that short, and apparently I'm guilty of that sometimes, myself. So, that's maybe why the two of us got along all right.

      But always standing up for the little person, standing up for the person who didn't have a voice. That was the Clif that I knew; that's what he showed me, was that he was a voice for people in that con­stit­uency, a voice for people that needed a voice that didn't have that voice otherwise.

      So I–really honoured to just say those few things about a man that I came to call a friend, just in the interactions we had in that short period of time.

      So, thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr. Diljeet Brar (Burrows): Clif Evans was a great man.

      I communicated with him between 2020 and '21, briefly through emails, and I just met him once. He was such a friendly person, and impressed me in that single meeting. He came to my office and we talked a lot, and he talked without any notes. He had a wealth of knowledge about the moisture situation in the Interlake and the fisheries industry in Manitoba. He knew so many fishers, especially in the Interlake.

      And I could see the passion for serving Manitobans at a stage where he was semi-retired, and still he wanted to give back to the society. And a lot has been said about Clif by my colleagues, so I won't repeat so many things. But what I ap­pre­ciate about him is that he was an athlete: he loved sports, played sports not only during his student life, but even after.

      And when he was visiting my office and interacting with my colleagues–in my con­stit­uency office–with my staff, and he was so much friendly and he had a great sense of humour. And he was asking my staff, is this guy using a better furniture than you guys, or not? Or it's the same one? And everybody laughed.

* (17:00)

      So, in that short span that we talked to each other in person, he impressed me. We can well imagine how would the people who he served for so many years and talked to them for so many years and decades, how well would he had served those people.

      So, I want to say thanks for his service to Manitobans. And, unfor­tunately, he passed away on May 6th, 2022. My deepest con­dol­ences to his family, and I want to thank his family and friends for sharing Clif with all of us and letting him serve Manitoba.

      Thank you so much.

Madam Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt this motion? [Agreed]

      Would hon­our­able members please rise and remain standing to indicate their support for the motion.

A moment of silence was observed.

Jay Marine Cowan

Madam Speaker: I will now call the con­dol­ence motion for Jay Cowan.

MLA Tom Lindsey (Flin Flon): I move that this House convey–nope, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, seconded by–Amanda–pardon the delay.

      I move, seconded by the member from The Pas-Kameesak, that this House convey to the family of the late James [phonetic] Marine Cowan, who served as member of the Legis­lative Assembly of Manitoba, its sincere sympathy in their bereavement and its ap­pre­cia­tion of his devotion to duty in a useful life of active com­mu­nity and public service, and that Madam Speaker be requested to forward a copy of this reso­lu­tion to the family.

Madam Speaker: It has been moved by the hon­our­able member for Flin Flon, seconded by the hon­our­able member for The Pas-Kameesak (Ms. Lathlin), that this House convey to the family of the late Jay Marine Cowan, who served as a member of the Legis­lative Assembly of Manitoba, its sincere sympathy in their bereave­ment and its ap­pre­cia­tion of his devotion to duty in a useful life of active com­mu­nity and public service, and that Madam Speaker be requested to forward a copy of this reso­lu­tion to the family.    

MLA Lindsey: I'm honoured to stand up and speak about Jay Cowan.

      While I may not have known him personally, the name Jay Cowan was well known through­out the Flin Flon con­stit­uency and certainly through­out the steelworkers' union that I was a part of for many years.

      So, it's not as if I didn't know Jay, while I may not have ever shaken hands with him and spoken to him personally. Jay was born July 31st, 1946 and died January 23, 2022. He was elected as an NDP candidate for the Churchill con­stit­uency at the prov­incial general election of 1977.

      And there's an interesting story about how Jay came to be the candidate and the future MLA for Churchill. He was actually recruited to head up north and find a candidate to run in that con­stit­uency, and somewhere along the way, he became the candidate and was suc­cess­ful at it and became the MLA for Churchill, a position which he was re-elected in 1982, 1986 and 1988.

