Thursday, October 25, 2018

The House met at 1:30 p.m.

Madam Speaker: Good afternoon, everybody. Please be seated.


Madam Speaker: Introduction of bills?

Committee Reports

Standing Committee on Social and Economic Development

Fourth Report

Mr. Dennis Smook (Chairperson): Madam Speaker, I wish to present the Fourth Report of the Standing Committee on Social and Economic Development.

Clerk (Ms. Patricia Chaychuk): Your Standing Committee on Social and Economic Development–

Some Honourable Members: Dispense.

Madam Speaker: Dispense.

Your Standing Committee on Social and Economic Development presents the following as its Fourth Report.


Your Committee met on October 24, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 254 of the Legislative Building.

Matters under Consideration

·         Bill (No. 8) – The Government Notices Modernization Act (Various Acts Amended) / Loi sur la modernisation de la publication des avis du gouvernement (modification de diverses lois)

·         Bill (No. 12) – The Red Tape Reduction and Government Efficiency Act, 2018 / Loi de 2018 sur la réduction du fardeau administratif et l'efficacité du gouvernement

·         Bill (No. 24) – The Social Services Appeal Board Amendment Act / Loi modifiant la Loi sur la Commission d'appel des services sociaux

·         Bill (No. 27) – The Fiscal Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Amendment Act / Loi modifiant la Loi sur la responsabilité financière et la protection des contribuables

Committee Membership

·         Hon. Mrs. Cox

·         Hon. Mr. Fielding

·         Mr. Lamont

·         Ms. Marcelino (Logan)

·         Hon. Mrs. Mayer

·         Mr. Piwniuk

·         Mrs. Smith (Point Douglas)

·         Mr. Smith (Southdale)

·         Mr. Smook (Chairperson)

·         Hon. Mrs. Stefanson

·         Mr. Wiebe

Substitution received during committee proceedings:

·         Ms. Lamoureux for Mr. Lamont

Your Committee elected Mr. Piwniuk as the Vice‑Chairperson.

Public Presentations

Your Committee heard the following five presentations on Bill (No. 8) – The Government Notices Modernization Act (Various Acts Amended) / Loi sur la modernisation de la publication des avis du gouvernement (modification de diverses lois):

Kim MacAulay, Manitoba Community Newspapers Association (MCNA)

Brent Wright, Gilroy Publishing

Laurie Finley, Steinbach Carillon – Publisher

Jim Mihaly, Brandon Sun - Publisher

Dan Koshowski, The Winnipeg Free Press

Your Committee heard the following presentation on Bill (No. 12) – The Red Tape Reduction and Government Efficiency Act, 2018 / Loi de 2018 sur la réduction du fardeau administratif et l'efficacité du gouvernement:

George Fraser, Remedial Massage Therapist Society of Manitoba Inc.

Your Committee heard the following five presentations on Bill (No. 24) – The Social Services Appeal Board Amendment Act / Loi modifiant la Loi sur la Commission d'appel des services sociaux:

Carlos Sosa, Private Citizen

Sylvie Sabourin Grindle, Private Citizen

Janet Forbes, Inclusion Winnipeg

Karen Sharma, Manitoba Human Rights Commission

Megan Linton, Charter Rights For All

Written Submissions

Your Committee received the following nine written submissions on Bill (No. 8) – The Government Notices Modernization Act (Various Acts Amended) / Loi sur la modernisation de la publication des avis du gouvernement (modification de diverses lois):

Lynn Taylor, Thompson Citizen – Nickel Belt News

Nancy Johnson, Prairie Newspaper Group, Glacier Media

J Brodt, Private Citizen

Samantha Gallaway-Boulbria, Private Citizen

Andrea Geary, Private Citizen

Luanne Anderson, Private Citizen

Mark Buss, Clipper Publishing

John Kendle, Canstar Community News

Christine Waddell, Private Citizen

Your Committee received the following four written submissions on Bill (No. 12) – The Red Tape Reduction and Government Efficiency Act, 2018 / Loi de 2018 sur la réduction du fardeau administratif et l'efficacité du gouvernement:

Andrew Tod, Manitoba Federation of Labour

Joe Masi, Association of Manitoba Municipalities

Kevin Hamilton, College of Pharmacists of Manitoba

Jonathan Alward, Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Your Committee received the following four written submissions on Bill (No. 24) – The Social Services Appeal Board Amendment Act / Loi modifiant la Loi sur la Commission d'appel des services sociaux:

Patrick Falconer, Private Citizen

Michael Barkman, Make Poverty History

Sheree Capar, CUPE

Kevin Rebeck, Manitoba Federation of Labour

Your Committee received the following three written  submissions on Bill (No. 27) – The Fiscal Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Amendment Act / Loi modifiant la Loi sur la responsabilité financière et la protection des contribuables:

Laurene Myrvold, Private Citizen

Lynne Fernandez, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Manitoba

Jonathan Alward, Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Bills Considered and Reported

·         Bill (No. 8) – The Government Notices Modernization Act (Various Acts Amended) / Loi sur la modernisation de la publication des avis du gouvernement (modification de diverses lois)

Your Committee agreed to report this Bill, without amendment.

·         Bill (No. 12) – The Red Tape Reduction and Government Efficiency Act, 2018 / Loi de 2018 sur la réduction du fardeau administratif et l'efficacité du gouvernement

Your Committee agreed to report this Bill, without amendment.

·         Bill (No. 24) – The Social Services Appeal Board Amendment Act / Loi modifiant la Loi sur la Commission d'appel des services sociaux

Your Committee agreed to report this Bill, without amendment.

·         Bill (No. 27) – The Fiscal Responsibility and  Taxpayer Protection Amendment Act / Loi modifiant la Loi sur la responsabilité financière et la protection des contribuables

Your Committee agreed to report this Bill, without amendment.

Mr. Smook: I move, seconded by the honourable member for Arthur-Virden (Mr. Piwniuk), that the report of the committee be received.

Motion agreed to.

Tabling of Reports

Hon. Kelvin Goertzen (Minister of Education and Training): It's my pleasure to table the following reports this afternoon: The Apprenticeship and Certification Board 2017-2018 Annual Report; Brandon University Annual Financial Report for the   year ended March 31st, 2018; The University of   Manitoba 2018 Annual Financial Report; the   Financial Statements of the Université de Saint‑Boniface; Red River College Annual Financial Report 2017-2018; The University of Winnipeg Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended March 31st, 2018; and the University College of the North's Annual Report 2017-2018.

Madam Speaker: I am pleased to table the report of the Auditor General on eChart Manitoba, dated October 2018, in accordance with section 28(1) of The Auditor General Act.

      Ministerial statements?

Members' Statements

Newly Elected Municipal Councillors

Mr. Derek Johnson (Interlake): I rise in the House today to congratulate the newly elected officials from our recent election. Of course, I especially want to recognize the community leaders who have chosen to run in my constituency of Interlake.

      Undoubtedly, congratulations are due to everyone who put their name on the ballot. Five of   15 'electorial' boundaries in the Interlake had 100  per  cent acclamation. This goes to show the calibre of candidates that we produce.

      Those who are newly elected, I would like to thank them for setting aside a portion of their life for the next four years to allow for the betterment of the Interlake region. Those who are serving an additional term, or five, as in some cases, thank you as well for your continued service.

      All of us here at the Legislature recognize the   amount of time, effort, energy and sheer determination each candidate has expended to win elected office. And it goes without saying the continued efforts it will require to serve now that you have been successfully elected.

      I appreciate every candidate that has put their name forward, whether they were successful in their quest or came up short. I am sure there was as many passions out there as there were candidates, but among them is a common desire to serve their community.

      Now, whether recently elected or winding up–a term in office, you all deserve our support and thanks. I would not pretend to speak for others here in the Legislature, but I suspect I am not alone in wishing you well and thanking you for your commitment to leadership.

      We are confident that your influence will continue to make the Interlake the best region in Manitoba to raise your family and call home.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for the Interlake.

Mr. Johnson: Madam Speaker, I ask for leave to   include the 72 newly elected officials' names in   Hansard, including one past member of the Legislature.

Madam Speaker: Is there leave to include those names in Hansard? [Agreed]

Newly elected officials. LUD of Alonsa–William   Cabak, Stan Fashoway, Harry Harris.   RM   of Alonsa–Reeve: Stan Asham; Councillors: Michael Brown, Eldon Campbell, Terry Dayholos, Logan Dumanske, Colin Mailman, Edward Waczko, Town of Arborg–Mayor, Peter   Dueck; Councillors: John   Crackle, Ron Johnston,  Ron Rogowski, Rob  Thorsteinson. LUD of Ashern–Trevor   Emilson,   Dylan Geisler, Stefan Jonasson.   RM    of    Bifrost‑Riverton–Reeve, Brian N. Johnson; Councillors: Frode Andersen, Colin Bjarnason, Chad Johnson, David King, Gordon Klym, Morley Nordal. RM of Coldwell–Reeve, Brian Sigfusson; Councillors: Greg Brown, Virgil Johnson, Kent Kostyshyn, Jim Scharf. Dallas-Red Rose–Mayor, Anthony Mankewich; Councillors: David McIvor; LaVerne Sinclair. LUD of Fisher–Jesse Plett, Dave Plett. RM of Fisher–Reeve, Shannon Pyziak; Councillors: Boyd Abas; Ron Gagaluk; Allan   Lindal; Tom Nevakshonoff, Clint Webb. RM   of   Grahamdale–Reeve, Clifford Halaburda; Councillors: Jason Bittner, Danny Granberg, Dollard Gould, Tera Lobay, Maretta Philippon, Randy Sigurdson. LUD of Lundar–Irene Runolfson, Will McLeod, Deborah Valiquette. Matheson Island–Mayor, Wanda Mowatt; Councillors: Tasha Monkman, Kevin Mowat, Tamara Mowat. Peonan Point-Homebrook–Mayor, Eric Olson; Councillors: Aaron Olson, David Olson, Arvid Nottviet, Brian   Vandervien. RM of St. Laurent–Reeve, Cheryl   Smith; Councillors: Frank Bruce, Jerry   Combot, Laurent Kerbrat, Phil Matthews. RM   of   West Interlake–Reeve, Arnthor Jonasson; Councillors: John Bezemer, Lyle Finney, Clayton Gibson, Paul L. Murphy, Courtney Roehl, Penny‑Anne Wainwright.

Mifegymiso Availability

Ms. Nahanni Fontaine (St. Johns): Mifegymiso has been available in Canada since January 2016. The gold standard in reproductive medication, the abortion pill, is prescribed over the counter by doctors, taken in the privacy of one's home, eliminating barriers to abortion.

      Yet, according to the data, zero prescriptions have been dispensed by pharmacies since it came to market in Manitoba. How is this possible, Madam Speaker? Well, because this Premier (Mr. Pallister), in cahoots with the Minister of Status of Women, have situated themselves as the gatekeepers of women and girls' reproductive health.

      The Pallister government will only cover the cost of Mifegymiso at one of three locations already offering surgical abortions. This completely misses the point of the abortion pill, Madam Speaker. Wait times are up to two weeks to get access to the abortion pill at these facilities, and since Mifegymiso can only be used in the first nine weeks of pregnancy, its access is time-sensitive.

      As of today, fewer than a dozen physicians in Manitoba have been trained to dispense it. The cost of Mifegymiso is $350, and even for women who qualify for coverage, the minimum deductible is $100, putting it out of the reach of many women.

      The lack of clinics and trained doctors also puts a higher burden on rural and northern women and girls who bear the cost of transportation and time off work to access these southern urban clinics.

      This current government is literally thwarting the human rights of Manitoba women and girls by limiting and accessing–restricting access to the abortion pill, based on the Premier's (Mr. Pallister) archaic views of what we can do with our bodies.

      Will the Premier change his primitive views on abortion and immediately make the abortion pill accessible and free to all Manitoba women and girls?


Rudi Hemsley

Hon. Ralph Eichler (Minister of Agriculture): It is a pleasure for me to pay tribute to Rudi Hemsley, who was awarded the 2017 Highest Achievement Award for his trade. Each spring, the Highest Achievement Awards are held to recognize the top graduating apprentices in each designated trade.

      The 23-year-old from Balmoral residence received recognition of the apprentice Manitoba and certificate board for having the highest achievement in the trade of marine outdoor power equipment technician.

      Rudi was chosen as top in his trade based   on   criteria that included on­the-job performance, certification exam results, classroom accomplishments, recognition from employees.

      His father basically taught Rudi everything he knows, so his interest in the industry began at a very early age. He started out modifying bikes when he's a little one and then moved to lawnmowers. This had been a hobby since day one, to fix things up, and has grown from there. Rudi even built a motorized wagon when he was in grade 6 and drove it to school.

      Rudi completed his level 1 course at Winnipeg Technical College and did his practicum at TAK Powersports in Oak Bluff. After working there for a year, he went to Red River community college to complete his level 2. He completed his level 3 after working for another year, and then in March of 2017, he attained his level 3 journeyperson status.

      Rudi enjoys working as a independent shop, giving him the variety to work on anything. This is a well-earned recognition where he has certainly succeeded in his chosen trade.

      Madam Speaker, I'd like to extend my   congratulations to Rudi Hemsley and recognize   his   new journeyperson and this–individual accomplishments and contributions. Education, skills training, are building blocks for our future economic success. This training will provide the foundation for a rewarding lifetime career.

      Please join me in congratulating Rudi, here with us today. Congratulations, Rudi.

Iglesia Ni Cristo

Ms. Cindy Lamoureux (Burrows): Today I want to speak about an organization that is so huge that they are established in 147 countries, including here in Canada.

      The Iglesia Ni Cristo, INC, is a committed group of individuals who have decided to fulfill their pledge in extending help through aid and services, promoting education, socio-economic well-being, environmental awareness and health improvement.

      They do this through partnering up with local governments, community establishments, Aid for Humanity programs and through Christian Family Organizations of the Church of Christ.

* (13:40)

      Over the last couple years, I, along with my   colleague from Kewatinook, have had the honour to participate in INC's events. I'd like to tell   you about a few of these events, the first being  the Worldwide Walk to Fight Poverty. This event occurred simultaneously in 44 countries, across 18 times zones, on May 5th. Madam Speaker, 1,140 Manitobans joined the walk, which happened right here on our Legislative grounds.

      More recently, last month, on September 28th, INC held an event in the North End of our city where over 3,000 care packages that they prepared were handed out to nearby residents, clients of local shelters and those who may be homeless.

      The care INC provides extends across Manitoba. For example, when there was a shortage for blood donations this past summer, INC assisted in the Canada-wide blood donation drive. And when there was a need for evacuees of Garden Hill and St. Theresa Point during last year's forest fire, they fed Manitobans who were arriving by air from affected areas.

      Madam Speaker, in closing, it is organizations like INC and individuals like the nine who have joined us in the gallery today, one all the way from Toronto, that are the embodiment of hope.

      They work to serve others, and I am hoping that  today my colleagues will join me in showing appreciation to INC's service to our province.

      Thank you.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for Burrows?

Ms. Lamoureux: Madam Speaker, I ask for leave to have the members who have joined us here today in the gallery, their names added to Hansard.

Madam Speaker: Is there leave to include those names in Hansard?[Agreed]

Iglesia Ni Cristo members. Ministers of District of Canada III: Isidro Dina, Carlos de Jesus, Richard Quindoza, Jeiel Robregado, Sonny Salanga, Sidney R. Santos; Jimi Cruz, officer; Donald Pinnock, public information officer, spokesperson for Canada

Bruce Park

Mr. Scott Johnston (St. James): Bruce Park is a beautiful city park located on the banks of the Assiniboine River in sunny St. James.

      I would like to acknowledge the Royal Canadian Legion No. 4 for their history and for their contributions to the park.

      In January 1934, the branch asked the municipal council of St. James to allocate a piece of property in Truro cark–Truro Park, now Bruce Park, for the erection of a cenotaph. The original cenotaph was erected in 1936. In 1990, the monument was rebuilt by the Royal Canadian Legion as a true replica, honouring the fallen men and women from St. James who died in World Wars I and II, the Korean War and as Canadian peacekeepers.

      In recent years I have been pleased to see a significant increase in the number of families that attend to pay their respects to the fallen on Remembrance Day. The representation of 17 Wing, the legionnaires, boy scouts, and Girl Guides, the City of Winnipeg and the federal government are highly visible as they march along Portage Avenue to the Legion at the conclusion of the Remembrance Day service.

      Please join me to acknowledge and thank two representatives from the St. James Legion, No. 4, Ms. Betty Zarney, 1st vice-president, and Ms. Rosemarie Cozine, sergeant-at-arms, that are here today to join us.

      I would also like to invite all colleagues seeking a Remembrance Day service, to join us on November the 11th, at the 11th hour, as I lay a wreath on behalf of the Province of Manitoba, at the foot of this beautiful monument in Bruce Park.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Introduction of Guests

Madam Speaker: Prior to oral questions, we have some guests with us in the gallery.

      I understand that we have Mr. Sig Enns, brother of the late Harry Enns, who is the guest of the MLA for Lakeside, and I would indicate–[interjection]–yes.

      And we welcome here to the Legislature.

      Also seated in the public gallery from Westgate Mennonite Collegiate we have 20 grade 9 students under the direction of Jeremy Siemens, and this group is located in the constituency of the honourable member for Wolseley (Mr. Altemeyer).

      On behalf of all honourable members here, we also welcome you to the Manitoba Legislature.

Oral Questions

Changes to Health Services

Nursing Staff Levels

Mr. Wab Kinew (Leader of the Official Opposition): Madam Speaker, the Premier has been making a lot of cuts to health care and it's really throwing our health-care system into disarray.

      I know that the members opposite are going to be shocked and chagrined and disappointed and perhaps even outraged, though none of them will raise their voices in protest to stand up to this Premier who is cutting health care in Manitoba.

      We see the impact of these cuts. This year there are 95–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Kinew: –fewer nurses working in the city of   Winnipeg in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. As a result of the direction made by this Premier to cut health care there are 95 fewer nurses working. That's 95 fewer nurses who are caring for patients at the bedside, and as a result patient care in the city is getting worse.

      With 95 less nurses working in the city of Winnipeg, will the Premier listen, Madam Speaker? Will he back off his plan for cuts and will he actually support the workers who deliver front-line care to those who need it most?

Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): Well, what the front-line workers are telling me and my colleagues is things are getting better and they're excited about it. They want to work in a system–Madam Speaker–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Pallister: –they tell us that they want to work in a system–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Pallister: –that works better for patients. They want to work in a system like the one that we're creating, with shorter wait times, not higher ones. They want to work in a system with lower ambulance fees so seniors aren't afraid to call the ambulance when they need transportation. They don't want them higher.

      And, Madam Speaker, what they don't want is misinformation. The member came in here promising to do things a new way; nothing new over there.

      We're not making cuts. We're $700 million over the last NDP Health budget.

      By the way, I want to thank Sig Enns for his service to the people, and I want to thank all the candidates in the municipal election, not just those who were victorious, but all those who put their names on the ballot.

      And I want to tell you one of the most humbling and beautiful moments I've had in my life, Madam Speaker, was at Harry Enns's tribute at his funeral when his brother sang, and they have a beautiful, beautiful voice straight from God Himself. Thank you.

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

Mr. Kinew: Well, there was one part of the Premier's answer that cut through there when he said that front-line health-care workers want to work in the health-care system. The problem with this Premier, of course, is that he's cutting jobs and there   are less people working at the bedside–[interjection]–and I hear the Minister of Health chirping from the other side. Apparently, he's not up to date on the condition of nurses and their employment here–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Kinew: –in the city of Winnipeg.

      So I would table for the benefit of the Premier that he should raise his concerns with, if he truly wants to stand up for health care in this province, this is a freedom of information request that shows that the number of nurses working in Winnipeg in 2017 was 5,379; the number of nurses this year: 5,284.

      So the–they can argue back and forth about who's responsibility it is that there are 95 fewer nurses working in the city of Winnipeg, but at the end of the day, which one of them is going to stand up and defend health care for people in the city of Winnipeg?

Mr. Pallister: Actually, Madam Speaker, the member again puts misinformation on the record, which is a sad and regular display and a desperate refuge of mischief-makers. There are actually 50 more nurses working in the system now, year over year, as of October.

      So, Madam Speaker, I think the member is putting misinformation on the record because he truly would like it if the health-care system wasn't improving. But it is.

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

Mr. Kinew: You know, I was curious to watch the Premier and the Minister of Health whisper back and forth there in hushed tones, asking each other, is 95 really, you know–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Kinew: –the difference between 5,379–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Kinew: –and 5,284.

      My answer to the queries that they're launching back and forth is, yes. When you take 5,379, the amount of nurses working in Winnipeg last year, and you subtract it from the number of nurses working this year, 5,284, yes, the difference is 95 fewer nurses working here in the city of Winnipeg.

      Now, we've previously established in this House that it is the Premier who makes the decisions at the Cabinet table. He is the one directing the WRHA to cut tens of millions of dollars for the budget. He is therefore the one responsible for the fact that there are now 95 fewer nurses working here in the city of Winnipeg, 95 fewer nurses at the bedside.

* (13:50)

      When will the Premier reconsider his decision, understand that he's damaging the health care and, instead, back off of his misguided plan for cuts?

Mr. Pallister: Doesn't matter, Madam Speaker, how  many times the public sector union boss allies of the   NDP or the NDP themselves spread the misinformation of cuts, $700 million is not a cut and   front-line workers in the health-care system absolutely know that.

      The member confuses teamwork, which he sees none of in his own caucus as he watches how we work on this side of the House, but there were whispers exchanged on the other side quite frequently, Madam Speaker, at the tale end of their desperate–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Pallister: –attempt to hold on to government when they plotted a rebellion against their leader for–due, I guess, good reason, Madam Speaker, because of the fact that they had totally mismanaged the finances of the province to the point where our credit rating was downgraded not once but twice, and our debt-service costs were ascending rapidly to the point where we have a billion-dollar debt-service obligation this year alone, thanks to the NDP, and a lot of those resources could go to additional things instead of making moneylenders happy, but thanks to the NDP they can't because their legacy is one of debt and ours is one of healing.