      During his time in this Legis­lative Assembly, he  held the Cabinet min­is­terial portfolios in the Pawley gov­ern­ment of Northern Affairs, 1981 to '83, Co‑operative Dev­elop­ment, 1986 to '88. Jay retired from politics in 1990. Some of the infor­ma­tion that I've heard and that I've gleaned about Jay and his career was in the late 1970s, which is probably how I came to know the name, it was almost impossible, apparently, to open a newspaper in this province and not read about Jay Cowan. It was almost impossible to listen to a radio station and not hear about Jay Cowan.

      And, certainly, one of the things that I first heard about him was his work on the environ­ment file and specific to the company that I worked for in Flin Flon, making sure that the Clean Environ­ment Com­mis­sion actually was aware of issues that may have been from smelter smoke and emissions from the plant, and was instrumental in doing some­thing about that.

      One of the predecessors in the steelworker safety job that I had, told me there's a big thick series of black binders in that filing cabinet that, your job, when you take over, is to read those and understand who Jay Cowan was and understand what the Clean Environ­ment Com­mis­sion did. I'm guilty; I didn't read the whole thing. I kind of skimmed through it, but knew enough to know that that's how things got changed in that com­mu­nity to make a better, healthier com­mu­nity.

      When Mr. Cowan first came to Canada in the '70s, there was some thought that he was a draft dodger, and I'd like to ensure that this House under­stands that that was absolutely not the case. He was, however, very passionately opposed to the Vietnam War, an immoral war, in his opinion, that was not the way to resolve conflicts in the world. I would have to agree with him that those types of wars are not the proper way to resolve conflicts; there's better ways. And, certainly, that's one of the things that I've been impressed with, reading up on Jay Cowan, was his passionate op­posi­tion to war as a solution.

      Jay is survived by his wife, Elaine; stepdaughters, Tracey and Teresa; two grandchildren, Mariah and Jordan; as well, other family members.

      He was born in Chicago, Illinois, July 31st, 1946. When he first showed up in Canada, interesting that it was the '70s. It was a different time, that those of us who were around back then and were doing different things knew that you could have a job, you could get a job; there was jobs to be had. So when he first showed up here he worked as a logger in the Maritimes, snow shoveller in Montreal, and landed up as a miner at Lynn Lake, which is part of the Flin Flon con­stit­uency.

      He went on to become a member of the United Steelworkers union and was active in that Local 8144 at the time because at the time, in the '70s, Lynn Lake was a going concern; Leaf Rapids was a going concern. There was em­ploy­ment. There was jobs in the North, and he was very active in not just the steelworkers union, but also in the MFL, he became quite active. He was, at the time, co-ordinated the campaign called the Fightback program at the Manitoba Federation of Labour and worked with the informal workers training program, co-sponsored by the MFL and the prov­incial gov­ern­ment.

      He also chaired the safety and health com­mit­tee of the Manitoba Federation of Labour, and he was a member of the Manitoba association of rights and liberties. I can imagine being the co-chair of the MFL health and safety com­mit­tee back in the '70s. Was a huge, monstrous challenge, which would've taken a special person to be involved in that. But that was Jay Cowan. He wasn't afraid to accept that challenge and step into those roles to fight, not just for workers' rights, but for workers' very survival, because at that time, in the '70s, workers' deaths, parti­cularly in the mining industry, were far too often. So I really want to recog­nize the work that he did to try and make mining a safer place for all people to be employed.

      So Cowan had a very robust career life. He spent four decades of his life working with First Nations, Métis, Inuit, federal, prov­incial, munici­pal gov­ern­ments. But he also worked in the private sector, non-profits, non-gov­ern­ment, labour organi­zations. So, he did a lot of things in the course of his life that led him to be such a well-rounded person.

* (17:10)

      There was some thought that once upon a time he was very well-educated, and he's quoted as saying in an article that that wasn't really true, that his edu­ca­tion was more self-taught–although he did spend a year at Oakland Uni­ver­sity in Rochester, Minnesota. But most of his edu­ca­tion came from reading and doing, as opposed to learning.

      One of his favourite pastimes was photography, and he apparently spent a lot of time mainly photographing lighting fixtures for catalogue houses. He also did freelance photography work for the Montreal Star; and a freelance writer and author–a good friend, he had a–to Josh Freed. He had a number of photographic com­mis­sions in Canada and the US, and in Mexico.