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

Municipal Road and Bridge Program

Program Funding Commitment

Mr. Wab Kinew (Leader of the Official Opposition): Madam Speaker, 95 fewer nurses in the city of Winnipeg, he can't disprove it; he can't deny it. All he can do is trot out his golden oldies from the last election, none of which actually talk about improving health care, which is what the people of Manitoba want.

      Now, I do want to take a moment today to shout out and give my congratulations to all the successful candidates in the municipal elections yesterday. I also want to thank everyone who volunteered and who took their time not just to help campaigns, but also who took their time at the returning offices and helped our democracy to function. It was certainly an exciting night to see what was happening around the province.

      I understand that there were some changes to the rules around cannabis in Lac du Bonnet–and so I understand that that's what my colleagues are excited about–but we know that there's been lots of cuts to municipalities here, right across the province. It's damaging transit in the city of Winnipeg. The municipal roads and bridges program is being damaged right across the province.

      Will the Premier commit to working collaboratively–

Madam Speaker: The member's time has expired.

Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): Highest increases in taxes in the country under the NDP and the member says, whoa, don't lower taxes. The 10th‑ranked health-care system in the country; he says, hold on there; let's keep it going last.

      We don't think so, Madam Speaker. We're going to make improvements in the system. They broke it; we're fixing it.

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

Mr. Kinew: I think the only time I ever said whoa, Madam Speaker, is when I saw that FIPPA that said there's 95 fewer nurses working in the city of Winnipeg. Then I was, like, whoa, what is this guy doing? Please.

      But when it comes to the municipal elections which just passed, Madam Speaker, here in the city of Winnipeg there was one promise made by the returning mayor that seemed to kind of fly–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Kinew: –under the radar of a lot of people.

      Now, the returning mayor in the city of Winnipeg, he did promise to keep tax increases predictable here in the city, but he added a proviso to it, and he said, and I quote, that he would do so provided no incremental provincial cost downloading or further provincial regulatory requirements are imposed on the City. End quote.

      Now, that's quite a mouthful, it's quite an asterisk, but really what they're saying is tax increases in Winnipeg will only be predictable if the Province doesn't hand down any more cuts. We know that they've cut the funding for transit. They've cut the funding for municipal roads and bridges, and they've downloaded a whole host of other costs.

      Will the Premier commit to working with the new councillors elected right across the province and not cut any more funding to municipalities?

Mr. Pallister: Well, Madam Speaker, I think the member is wrong because–I know he's wrong because we've introduced the most ambitious antiharassment training for all civil servants. Everybody on this side of the House has taken it, but when I urge him to get his colleagues briefed on this  issue he says, whoa; he doesn't seem to want them to have the same kind of education in terms of   eliminating harassment in the workplace that everybody else in the workplace now has, and I'd like him to explain that to the Legislature.

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

Mr. Kinew: I implemented workplace harassment training immediately upon becoming the leader of the Manitoba NDP in 2017. I did not have to be forced into it and I did it before there was media scrutiny on the issue, Madam Speaker.

      Now, when it comes to the issue–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Kinew: –of downloading costs to municipalities, we know that the Province has made no announcements about the amount of money that they will be sharing with their municipal partners, even though municipalities are going to   have increased costs as a result of the legalization of cannabis. And because they've made no announcement, we can assume that that means that they're going to be sharing zero per cent of the cannabis revenue with municipalities.

      And this is, of course, coming hot on the heels of   cuts which they've been handing down to municipalities: cuts to the roads and bridges program, cuts to transit here in the city of Winnipeg and, of course, downloading costs in a whole host of other areas.

      We know that new councillors right across the  province are excited to go to work very soon, but, Madam Speaker, they need a good provincial partner.

      Will this Premier commit to not cutting any more programs or cost-sharing initiatives, like the Municipal Road and Bridge Program?

Mr. Pallister: A report to the member's own party, made by friends of his party, reported that his party had a culture of cover-up and concealment, a misogynistic and misaligned culture that had perpetuated fear in the workplace for his own staff.

      That report was issued after the member claims he healed the system over there, Madam Speaker. And I encourage him to engage in some real open   efforts to improve the culture within his organization, as we have done throughout the entire civil service.

      In terms of the billion-dollar debt-service cost this year that the NDP handed the people of Manitoba, Madam Speaker, the member has offered not one single solution as to how we can move towards sustainability, not one idea as to how we can increase the future security of the people of the province of Manitoba, other than to offer the suggestion that taxes should go up. He now supports  a federal government program to raid the pocketbooks of Manitobans. And Manitoba doesn't deserve that, Madam Speaker, and Manitobans don't deserve that either.

      So we'll stand up for Manitobans, and he can keep standing up for higher taxes and his allies in the federal government. [interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order. Order.

Climate and Green Plan

Committee Amendments

Mr. Rob Altemeyer (Wolseley): I want to begin by thanking the dozens of Manitobans, old and young and urban and rural, who came and gave their time last night at committee on a very important climate change bill.

      Speaker after speaker called on all of us, in the government in particular, to use climate science and the dire warnings from the United Nations and the world's scientific community to guide our action on climate. And today, on behalf of our NDP caucus, I am very proud to say we agree with you one hundred per cent.

      And I am going to give the government, tonight, at–when we reach the amendment stage, the opportunity to do something historic together. I will be bringing forward an amendment that will require this government and all future governments to guide climate action according to climate science.

      Will they support the amendment?

Hon. Rochelle Squires (Minister of Sustainable Development): And I, too, want to–

Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.

Madam Speaker: Order. Order.

Ms. Squires: I, too, want to express my appreciation to the many people who came out last night and shared their views with us. And we were very pleased to hear from many Manitobans who have expressed an appreciation for our government's commitment to implementing a green plan, and that's exactly what we're going to do.

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

Mr. Altemeyer: Well, speaking of that government initiative that they call a plan, it's important to stack that up against what climate science says we must do.

      The government has failed to implement a single initiative–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Altemeyer: –in their plan and have failed to implement any of the things they said they would do. Even if they managed to implement all of them by the end of this coming year, it would amount to less than 4 per cent of what's required and they would have to hope there isn't a single new building using natural gas or a single new vehicle on the road using gasoline or diesel.

      This plan does not match up with climate science.

      Will the minister and the Premier (Mr. Pallister) come to committee tonight and support the amendment that will get us on the right track for our kids' future here on this planet?

Ms. Squires: Well, Madam Speaker, we're very proud to be committing $102 million in a historic conservation trust to have a sustainable watershed in this province. We're very excited to be moving forward on recycling initiatives to enhance removing some of the recyclables out of Brady landfill and other landfills across the country.

* (14:00)

      We've got many initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint in our province and that's exactly what we're going to do. Unlike members opposite, who, for 17 years, did absolutely nothing on the climate, and now that they're in opposition they're asking for an escalating price tag of up to 350 US dollars per ton.

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

Mr. Altemeyer: That's not the kind of answer that the people who presented at committee last night deserve to have from our government.

      I want to close by quoting from one of many of the fact-filled and very passionate presentations, one wonderful woman by the name of Natasha Szach, who said, in part, quote: There are many reasons why I choose to come here today, but the one I want to share with you is my son, who was born three months ago, early July this year. How will I explain to him that at the critical moment humanity did not have the political will to save the planet? There is no merit in selling a Climate and Green Plan to Manitobans that does anything less than what the science demands of us.

      Will the government support science at committee tonight?

Ms. Squires: Madam Speaker, Manitobans deserved a lot more on climate than what that NDP government offered them, and now we've got an opportunity to get right the things that they got wrong; and that's exactly what we're going to do with a plan that's better for the environment and better for the economy.

Library System

Funding Inquiry

Ms. Flor Marcelino (Logan): In a new mandate letter the minister–for the Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage, she has been charged with reviewing the way libraries are funded in Manitoba. We know that this is code for cuts to the services that Manitobans depend on.

      According to the annual report this government has already underspent over $250,000 from the libraries budget, and now they're planning on cutting more staff and resources.

      Will the minister commit there will be no new funding cuts to libraries in Manitoba?

Hon. Cathy Cox (Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage): It's always a pleasure answering questions when it comes to libraries and library systems here in Manitoba when the members opposite did absolutely nothing to improve the library system during their 17 years in government.

      I am proud that our government has taken a review, a review–that's the first time that's ever happened in 17 years, and we are examining the way library services are provided in Manitoba and we're going to make improvements, Madam Speaker, unlike the members opposite, who did absolutely nothing. [interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

      The honourable member for Logan, on a supplementary question.

Ms. Marcelino: Madam Speaker–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Ms. Marcelino: Libraries are priceless resources for our children, especially low-income people who can't afford to buy new books. They are an essential resource for people who don't have personal access to computers or the Internet to search for jobs and create resumes. They support early and adult literacy, providing spaces for communities to come together. Cuts of any kind to libraries are a direct attack on Manitoba's low-income people.

      Will the minister commit there will be no funding cuts to libraries in Manitoba?

Mrs. Cox: I will commit to the fact that we did consult with many, many Manitobans during our review over the last couple of years, and I am proud to say that we also committed $20 million to broadband Internet to ensure that Manitobans in west–in northern Manitoba have the opportunity to get better service in their libraries when they're over there listening to–wanting to listen to different computer programs and options like that. And I also will tell the member opposite that we are going to make improvements to the library system in collaboration with the public library association board.

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

Ms. Marcelino: Libraries play a critical role in lifelong learning. They enhance the quality of life for   citizens of all ages. Libraries matter because they support cultural, educational and the economic well‑being of Manitoba communities.

      This government's cuts to libraries are harmful to every Manitoba citizen. If the minister truly cares about value for money, she would recognize that the value of libraries cannot be calculated on a balance sheet.

      I ask one more time: If she truly cares about the economic, educational, and social well-being of Manitobans, will she commit to not cutting funding for our libraries?

Mrs. Cox: I can tell the member opposite that I care very much about library–our library systems here in Manitoba. They really are very often the hub of our communities, and they provide a very warm and nurturing environment for individuals to continue to learn the love of books and reading.

      And I have very fond memories of visiting the public library on William Avenue every week with my father and my brother, and I can tell you that it's very important to me to ensure that our library system is the very best across Canada. And where they failed and did nothing, we're going to improve the system, Madam Speaker. [interjection] 

Madam Speaker: Order.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Request for Government Plan

Mr. Dougald Lamont (Leader of the Second Opposition): Madam Speaker, the Auditor General's October 2017 report into the government's performance on climate change from a year ago was scathing about the NDP's failure to set goals, timelines or take any meaningful action to reduce greenhouse–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Lamont: –gas emissions. It also noted that this Conservative government had no plan either, despite having promised it a year and a half earlier.

      In 2015, the report read, the NDP had a lot of,   quote, high-level strategies lacking details and estimates of their expected emissions reductions and costs. End quote.

      Exactly the same could be said of this government's green plan because the ideas are exactly the same. Efficiency Manitoba, organics diversion, electric buses, cap-and-trade for large emitters, the list goes on.

      Did this government pray–pay a pretty penny to an Ottawa consultant to doll up the NDP's plan with some pillars and keystones?

Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): I'm sorry, Madam Speaker. I appreciated the earlier part of the preamble more than the second part, just because I frankly didn't hear the second part–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Pallister: –except for some reference to paying a consultant, which, Madam Speaker, I understand was the occupation of the member previously, part‑time, and so I don't know why he's decrying the work of consultants. I don't understand.

      But what I do understand is this, Madam Speaker: we have a wonderful idea of how to advance the cause of making Manitoba cleaner and greener without a carbon tax. We're going to proceed to do that in spite of the fact that the federal government and, it appears, the members opposite want to raid Manitoba's pocketbooks rather than fight climate change.

      So rather than be divided, as the federal government is doing with Canadians right now, I   think we should unify around the cause of fighting   climate change. That's exactly what this government's dedicated to doing.

Mr. Lamont: Madam Speaker, this government's greatest environmental accomplishment to date appears to be recycling old reports from the NDP, first on health care and now on the environment.

      But the so-called climate plan is not a plan. It's a wish list. It uses the term could 49 times. It says the government is considering 10 times, and on page 50, a giant asterisk, because not one action, not one pillar and not one indicator is defined. If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, we'd all have a very nice Christmas, Madam Speaker.

      When is this government going to provide details for their plan and how they'll pay for it?

Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.

Madam Speaker: Order. Order.

Mr. Pallister: Well, speaking of Christmas, the federal Liberal–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Pallister: –Party has decided they're going to have a two-tier carbon plan, and they've decided that Manitoba's flat and low and level carbon levy is inappropriate and they won't accept it. Instead, for Manitoba, it's time to stick their hands into the pockets of Manitobans and take money out.

      However, for Quebec, they can have a 40 per cent lower carbon levy, and that's cool with Ottawa. And for Newfoundland, they're going to exempt them on a whole list of things that they're not exempting us or Saskatchewan or Ontario on.

      This is two-tier, political, partisan approach to dealing with an issue we should be unified on, Madam Speaker. This shouldn't be about a tax grab from Ottawa that's preferentially heavier on every jurisdiction west of the Ottawa River and lower on every jurisdiction east of it.

* (14:10)

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

Mr. Lamont: Madam Speaker, in suddenly opposing a price on pollution, the Premier joins such NDP visionaries as Roy Romanow of the BC NDP, Jack Layton and NDP MP Daniel Blaikie, all of whom were happy to side with Conservatives against Liberals with–against Liberals and against the planet if they saw a chance for political gain.

      The Premier tells a fine tale about co-operation one minute and threatens to sue the federal government the next. In August he said the feds didn't like his plan–[interjection]–

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Lamont: –but now he says they love it. He says the federal government won't take hydro investments into account, then he tells this House they were a useless waste. He says the NDP did nothing, but wants credit for all the stuff they did. The Premier of Ontario says the Premier–this–our Premier is getting rid of the carbon tax, which he denies, and then he actually does.

      My question is which Premier should this Manitoban and Canadians be listening to: the Premier of Manitoba from one minute or the Premier of Manitoba from the next?

Mr. Pallister: Well, there you go, Madam Speaker, the member wants to play partisan politics like his pals down east in the Liberal government. Instead of fighting climate change, he wants to score cheap, petty political points by dividing Canadians. Preston Manning is for a carbon tax; Andrew Coyne, Dick Cheney, for heaven's sake. What's he talking about? There are people in every political party who support the concept and people, quite frankly, in every political party who oppose it.

      What I oppose is a federal government that tries to impose a double increasing tax on Manitobans while giving a break to the people of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, and I can't understand why the member opposite doesn't stand up for Manitobans, because we are going to.

Ivan Franko Manor

Expiration of Operating Agreement

Mrs. Bernadette Smith (Point Douglas): Last session this government dragged their feet when they found out that the operating agreement with Lions Place was expiring, threatening those seniors with a rent increase of up to $2,000 a year. In just over a year, the operating agreement at Ivan Franko Manor in my constituency, Point Douglas, will expire. That's 66 units of low-income housing that could be faced with drastic rent increases.

      Will the government guarantee today that those people won't lose their homes, that they'll step up and help the people of Ivan Franko in Point Douglas?

Hon. Heather Stefanson (Minister of Families): I can assure members of this House and all Manitobans that we take the issue of affordable housing very seriously in our province. Unlike members opposite, whose policies resulted in Manitoba being the child poverty capital of Canada, we take a different approach to things. In fact, in the area of housing we have opened almost 500 more affordable housing units in Manitoba.

      So we recognize that there's still much more work to be done as a result of 17 years of NDP mismanagement and we will continue to work with stakeholders in the community towards increasing affordable housing for Manitobans. 

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

Mrs. Smith: We know, from a freedom of information request, operating agreements for housing are expiring all over Manitoba. In September an operating agreement in South Osborne housing co-op covering 71 units expired.

      On November 1st an operating agreement with Shalom Gardens on Wilton Street covering 49 units will expire.

      Madam Speaker, it's time for this minister to step   up and make seniors and other vulnerable Manitobans a priority and stop forcing them out of their homes.

      I'm joined today by a constituent from Ivan Franko who is disabled and is being evicted. I'm asking this minister to meet with him today and help him resolve his case so he won't be homeless.

Mrs. Stefanson: Certainly, after 17 years where the NDP neglected needed repairs in Manitoba Housing, resulting in over $1 billion in deferred maintenance costs, Madam Speaker, we recognize that there is much work to be done and that's why we are taking the action we are doing.

      We have already–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mrs. Stefanson: –opened 500 new affordable housing units in Manitoba. That's one step in the right direction. We will continue to work with stakeholders toward creating more affordable housing for Manitobans.

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

Affordable Housing Units

Request for Provincial Strategy

Mrs. Bernadette Smith (Point Douglas): The last minister for Families 'tiked' rents for Manitoba Housing residents. They've cut maintenance crews in half. Houses–social housing units are sitting empty, when people can be in them, waiting for a paint job while they sit on their hands.

      It's been almost two and a half years, and Manitoba still doesn't have a provincial housing strategy. They've failed to build one social housing unit, and they've reduced the total amount of social housing available in Manitoba by selling off 300 units on Smith Street.

      Will this minister produce her provincial housing strategy and agree to meet with that constituent today to make sure he's not homeless?

Hon. Heather Stefanson (Minister of Families): Well, Madam Speaker, the litany of false assertions from the member opposite–I'm not even sure where to begin with that, Madam Speaker. The fact of the madam is–the fact of the matter is that more than 500 new units of affordable housing have been built in Manitoba under our watch, and of course, we also have helped with–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mrs. Stefanson: –we have 3,000 more people in Rent Assist, Madam Speaker, to help those who need a hand up with respect to housing and affordability in Manitoba.

      So while members of the NDP were content with standing by and watching this issue get worse in Manitoba, Madam Speaker, we will continue to work with Manitobans toward concrete solutions to deal with affordable housing.

Health-Care Services

Wait-Time Reduction

Mr. Andrew Micklefield (Rossmere): Our government was elected on a promise to improve patient care, reduce wait times and ensure our health‑care system is sustainable today and into the future.

      Recently, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority released new wait-time figures for the month of September and overall numbers since our   launch of the Healing our Health System transformation.

      Could the Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living please update the House on these important developments?

Hon. Cameron Friesen (Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living): Our government is transforming the health-care system to get better care sooner for Manitobans. I'm happy to report on new evidence that shows that our plan is working. Emergency department wait times in Winnipeg have decreased to 1.5 hours last month, compared to over   2 hours under the dying days of the NDP government.

      The length of stay for patients admitted to hospital has also improved, falling from 14 hours average to 10 hours. In addition to this, MRI wait times, PCH bed wait times and cardiac surgery wait times all falling, finally, under the PC government's plan.

      However, there is one thing that is going up, Madam Speaker, and that is the number of nurses working in the province of Manitoba: up 48.

Meth and Cannabis Awareness

Inclusion in K-to-12 Curriculum

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): The meth crisis is extremely serious. One of the essential steps that should already have been taken to–is to ensure the K‑to-12 curriculum has material which deals with what meth is, why it's so dangerous, why it should be avoided and never used, what are the specific steps that a student should take if they have started taking meth and need help, who they can go to for help and where, and how they can help a friend who's started taking meth.

      At this critical time in our history, with this epidemic and crisis raging, can the Minister of Education tell us whether knowledge of the meth crisis is in the K-to-12 curriculum, and if not, when it will be?

Hon. Kelvin Goertzen (Minister of Education and Training): The member will know that there is significant education that happens within the K-to-12 system on drugs generally. Generally at grade 4, it begins.

      That's often augmented by other groups that come in. We've, of course, seen Robb Nash do presentations at schools. We've had the DARE program at schools, which is operated by the RCMP, who come into the schools. So there's a number of different sources of information in terms of drugs.

* (14:20)

      I was pleased to be with the then-Attorney General, the member for Tuxedo (Mrs. Stefanson), to attend a school several months ago, in our previous roles, to talk about awareness on things like opiates and meth and other drugs that were happening at that time and continue to happen, and we'll continue to provide that information, Madam Speaker.

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

Mr. Gerrard: But is there really enough about meth?

      The legalization of cannabis in Canada has occurred. Educating students in the K-to-12 education system about cannabis in the run-up to legalization should have been a top priority for this government so students would be well–[interjection] 

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Gerrard: –aware of the medical evidence of the negative impact of cannabis on adolescent brains, the dangers of driving after taking cannabis, the potential inability of cannabis users to visit the United States for the rest–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mr. Gerrard: –of their lives, and the rules as they relate to the use of cannabis so that students understand these matters.

      Why was this knowledge of cannabis not fully integrated into the curriculum before legalization? Why the delay–

Madam Speaker: The member's time has expired.

Mr. Goertzen: Madam Speaker, this member and I   have heard other members of the Liberals acknowledge that one of the reasons that meth has  become cheaper on the streets, this scourge, this   terrible drug, is because, potentially, of the legalization of marijuana, as those who are selling, illegally, marijuana look to change their market and are providing cheaper methamphetamine. That is a result of the Liberal government's policy to legalize marijuana. Now, it may have been an unintended consequence, but it could nonetheless have been a consequence.

      This is a government that has looked at safety in every aspect when it comes to the legalization of marijuana because of the federal Liberal government, whether that's the age, whether that's where the drug can be consumed, whether that's education. I'm glad this member all of a sudden suddenly cares. He should've said something many, many months ago when his friends in Ottawa were putting in this policy and not providing the support to Manitoba and other provinces, Madam Speaker.

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

Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, the government needs to be proactive, not just reactive.

      Individuals with learning disabilities often experience frustration with the K-to-12 education system because detailed assessment of their learning disability is often slow and the help and support available in Manitoba is not as advanced as it needs to be, particularly for those with complex learning disabilities, including processing difficulties.

      Students with learning disabilities are among the most vulnerable and, when not adequately helped, are more likely to be involved with substance abuse and to have mental health issues, as we learned at a recent forum I held in River Heights. Action is urgent.

      What is the Minister of Education doing to ensure all children with learning disabilities get the full–

Madam Speaker: The member's time has expired.