      One of the things that was different back in those days, as well as–he was going to be a bit of an entrepreneur, and him and some buddies invested in some property in the Maritimes, and the buddies all went to work and left somebody else looking after things and well, go figure, things didn't pan out that well. They lost the property and whatever money they had been sending to the fellow there was also lost, which, I guess, was a benefit to the rest of us, because then Jay settled in working in and–in politics.

      So, he was active in the years in politics from '77 to '90. He had been, like I said, sent north by Ed Schreyer to scout for possible candidates when he became the candidate. He was an enthusiastic sup­porter of Howard Pawley in Pawley's suc­cess­ful bid to succeed Schreyer as party leader. In 1981, Cowan was re-elected in general election. As the NDP also won the election, he was appointed minister of Northern Affairs.

      He became in charge of Environ­mental Manage­ment, included the admin­is­tra­tion of The Clean Environ­ment Act and workers' compensation, which I spoke about a little earlier. He was also in charge of the Communities Economic Dev­elop­ment Fund.

      Later, in '83, he was appointed minister of Co‑operative Dev­elop­ment and chairman of the Treasury Board. He continued to serve as minister of Co‑operative Dev­elop­ment and was also named the minister of Native Affairs, respon­si­ble for the natural gas supply act from September–

Madam Speaker: Order. The member's time has expired.

Mr. Shannon Martin (McPhillips): It's my honour to rise today and put some brief comments on the record in relation to Jay Cowan.

      Obviously, I can't match the member opposite's knowledge base of Mr. Cowan, but I think it's im­por­tant that we all take time to remember somebody that has had such a profound influence on the lives of Manitobans and Canadians alike, and more im­por­tantly has dedi­cated some four decades of his life working for the betterment of all Manitobans.

      After becoming a landed immigrant in Canada in 1974, he quickly became involved in the com­mu­nity. Soon after becoming a Canadian citizen in 1977, Mr. Cowan was elected as the member of the Legis­lative Assembly for the riding of Churchill. He was 'erlected'–re-elected in 1982, '86 and '88, and has held–and held various ministerial portfolios in the time, including Northern Affairs, Co‑operative Dev­elop­ment and Native Affairs. He was also the chair of Treasury Board, and was Gov­ern­ment House Leader during his political career.

      He was extremely active member of the Manitoba Legislature and, according to others, it was almost impossible to open a newspaper or listen to a local news broadcast and not hear about Jim–or, Jay.

      There are many reasons to remember and honour Mr. Cowan, but it is im­por­tant to note the sig­ni­fi­cant role he played in making work­place health a political issue here in the province of Manitoba. As an MLA and the chair of the Manitoba Federation of Labour, Work­place Safety and Health com­mit­tee, Mr. Cowan raised over a quarter of a million dollars to open the Manitoba Federation of Labour Occupational Health Centre in 1983, the only second one of its kind here in Canada.

      Beyond his political career, he continued to have a great impact on others. For many years, with his wife Elaine, he ran an adult edu­ca­tion centre that focused on meeting the needs of Indigenous peoples. He truly was an inspirational figure that encouraged and uplifted the lives of many others.

      Mr. Cowan spent his entire life trying to build a better society and encouraged everyone he knew to do the same. He encouraged kindness, honesty, generosity and hard work and believed that everyone has a gift that needs to be shared with the world.

      His presence will continue to be missed. Let us all continue to honour and remember the world that Mr. Cowan has helped create for all of us to enjoy.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, I rise to extend con­dol­ences to the family and friends of Jay Cowan, who passed away January 23, 2022.

      Jay Cowan was a man of great compassion, dedi­cation, unwavering commit­ment to public service.

      Born in July 1946 in Chicago, Illinois, he embarked on a remark­able journey that led him to become a cherished member of our Manitoba and Canadian com­mu­nity. His story is one of resilience and deter­min­ation.

      After 'sess­fully' appealing his conscription into American military forces, he came to Canada in 1974 and embraced our country. He worked tirelessly, taking on various roles, including a logger in the Maritimes, a snow shoveller in Montreal, a miner in Lynn Lake, showing his work ethic and his adaptability.