Mr. Goertzen: Well, Madam Speaker, this government, our government, has been more proactive on this file than, I would say, any other government in Canada. Whether that is setting a differential age from alcohol when it comes to the consumption of marijuana or whether that is restricting significantly where the drug can be consumed so it doesn't become normalized among groups that we don't want it to be come normalized in, whether it's ensuring that there is good control on the distribution of the product–though we need more help from the federal government on a seed-to-sale tracking system. This government has been proactive every step of the way.

      What we haven't had is a federal government who's been a real partner to ensure that we have equipment when it comes to impaired driving, have it on time, Madam Speaker. That hasn't been there. And I have never heard that member say one word to his federal colleagues in Ottawa about this. He can sit here, and he can make political points, but he was–

Madam Speaker: The member's time has expired.

Judicial Nomination Committee

Appointment of Indigenous Members

Ms. Nahanni Fontaine (St. Johns): Indigenous people are overrepresented in our criminal justice system. One way to effect change actually recommended by the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry was to ensure more indigenous judges sit on provincial court. In light of this, it had been the practice of our NDP government to appoint an indigenous person to the judicial nominating committee in Manitoba that chooses provincial judges. But this practice, this government appears to have stopped.

      I ask the Minister of Justice if he would reconsider and appoint an indigenous person to all future judicial nominating committees.

Hon. Cliff Cullen (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): I do appreciate the question from the member opposite. I do want to acknowledge the previous minister of Justice and Attorney General for bringing forward the Criminal Justice System Modernization Strategy, and in that document–I hope the members will take an opportunity to read that document–it talks about a really concrete strategy moving forward and there's an accountability mechanism in that strategy. And we've already seen this strategy play dividends, Madam Speaker, and we're going to continue to work on this strategy and we're going to provide benefits to all Manitobans.

Madam Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.

Point of Order

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

Ms. Nahanni Fontaine (Official Opposition House Leader): I'd like to raise a point of order.

      I do understand that there is a guide to members in respect of the attire that we're supposed to wear in this Chamber. I would ask, Madam Speaker, if that guide has actually changed and we are now allowed to wear jeans in the House, because I would actually point your attention to the member for St. Boniface (Mr. Lamont) who appears to be wearing jeans today in the House.

Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.

Madam Speaker: Order, please. Order, please.

      While the standing orders do not prescribe a dress code for members participating in debate, Speakers have ruled that all members desiring to be recognized to speak at any point during the proceedings of the House must be wearing contemporary business attire. Current practice requires that male members wear jackets, shirts and ties, and I would indicate that in past practice, jeans have not been allowed by Speakers in the House.

      The honourable member for Point Douglas–or St. Johns, on the–[interjection] 

      Oh, there is a point of order.

Point of Order

Ms. Nahanni Fontaine (Official Opposition House Leader): I would like to raise another point of order, if you'd be so kind.

      I'd like to raise a point of order that members opposite or the government tend to take a dramatic and exaggerated amount of time when clapping for one of their members who 'spow' out–spout out nonsense here. It does–

Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.

Madam Speaker: Order. Order.

Ms. Fontaine: Actually, I take that back, Madam Speaker. Sorry, I take that back. I apologize for that.

      So, I do want to bring to your attention the fact that that actually infringes on members' on this side of the House ability to ask questions. The member for Point Douglas (Mrs. Smith) was standing for quite a while, attempting to ask her question that actually has to do with a member in the gallery that the Minister of Justice doesn't even want to meet with. The member for Point Douglas waited respectfully and patiently while there was a dramatic standing ovation here, which takes up the clock, on our time.

      It is a point of order in that it decreases the amount of time that we have to ask our questions, and so, point in case, I was only able to get to one of my questions out of my three. I know they're disappointed, I know that. I know the Justice Minister wanted to answer my questions.

      I would ask you to rule on that, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Kelvin Goertzen (Government House Leader): Well, Madam Speaker, I can't deny that there was spontaneous standing ovation for a tremendous answer that was provided by our Premier (Mr. Pallister) and by the Minister of Health.

      I can take no responsibility for the fact that members opposite won't clap for each other, Madam Speaker. That is not my responsibility. If they have a difficult time supporting each other, they might want to have a caucus. They might want to have a retreat. They may want to have some sort of an intervention that could get them to support each other.

      But I did clearly hear you say the time for oral questions has expired, and I believe that that is the case, Madam Speaker.

Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.

Madam Speaker: Order. Order, please. Order, please.

      The honourable member for Assiniboia, on the same point of order?

Hon. Steven Fletcher (Assiniboia): Yes.

Madam Speaker: The honourable member for Assiniboia, on the same point of order.

* (14:30)

Mr. Fletcher: On the same point order, I'm not sure that was a spontaneous delay of time. It was more of a stand-or-die and face-the-consequences moment.

      Madam Speaker, when members decide to waste the time like the member, that actually is against the rules as far as decorum in the House, respect for fellow members and the time constraints in the–it says 45 minutes of question period. When people are standing in fear of their careers, it does not help with questions and answers as per the rules, nor does it help democracy.

      And, by the way, yesterday, due to similar situations, I was unable to ask a question due to the rotation on the list. So it does have a real effect on people who want to ask serious questions.

      And my last point is: don't be scared, my former colleagues. You'll be okay. He can't really hurt you. [interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order, please.

      I would like to indicate to everybody that we did time the length of applause. It was 44 seconds. And I would indicate that I allowed question period today to go 59 seconds longer than the 40 minutes allowed.

      And I would just add that I do have that discretion as the Speaker. I very carefully watch if people are wasting time on either side and I can make adjustments accordingly. So I'm very aware of that and I did allow question period to go longer for people to finish their–that last question and answer.

      So I would indicate that there is not a point–oh, I would indicate that the member does not have a point of order, but I do thank her for raising it because it does allow me to draw the attention to the House of how situations like that are handled.  


Seven Oaks General Hospital Emergency Room

Mrs. Bernadette Smith (Point Douglas): I wish to present the following petition to the Legislative Assembly.

      The background to this petition is as follows:

      (1) The provincial government has announced the closure of three emergency rooms and an urgent‑care centre in the city of Winnipeg, including closing down the emergency room at Seven Oaks General Hospital.

      (2) The closures come on the heels of the closing of a nearby QuickCare clinic, as well as cancelled plans for ACCESS centres and personal-care homes, such as Park Manor–[interjection]

Madam Speaker: Order.

Mrs. Smith: –that would have provided important services to families and seniors in the area.

      (3) The closures have left families and seniors in north Winnipeg without any point of contact with front-line health-care services and will result in them having to travel 20 minutes or more to St. Boniface Hospital's emergency room or Health Sciences Centre's emergency room for emergency care.

      (4) These cuts will place a heavy burden on the many seniors who live in north Winnipeg and visit the emergency room frequently, especially for those who are unable to drive or are low income.

      (5) The provincial government failed to consult with families and seniors in north Winnipeg regarding the closing of their emergency room or to consult with health-care officials or health-care workers at Seven Oaks to discuss how this closure would impact patient care in advance of the announcement.

      We petition the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba as follows:

      To urge the provincial government to reverse the decision to close Seven Oaks General Hospital's  emergency room so that families and seniors in north Winnipeg and the surrounding areas have timely access to quality health-care services.

      Signed by Celeste Levesque [phonetic], Jennifer Tucay, Danile Magee [phonetic] and many, many other Manitobans.

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

Vimy Arena

Hon. Steven Fletcher (Assiniboia): I wish to present the following petition to the House.

      The background of this petition is as follows:

      (1) The residents of St. James and other areas of Manitoba are concerned with the intention expressed by the provincial government to use the Vimy Arena site as a Manitoba Housing project.

      (2) The Vimy Arena site is in the middle of a   residential area, near many schools, churches, community clubs and senior homes, and neither the provincial government nor the City of Winnipeg considered better-suited locations in rural, semi-rural or industrial locations, such as the St. Boniface Industrial Park, the 20,000 acres at CentrePort or existing properties such as the Shriners Hospital or the old Children's Hospital on Wellington Crescent.

      (3) The provincial government is exempt from any zoning requirements that would have existed if   the land was owned by the City of Winnipeg. The  exemption bypasses community input and due diligence and ignores better uses of land which would be consistent with a residential area.

      There are no standards that one would expect for a treatment centre. The Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living has stated that the Department of Health had no role to play in the land acquisition for this Manitoba Housing project for the use of a addiction–drug addiction facility.

      (5) Manitoba Housing project initiated by the provincial government changes the fundamental nature of the community. Including park and recreation uses, concerns of the residents of St. James and others regarding public safety, property value and their way of life are not being properly addressed.

      (6) The concerns of the residents of St. James are being ignored while obvious other locations in wealthier neighbourhoods, such as Tuxedo and River Heights, have not been considered for the Manitoba Housing project, even though there are hundreds of acres of land available for development at Kapyong Barracks or parks like Heubach Park that share the same zoning as the Vimy Arena site.

      (7) The Manitoba Housing project and the operation of a drug treatment centre fall outside the statutory mandate of the Manitoba Housing renewal corporation.

      (8) The provincial government does not have a 'co-ordionanated' plan for addiction treatment in Manitoba, as it currently 'underfands' treatment centres, which are running far under capacity and potential.

      (9) The community has been misled regarding the true intentions of Manitoba Housing. The land is being transferred for a 50-bed facility even though the project clearly falls outside of Manitoba Housing responsibility.

      We petition the Legislative Assembly as follows:

      (1) To urge the provincial government to take the necessary steps to ensure that the Vimy Arena site is not used for an addiction treatment facility; and

      (2) To urge the provincial government to take the necessary steps to ensure the preservation of park land along Sturgeon Creek for the purposes of park and recreational activities for the public use, including being an important component of the Sturgeon Creek waterway–greenway and Sturgeon Creek ecosystem under the current designation of PR2 for the 255 Hamilton Ave. location at the Vimy Arena site, and to maintain land to continue to be designated for parks and rec activities in the neighbourhood.

      This has been signed by Kathy Freeman, Galen [phonetic] Freeman, Victoria Kane [phonetic] and many other Manitobans.

Concordia Hospital Emergency Room

Mr. Matt Wiebe (Concordia): I wish to present the following petition to the Legislative Assembly.

      And the reasons for this petition is as follows:

      (1) The provincial government has announced the closures of three emergency rooms and an urgent-care centre in the city of Winnipeg, including closing down the emergency room at Concordia Hospital. 

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      (2) The closures come on the heels of the closing of a nearby QuickCare clinic, as well as cancelled plans for ACCESS centres and personal-care homes, such as Park Manor, that would have provided important services for families and seniors in the area.

      (3) The closures have left families and seniors in northeast Winnipeg without any point of contact with front-line health-care services and will result in them having to travel 20 minutes or more to St. Boniface Hospital's emergency room for emergency care.

      (4) These cuts will place a heavy burden on the many seniors who live in northeast Winnipeg and visit the emergency room frequently, especially for those who are unable to drive or who are low-income.

      (5) The provincial government failed to consult with families and seniors in northeast Winnipeg regarding the closing of their emergency room or to consult with the health-care officials and health-care workers at Concordia to discuss how this closure would impact patient care in advance of the announcement.

      We petition the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba as follows:

      To urge the provincial government to reverse the decision to close Concordia Hospital's emergency room so that families and seniors in northeast Winnipeg and the surrounding areas have timely access to quality health-care services.

      And this petition is signed by many, many Manitobans.

Gender Neutrality

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, I wish to present the following petition to the Legislative Assembly.

      The background to this petition is as follows:

      Gender, sexuality and gender identity are protected characteristics of human rights both federally and provincially in Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, and soon will be in Saskatchewan, Yukon and other places in Canada. These governments have realized the need for this option on identification for the benefit of people who   identify or who are identified by others as intersex, third gender, transgender, genderqueer or non‑binary.

      Identification and government documents should  reflect gender neutrality to prevent issues that may arise from intentional bias on gender and   misgendering. The people described above face anxiety and discrimination in many aspects of day‑to-day life, such as interactions with health‑care professionals, interactions with persons of authority, accessing government services, applying for employment.

      Gender neutrality describes the idea that policies, language and the other social institutions should avoid distinguishing roles according to people's sex or gender in order to avoid discrimin­ation arising from impressions that there are social roles for which one gender is more suited than other.

      Many newcomers to Canada may already have gender-neutral ID. Many indigenous persons are coming to identify as two-spirit as the effects of colonization are lessening, and this needs to be addressed in the process of recolonization.

      Being forced to accept an assigned gender affects children and newborns as they grow and   become part of society. There are many psychological benefits for transgender and non‑binary peoples to be allowed to develop without the constraints put upon them by having their gender assigned based on purely physical attributes.

      The consideration to have a third option like X  or Other on documents was on the previous provincial government's radar for several years, but the current provincial government has not taken steps to implement it.

      The City of Winnipeg is actively making its forms reflective of gender neutrality in respect to all persons who work for or come into contact with that government.

      The federal government now issues passports and is educating personnel about the correct language and references for non-binary persons.

      An Other option existed on enumeration forms for Elections Manitoba in 2016, was easily accepted and provided a framework to provide accurate statistics of those who do not identify under the current binary system.

      The foresight, along with training and making changes on required forms, acknowledges and accepts persons who fall outside the binary gender so that governments and people can more effectively interact with one another and reduce the anxieties of everyone involved.

      We petition the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba as follows:

      To urge the provincial government to imme­diately begin implementation of plans to convert systems and forms to be more inclusive of two-spirit and other non-binary individuals, whether it be to include a third gender option or no requirement for gender on forms unless medically or statistically necessary, including health cards and birth certificates.

      To urge the provincial government to imme­diately instruct the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation to offer a third gender option or no gender requirement for licences or any other form of provincial identification.

      To urge the provincial government to instruct Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living to offer the option of Manitoba Health cards with no gender in order to reduce the anxieties of transgender and non-binary persons accessing the health-care system as a first step.

      To consider revisiting legislation that may need updating to meet the needs of its citizens in this regard.

      Signed by Katherine Boyd, Autumn Hotomani, Elliot McCormick and many others. Thank you.

Madam Speaker: Grievances?




House Business

Ms. Nahanni Fontaine (Official Opposition House Leader): Pursuant to rule 33(9), I am announcing that the private member's resolution to be considered on the next Thursday of private members' business will be the one put forward by the honourable member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway). The title of the resolution is Committing to an East-West Power Grid for Manitoba.

Madam Speaker: It has been announced that pursuant to rule 33(9), the private member's resolution to be considered on the next Thursday of  private members' business will be one put forward by the honourable member for Elmwood. The title of the resolution is Committing to an East‑West Power Grid for Manitoba.

Hon. Kelvin Goertzen (Government House Leader): I'd like to announce that the Standing Committee on Legislative Affairs will meet, if necessary, on Monday, October 29th, 2018, at 6 p.m. to consider Bill 16, The Climate and Green Plan Implementation Act.

Madam Speaker: It has been announced that the Standing Committee on Legislative Affairs will meet, if necessary, on Monday, October 29th, 2018, at 6 p.m. to consider Bill 16, The Climate and Green Plan Implementation Act.

* * *

Mr. Goertzen: This afternoon we would like to consider motions of condolence.

Madam Speaker: It has been announced that the House will consider condolence motions this afternoon.

Motions of Condolence

Charlotte Oleson

Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): I'd like to move, seconded by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Cullen), that this House convey to the family of the late Charlotte Oleson, who served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, its sincere sympathy in their bereavement and its appreciation of her 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. Pallister: Madam Speaker, I consider it a great honour and privilege to be able to rise to put a few things on the record of this place in respect of Charlotte Oleson.

      I like to think that the richness of life comes from one's devotion to one's family and to one's community, and Charlotte Oleson epitomized this richness of life from early beginnings until her final days.

      She leaves behind her loving husband Stan, as well as their children Chris, Davin and Kelly, and five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren of which she was tremendously proud, and it's my honour to say to them, we are very, very grateful for having Charlotte work for the betterment of Manitobans, and we want them to know how very, very much we miss her, too, and they are in our thoughts today.

      The mayor of Glenboro, Earl Malyon, said this shortly after Charlotte passed, and I quote now: She was active right up until she couldn't be active any more. I'm sure, up until a few days before she passed on, if you asked her a political question, you'd have got a good answer. And that was Charlotte, Madam Speaker. She was very interested and involved in her community and in political life right 'til the end of her life.

      There are those who walk among us who are enrichers of our communities and our lives, and we lost such a person when Charlotte passed. Her public life was very well chronicled. Charlotte was educated at Minnedosa Collegiate; the Manitoba Provincial Normal School–which I'm proud to say my mother also attended–and then Brandon College. And in 1953 she married Stan.

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      Prior to running for political office she raised three children. She worked as a librarian for the town of Glenboro and later for Glenboro Collegiate. She was a councillor in the Village of Glenboro from 1977 to 1980 and the deputy mayor from 1980 to 1982.

      She was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1981, representing the Gladstone riding. And in Premier Filmon's Cabinet she was the minister of Community Services, minister of Employment Services and Economic Security and the minister responsible for the Status of Women. Another former member of this place, my good friend Harold Gilleshammer, noted that Charlotte carried out her Cabinet roles with grace. The same can be said every pursuit that she undertook.

      Upon leaving elected office she simply transferred her willingness to contribute and her sense of duty to new projects that were near and dear to her. Madam Speaker, Charlotte was a prime mover in the successful efforts to have Criddle-Vane Homestead designated as a Manitoba provincial park. And her volunteerism and her service was best summed up by the Brandon Sun shortly after her passing, which noted, her obituary offers a long list of organizations she was involved with over years, indicating that if something was going on in Glenboro, she was probably involved.

      What a legacy to behold and an inspiration to younger generations of the need for community service and volunteerism; of the willingness to stand up and be involved. Charlotte's life and all it encompassed, show that there are no limitations to how we can be of service to others. It can be on a municipal council or in this Legislature, or with any organization that needs a helping hand.      

      It's through that willingness to serve others, that our lives are enriched. Charlotte Oleson can be recognized as a true Manitoba builder: always willing to be counted and to labour for the causes she held dear. Madam Speaker, it's a privilege to know Charlotte. Our condolences to her family. We remember her work in this Assembly and her work throughout her life and we are blessed to have had her in our midst.

      God bless Charlotte Oleson and the example that she set for all of us. Thank you.

Hon. Cliff Cullen (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): Thank you very much, Madam  Speaker. And I want to thank the Premier (Mr.  Pallister) for those kind words in respect of Charlotte. And I will certainly echo some of those sentiments as well, as I speak about Charlotte as a friend and as a neighbour. I will also speak to her lifelong commitment to her family, to her community and, quite frankly, to the province.

      Charlotte was born and raised in the Clanwilliam area and went to school in Minnedosa. And after Minnedosa High School, went on to normal school and Brandon College and ended up teaching in Glenboro. And so began her journey with her husband Stan.

      Stan and Charlotte raised three sons: Chris, Davin and Kelly. Chris is married to Kristine in Regina. Davin is with Janice in Brandon and Kelly lives here in Winnipeg. And they were also, as part of the family, five grandchildren: Jennifer, Eric, Asia, Johanna and Alycia. And they are also joined by Don and Cassie. And Stan and Charlotte also leave two great-grandchildren, Elliot and Finley. And I will say that she always spoke so highly and so proudly of the accomplishments of her family.

Mr. Doyle Piwniuk, Deputy Speaker, in the Chair

      Stan and Charlotte have been married–were married 63 years. Stan resides in the personal care home in Glenboro and he's still active and always enjoys a good conversation around politics, around the community and around sports, which he has always been so actively involved in.

      Certainly, Stan did a lot of community activity along with Charlotte. Stan was out and about in the community with different activities, very active in   baseball, very active in various associations representing Manitoba and Canada, as well in regard to curling.

      So Charlotte decided it was time to stay home and raise their children at home. Course, at the same time, she was also volunteering in the community. Once Kelly started school–Kelly being the youngest– it was time to begin work as a librarian. And she worked as a librarian for both the town and the Glenboro collegiate.

      Her first foray into politics was 1977 when she was elected to the council of the Village of Glenboro and she did serve a term as the deputy mayor there, as well.

      Her provincial politics, she was in the Manitoba Legislature from 1981 to 1990, representing the Gladstone constituency. And you will be aware that there was not too many women involved in politics at the provincial level at that particular time. So, certainly, Charlotte represented well. And she did serve under the Filmon government as the minister of Community Services and Employment Services and Economic Security, which later became the minister of–Ministry of Family Services, which she represented.

      After retiring from politics, Charlotte remained active with the Conservative Party here in Manitoba. In fact, right up to the end she still joined in the conventions, in the annual conventions, and was always happy to visit with people and share stories, and it was so nice to have her, and she certainly–right up to the end, she was active in our local association as well. And our party recognized her for her lifelong contribution to the party as well.

      I will say in 1995 my wife and I actually purchased the residence across the street from the Olesons, so we got to know them even better over those number of years, and in fact my sons were called on to help out with the domestic duties over there from time to time and make sure they were there for the regular lawn-care maintenance as well.

      And the Premier (Mr. Pallister) noted Charlotte was very active in the community, and I just want to read off some of the organizations that Charlotte was involved in. She was the chairman of the Lakeland Regional Library board, director of the Manitoba Library Trustees Association, vice-chair of the Cypress Planning District. She was a member of the Glenboro and area historical society, president of the Glenboro development corporation, chair of the Friends of Spruce Woods park and the Criddle-Vane Homestead committee, and she was also an active member of the St. Stephen's Anglican Church, and she was an honorary president of the Manitoba Ladies Curling Association. And she also served on the human rights board's commission and the Motor Transport Board as well for a period of time.

      So, certainly, she was very active in the community, always active in the community, quietly getting things done. Clearly she had the experience that served her well. She always had the connections that was required to make sure that she accomplished the goals that she set out.     

      And, as Stan once reminded me, he said if you want to get something done, ask a busy person to do it. And I would say this was the way that both Stan and Charlotte carried out. They were so busy in their communities and so active in their communities.

      So we do want to thank the family for sharing Charlotte, her many talents, so much time that she shared with us here in government and also with the community. It's such a special event.