      In 1977, he became a Canadian citizen and the New Demo­cratic candidate for the Churchill con­stit­uency. His dedi­cation to public service shone through. He was elected in 1982, in '86 and '88, and through­out his political career he held min­is­terial portfolios in the Pawley gov­ern­ment, including Northern Affairs, Co‑operative Dev­elop­ment and Native Affairs. He was also chair of the Treasury Board and Gov­ern­ment House Leader.

      He had a focus on mine safety and, indeed, on worker safety more generally. His commit­ment to com­mu­nity service went beyond his political endeav­ours. He was involved in promoting adult edu­ca­tion. He worked col­lab­o­ratively with various organi­zations and gov­ern­ments, First Nation, Métis, Inuit, federal, prov­incial and munici­pal entities as well as private sector, non-profit, non-gov­ern­ment and labour organi­zations across Canada.

      His tireless efforts and dedi­cation to building bridges and fostering under­standing among diverse groups showcased his inclusion in egalitarian values.

      He dedi­cated himself to creating a better society for all, encouraging kindness, honesty, generosity and hard work. He believed that everyone possesses gifts, that they can be shared with the world, and he inspired countless others to embrace this philosophy.

      As we mourn the passing of Jay Cowan, let us remember his unwavering commit­ment to building a better society, and let us honour his memory by carrying forward the work that he did.

      Thank you.

Madam Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt this motion? [Agreed]

      Would hon­our­able members please rise and remain standing to indicate their support for the motion.

A moment of silence was observed.

Madam Speaker: The hour being past 5 p.m., this House is adjourned and stands adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow.

      And I would just indicate that this beautiful bouquet before us today is in honour of our colleagues who have passed. And I would invite each of you to take a flower with you if you want, and if you don't want it yourself, to pass it on to somebody else in an act of kindness.     




Wednesday, May 31, 2023


Vol. 63


Tabling of Reports

Goertzen  2775

Ministerial Statements

Filipino Heritage Month

Khan  2775

Brar 2775

Lamoureux  2776

Manitoba Access Awareness Week

Squires 2776

Fontaine  2777

Gerrard  2777

Members' Statements

Joe Nemeth

Gordon  2778

Seven Oaks School Division

Sandhu  2778

Lac du Bonnet Summer Activities

Ewasko  2779

The Sidney Project

Redhead  2779

Wenda Anderson

Piwniuk  2780

Oral Questions

Rural Paramedics and Nurses

Kinew   2781

Stefanson  2781

Highway and Road Budget

Kinew   2782

Stefanson  2782

Home-Care Support Workers

Asagwara  2783

Johnston  2783

Gordon  2784

Manitoba Pride Parades 2023

Naylor 2784

Squires 2784

Drug Overdose Deaths

B. Smith  2785

Morley-Lecomte  2785

Allied Health Professionals

Sandhu  2786

Teitsma  2786

Wait Times Reduction Task Force

Lamont 2787

Gordon  2787

Management of the Health-Care System

Lamont 2787

Gordon  2787

Work Permit Holders

Lamoureux  2787

Gordon  2788

Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force

Isleifson  2788

Gordon  2788

Northern Health-Care System

Lindsey  2788

Gordon  2788

Speaker's Ruling

Driedger 2789


Catalytic Converter Engraving Credit

Maloway  2790



Motions of Condolence

Edward Joseph "Joe" Williams

Martin  2791

Redhead  2792

Gerrard  2792

Michaleski 2793

Jean René Allard

Bushie  2794

Morley-Lecomte  2795

Lamont 2796

James Gordon "Jim" Carr

Gerrard  2797

Goertzen  2799

Kinew   2800

Lamont 2801

Michael Kawchuk

Brar 2802

Teitsma  2803

Gerrard  2804

Joseph Paul Marion

Lamont 2805

Maloway  2807

Martin  2807

Clifford Brian "Clif" Evans

Altomare  2808

Wishart 2810

Gerrard  2810

Lindsey  2811

Brar 2812

Jay Marine Cowan

Lindsey  2812

Martin  2814

Gerrard  2814