      We do want to thank and acknowledge her years of public service both in politics here at the Legislature and certainly in the community over so many years. She shows us the value of volunteering and giving back and serving your community.

      And personally, I want to thank her for her support and her guidance over the years. She will be missed by family, by friends and the community.

      Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Tom Lindsey (Flin Flon): It is an honour for me to stand today and put a few words on the record and speak a little bit about someone who's gone before me and entered this Chamber and earned the respect of her colleagues.

      Ms. Oleson–I did not know her personally–born in 1932 and died in February of 2017. Certainly, she grew up in Manitoba. She attended Crocus School and graduated high school from Minnedosa Collegiate Institute and then went to Normal School in Winnipeg.

      Now, Ms. Oleson became and MLA in 1981, and as my colleague from Spruce Woods alluded to, there wasn't a lot of women involved in politics back in those days, so in a way she was a pioneer that helped pave the way for more women to be involved afterwards.

      And it certainly must have been a challenge for Ms. Oleson to be happily married for 63 years and raise a family while taking part in all of the many activities that she took part in aside from being elected as an MLA and serving her constituents.

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      Certainly, I've learned a little bit today and heard about the many contributions that she made, not just as an MLA but to the province and to her communities, to the–everyone that she came in contact with, that she made a difference.

      Now, she first got elected in 1981 in the riding of Gladstone, re-elected in '86 and again in 1988. She became a Cabinet minister in the PC government of   Gary Filmon from 1988 to 1990. She served as   minister of Community Services, minister of Employment Services and Economic Security, with the responsibility for the Status of Women. 

      So, she made sure, I guess, that not just her voice was heard but, at that time, that the voice of women in the Legislature was heard as well. Becoming a minister was a thing to be proud of, and it still is, but certainly back in those days, for a woman to become a minister was that much more of an achievement, and I'm sure speaks volumes about her character and her drive, to make sure she represented people properly.

      She chose not to seek re-election in 1990, and while certainly many of us have differing political views, she was dedicated to what she believed in. She was an active member in the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba for over 40 years. That's a long time for someone to be actively involved in anything, so she must have truly believed what she was doing was the right thing for her to do.

      Now, during that 40 years, she served in several constituency leadership roles. So, again, she believed what she was doing. She served as director of the federal conservative women's caucus and was awarded an honorary life membership in the Manitoba Conservative Party in 2000. That, in itself, I'm sure is an achievement that her family can be quite proud of, as I'm sure she was as well.

      Something else I learned today was that she was awarded the Canada 125 medal in 1992, again, another accolade that surely speaks volumes about her commitment to that which she believed in.

      So, with those few words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, we certainly thank Charlotte Oleson for her contribution to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, to her constituency, to her family and we thank her family for sharing her with all of Manitoba.

      Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Hon. Eileen Clarke (Minister of Indigenous and Northern Relations): It's an honour today to speak of my former MLA, Charlotte Oleson, who passed away February 19, 2017. She was a dedicated wife, a loving mother and grandmother, a teacher, a librarian, a municipal official and in 1981 she was elected to the Manitoba PC Party as the MLA for Gladstone.

      During those years, she also served the community of Glenboro on many boards and committees, as we’ve heard here today. She was also very devoted to her husband Stan and followed him with his curling endeavours.

      Our PC female colleagues and myself, we were very honoured to meet and to spend time with Charlotte at an event in 2016 in Brandon, and although her 'felth' was failing at the time, she was so excited just to be in attendance with her family and reunited with her political family. Photos were taken and definitely memories were made.

      This week, when I reflect on my relationship with Charlotte during her political years, I feel in some ways I'm taking a journey in her footsteps. Her commitment to politics came much early in her life than it does in mine, and it seemed she was destined to make a mark as a strong and confident woman at the time, when leader–women in leadership was not the norm.

      She stopped in at my business in Gladstone often to visit me and always offered encouraging and supportive words to me as a young entrepreneur. I was always happy to see her coming through the door. Her casual manner and infectious smile were reassuring. She always made me feel better about myself and to strive to do more for my community. She was a great role model, and I want to encourage young women, just as she did for me.

      When the department of Vital Statistics made the decision to appoint marriage commissioners in Manitoba, she contacted me immediately and urged me to apply. She felt it was a good fit for my business. I was appointed and still hold that appointment to date.

      I never really thought back then in the 1980s exactly what Charlotte's life was like, not fully understanding her roles and responsibilities in government. She did it all, and she did it well. Her husband, Stan, said she was always driven to improve her community in whatever way she could as well as to participate in just about everything that went on in Glenboro where she had lived since the 1950s.

      Charlotte was always kind, she was considerate, and very upfront with people, and did everything she   could to help them. That was the Charlotte I   knew and admired. She was my mentor and a   much appreciated role model even back in those   years, as rural women who choose to live in a   second home to do politics away from our families and responsibilities, to our communities and constituencies there are many challenges, long days and dramatic lifestyle changes.

      Today I'm honoured to pay my respects to Charlotte Louise Oleson, and I will endeavour as a woman in leadership to follow her example of serving to the best of my ability for the betterment of my community, constituency, province, and our country. By doing so I hope my colleagues and I by actions, words, and deeds, will be good examples to future generations who will influence good decisions and respect for all without discrimination.

      I found a few words this morning that really spoke to who Charlotte was as a person and it's called A Life Well Lived. A life well lived is a precious gift, of hope and strength and grace, for someone who has made our world a brighter and better place. It's filled with moments sweet and sad with smiles and sometimes tears, with friendships formed and good times shared and laughter through the years. A life well lived is a legacy of joy and pride and pleasure, a living, lasting memory of grateful hearts will treasure. I treasure the relationship I had with Charlotte Louise Oleson.

      Thank you. 

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Mr. Speaker, I rise to extend condolences to the family and the friends of Charlotte Oleson; a teacher, librarian, mother, active community member, politician, in time grandmother. She was well organized to all this and she had a strong work ethic, something that probably came in part from growing up on a farm where you had to be active because there was lots of chores to do.

      Charlotte got involved in Glenboro in her community on the council and in community politics, and then went on to become a member of the Legislature. And after a number of years experience in the Legislature, she rose to become a Cabinet minister holding several portfolios: minister of Community Services, minister of Employment Services and Economic Security, with responsibility for the Status of Women, and minister of Family Services. That's quite a lot of responsibility, and from what we know, she carried it out well.

      I admire her contributions as a teacher and as a librarian, very important for the community.

      I visited the Criddle-Vane Homestead and her work there, along with others, to make sure that that was recognized as a heritage homestead, may even be a provincial park, that's important to recognize the contributions of a family who was unusual in a number of respects but certainly well-known and part of the history of the Glenboro area.

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      I admire her work when she was a board   member of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. Human rights are pretty important and pretty fundamental. So I, on behalf of the Liberal caucus, pay this tribute to Charlotte and honour her and her family and the friends who were all part of the work she did.

      Thank you.

Hon. Blaine Pedersen (Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade): I, too, would like to just put a few words on the record in memory of Charlotte Oleson. And, to Stan and the family, I have very fond memories of Charlotte, and my meeting of her was a little bit different than many people.

      My best memory of Charlotte goes back to 2005, which seems like a long time ago now, but I was at that time running in a nomination, a very hotly contested nomination. And I was seeking some advice, and so I made the trip down to Glenboro and sat down with Charlotte and Stan and had a cup of tea and just sat and listened to Charlotte. And she gave me–her calm demeanour and yet that determination was there. She spoke of being in the Legislature and what we just–many of just don't appreciate is the sacrifice she made, as was mentioned, you know, two hours from home and being in here in the Chamber, being a woman in the Legislature. She spoke of those days very fondly, and she, through this, she did give me some great advice and which I will always cherish; I will not share with anyone else.

      But it was–and, you know, when I heard of her passing last year, it would–it just brought it all back, and, as we speak today, those memories come back too, and I'll always remember that smiling face, that–just that–as I said, that calm demeanour and she was–had so much wisdom about her.

      So, to Stan and the family, just thank you so much for Charlotte, for her contributions to her family, to her community and to this province, something I will always cherish.

      Thank you.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is there any other speakers?

      Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion? [Agreed]

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

A moment of silence was observed.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Please be seated.

Saul Cherniack

Hon. Colleen Mayer (Minister of Crown Services): I move, seconded by the member for St. Johns, that this House convey to the family of the  late Saul Cherniack, 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 service and public service, and that Madam Speaker be requested to forward a copy of this resolution to the family.

Motion presented.

Ms. Nahanni Fontaine (St. Johns): So I'm incredibly privileged to put some words on the record in respect of Saul Cherniack.

      I only had a couple of opportunities to meet Saul, but let me just begin by saying how incredibly humble and gracious and kind and welcoming Saul was to me. In fact, one of the first times that I met Saul was at his house with his amazing, devoted and loving partner, Myra. And he was just so kind to me, and he gave me this huge hug. And I don't have a father, I don't have a grandfather, and so that was actually really special. And it was very special to me knowing that he was my predecessor in St. Johns. So I want to begin with that because it was a very special moment for me.

      So I'd like to share with the House that Saul's parents, Joseph and Fanya, came to Canada from Russia in 1905. His–Saul's parents were socialist revolutionaries in Russia, and before moving to Canada, they were briefly imprisoned. Saul, however, was born and raised in Winnipeg. Saul was born on January 10th, 1917. He was aware of the privilege he had to grow up in a loving and intellectually stimulating household. Saul's parents were dedicated socialists who stressed to him the importance of working towards creating an equitable society in what–in which everyone has access to a decent quality of life.

      Saul's parents felt compelled to share in the privileges that they were granted here in Canada. And Saul was always a man of principle even in his youth. His granddaughter, Katherine, shared back in April of 2018 that, one summer, Saul was working for a family friend, and–when Saul learned that he was actually being paid more money, more wages than his coworkers. So, the principled man that Saul is, instead of pocketing the extra money, he actually demanded that his employer either pay his coworkers more or less than him. And I think that that's a beautiful story, and it's certainly a beautiful story for his granddaughter to live by that lesson of her grandfather.

      Saul was a prominent member of Canada's Jewish community, both locally and nationally. He often participated in Yiddish cultural events. Saul's parents helped form the I.L. Peretz School, the first Yiddish day school in North America. Saul served as the president of the Jewish Welfare Fund of Winnipeg and the western branch of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

      When Saul was young, he participated in semi‑professional left-wing theatre, which I think is very interesting. Saul went on to earn his B.A., and then he went on to later earn his law degree from the University of Manitoba. Saul began practising law in 1940. Saul eventually became law partners with Malick Spivak, whose son, Sidney Spivak, would go on to become the leader of the Manitoba PC party and the leader of the opposition in the 1970s at the exact same time that Saul was in government.

      Before entering politics, Saul was a strong supporter of the Independent Labour Party and the CCF in Winnipeg's North End. It was always Saul's ambition to work in the service of others. Saul learned Japanese and, during World War II, he joined the intelligence service and helped to translate encrypted Japanese messages. Saul worked as a codebreaker for the Allied powers' Intrepid unit.

      After the war, Deputy Speaker, Saul provided his legal services for Japanese Canadians who were seeking reparations for the land and property that had been taken away from them during internment. Saul was one of three lawyers in Canada who did such work.

      Saul got elected as an–as a trustee with the Winnipeg school board in 1950 and he served until 1954. Saul served as a councillor in the town of Winnipeg Beach from 1958 to 1959. Saul also served as a Winnipeg alderman from 1959 to 1960 and as a councillor on the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg from 1960 to 1962.

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      As always, Saul was guided by a strong sense of ethics and was understood to be incorruptible by those who knew him. Saul was motivated by a sense of social justice, and he strived to establish a more equal Manitoba.

      In 1962, Saul made the move into provincial politics and was elected for the MLA–as the MLA for St. Johns, Deputy Speaker. Saul would hold his seat until his retirement in 1981. Saul was beloved by his constituents. Every time he was re-elected, Saul won by a significant margin.

      In the late 1960s, Saul was a leading figure in the NDP, calling for Edward Schreyer to replace Russell Paulley as the provincial party leader. It is speculated, Deputy Speaker, that Saul did not consider challenging Paulley himself because of concerns that a Jewish party leader would not have been 'paltable' to the public at that time–palatable, sorry. I–pardon me. Saul denied these speculations, however, indicating he simply wasn't interested in the power and generally believed in the leadership capacity of Edward Schreyer.

      Following the 1969 election, the NDP formed   a   minority government under Schreyer. Throughout   Schreyer's leadership, Saul remained one of his most trusted confidants. Saul was central to the implementation of several progressive pieces of legislation during his time in government. They include, Deputy Speaker, Medicare, the establishment of public car insurance, the decision not to use nuclear power and honouring Metis leader Louis Riel as a founder, and not a traitor, of Manitoba.

      One of Saul's proudest legislative accomplish­ments was helping to 'amalglamate' the 'suburds' and inner city of Winnipeg into one municipality in 1972. The unification of–was the first of its kind in North America. Saul spent countless hours visiting different outlying communities in an attempt to convince them of the benefits of 'amalglamation'. And to quote his son, Lawrie Cherniack, and I quote: I'll never forget. He went to every single suburban area and held meetings in the community areas. Met with tremendous opposition, he answered every single question. He spent hours with people who were upset and angry.

      And he goes on to say: And, at the end of the day, I think it is fair to say even if people disagreed with him, they respected him and understood that he was acting on principles and what was with the best of intentions.

      In July 1960, Saul was appointed as minister of   Finance. After Howard Pawley took up the leadership of the NDP, he named Saul the party's deputy leader.

      Saul announced his retirement from public life in 1980, stating, and I quote: I am selfish enough to want a little more private life and have some time. There comes a time in a person's life when he has a right to say, I want to be relieved of the burden.

      True to Saul's character, he was always in pursuit of acting in what was thought to be the best interest of the public, Deputy Speaker.

      Following his politics–his departure from politics, Saul continued to actively serve his community and our country. Saul served as a member of the Manitoba Hydro board. Saul was also a founding member of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, which oversees Canada's spy agency, CSIS. Saul was sworn into the Queen's Privy Council of Canada on November 30th, 1984, which granted him access to restricted information under the official services act. At 95, Saul volunteered in English as a second language–in second language classes, making him the oldest participant in the Winnipeg School Division.

      When Saul was about to turn 100, myself and the former St. Johns MLA, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, organized a St. Johns fab four 100th birthday celebration of Saul Cherniack. And I can tell you that it was pretty special to be able to be there. It's not very often that we get to be able to celebrate those within our sacred circle turning 100. And so it was, for me, as the new member to St. Johns in this long   line of individuals, Saul Cherniack, Judy Wasylycia‑Leis, Gord Mackintosh, and then me, the new kid on the block. It was a really special night, and I think that everybody that attended that evening felt really good. It brought us together in an evening of celebration.

      And one of the things that we had done, was I had ordered three slabs of cake for everybody–so, a one, a zero and a zero. And so it was myself, Judy and Gord who brought it out. But actually, we had some youth, some little children who are constituents in St. Johns that I've become very, very close with their family who attended the celebrations as my guest. And those children came out, indigenous children who actually happened to be in care, and they came out with the cake and all of us. And he was so humbled, and he was so happy. And actually, what I thought was so beautiful, and it's one of the moments that I remember the most from that night, was him looking at his cakes, but hugging those children. Those children that he didn't even know. But that was just the type of person that Saul was. He was so welcoming and so loving. And so that's one of my favourite moments from that evening.

      Judy Wasylycia-Leis, our colleague, our former colleague here, remarked on the celebration of his 100th birthday: What Saul brought to Manitoba is a strength of leadership that combines courage of your convictions with integrity and an absolute devotion to the principles of democracy. Saul was respected by both his NDP colleagues and his political opponents. Saul's–his opposition appreciated that in his debates he relied on persuasion–persuasive arguments, pardon me.

      This is not to say that Saul went easy on his opponents. Edward Schreyer is quoted as saying that Saul, and I quote, was cool-headed and motivated by nobler instincts, but did not shy away from debate with those who displayed the meaner instincts. End quote. Saul was very popular as a politician, consistently winning the popular vote when he ran in his riding of St. Johns.

      The most important thing to Saul, though, Deputy Speaker, was not popularity or power. It was taking what he considered to be the right action. Saul was an extremely principled person. In his speech that he gave at our 100th birthday dinner celebration, he spoke about the importance of sustaining the momentum of the NDP as a movement, not as a power-hungry political party, but as a movement that works in the best interest of all peoples.

* (15:30)

      Social justice and establishing equality in Manitoba was Saul's primary focus. He was recognized, as I'm sure you can well imagine, with many, many community service–with many dif­ferent awards and honours. He received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee medal in 1977, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee medal, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. He was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1994. He received the Order of Manitoba in 2002. For 59  years, from 1938 until her death in 1997, Saul was married to his wife Sybil. His partner Myra, his sons Howard and Lawrie, his grandchildren Katie and Jennie, and his great-grandchildren Isaac, Oliver and Sybil all miss him dearly. On March 30th, 2018, Saul passed away while at home. He was 101 years old.

      I reached out to Saul's son, Lawrie, and I asked him if there was anything that he wanted me to share in the House about his son and he wrote me this that I'd like to share with the House:

      From a political perspective, my father stood for the broad interests of humanity and not for the interests of a few. He was on the right side of history. He knew that an economic system built on the assumption that greed and self-preservation are good motivators was not only immoral but would lead to inequities, inequalities, waste, power mongering and corruption. He had a better model, one based on co‑operation, not competition, and on a genuine belief in the value of other human beings for a true sense of community. To that end, he dedicated himself to battling inequities, righting wrongs and standing up for the most vulnerable.

      Through his long years of contributions to the political world he was able to live the kind of life he believed in and considered that a great privilege. From the perspective of the Legislature, he stood for some values which are important for politicians to remember. He would be critical of ideas, but was never critical of people. He befriended people with integrity regardless of their politics. He would be open to changing his mind if he heard a better argument. He would stand on his principles and not be afraid to articulate them even if they were unpopular. In opposition, he would compliment the government if he agreed with them. In government, he would acknowledge mistakes and learn from them.

      He was not self-aggrandizing. His dedication to politics was simply a natural outgrowth of his dedication to his ideals. He did not care if he was elected or not. What was important to him was that politics provided him with an opportunity for education about matters that affected people as a whole. We are very grateful for his many years of dedication to the public good.

      So finally, Deputy Speaker, I've been waiting quite a while and I'm so grateful to my colleague opposite for having called the condolence motion. This is actually a letter, a handwritten letter that was sent to me by Saul shortly after our hundredth birthday celebration. So I actually have been wanting to get it framed but I wanted to wait until I was able to read it in the House. And so I'll share with everybody what was shared with me.

      Dear Nahanni–again, this is all handwritten, which I think we don't do enough–Dear Nahanni, I don't recall any other occasion such as the–such as I experienced yesterday. I was really overwhelmed by your speech and those that followed, and the people who came to greet me. I will try to believe what was said and hope Myra and my sons and their wives, my granddaughter, their husbands, and especially my great-grandchildren will believe them.

      I thank you, Judy, and Gord for knowing how important you are in committing yourselves to what may appear to be a–thankless tasks, but it shows that service on behalf and to people is very important.

      Thank you again, miigwech, Saul.

      And with that, Deputy Speaker, I thank you.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Any other speakers?

Mr. James Teitsma (Radisson): I'm privileged to be able to address this resolution of sympathy and reflect on the life and contributions of Mr. Saul Cherniack. Many of us can't expect to live to 100, but Saul Cherniack did just that, passing away earlier this year at the ripe old age of 101. I have not met Mr. Cherniack personally, but I certainly would have wanted to, despite having somewhat incongruent political ideologies.

      Mr. Cherniack was a prominent member of Winnipeg's Jewish community and also served in the Royal Canadian Artillery in World War II as well as in the Intelligence Corps of the Canadian Army because of his ability to understand the Japanese language. I thank him not only for his service to the public in various elected offices but also and especially for his service to our military.

      Arguably, the highlight of Mr. Cherniack's legislative career was the amalgamation of the greater Winnipeg metropolitan area to form Unicity and the city of Winnipeg as we know it.

      Many MLAs in the Chamber today are in their first term, and I remember when I was first elected, we were told to treasure the opportunity to give our maiden speech in the Legislature, which for many of us was a response to the Throne Speech. We were told that our family members might look to that speech to find out what kind of politician we set out to be.

      Well, when Mr. Saul Cherniack was first elected to the Legislature, it was as a member of the official opposition, and being a new MLA, he was selected to be the very first opposition member to respond to the Speech from the Throne in 1963. And in his response, I think some of his character and passion come through. It's a great read, and thanks to modern technology, it's even available online. I won't read the entire speech to you today, but I did select a few paragraphs of interest.

      Mr. Saul Cherniack's first speech in the Legislature was delivered on March 6th, 1963, about 55 years before his passing, and here’s how he began: "I can only hope, Madam Speaker, that if I should allow myself to become emotionally aroused so that I do not follow your orders well, that I will have your forbearance. I bespeak your guidance, and I promise you, to the extent that I can, my support."

      Then Mr. Cherniack continued: I, for one, Madam Speaker, enjoy very much listening to the speeches of the mover and the seconder of the main motion. I was much impressed with the pride that they showed in their constituencies. I was impressed in the manner in which they described the quality of the grain and they–that they produced and of the cattle that is produced and of the bees and the honey and the breeding stock. And I realize that a new member is apparently expected to speak of his constituency. And as I listened to the descriptions of the constituencies of Turtle Mountain and Swan River, I thought of my own constituency of St. Johns, which lies on the western bank of the Red River, a river which has been the pathway, a roadway to the growth of this area and of this province. I thought of that river, the Red River as it is today: an outlet for raw sewage and a river which is inadequately provided with bridges.

      So, in this regard, Mr. Cherniack perhaps has something in common with the honourable member for Elmwood.

      Now, after speaking about some of the deplorable living conditions in his constituents of St. John–sorry, constituency of St. Johns, he paused, realizing that there were indeed positive things to say about his community as well, and so he continued: when I listened to the description of the beauty spots of Turtle Mountain, I thought of the beauty spots of the constituency of St. Johns, and I realized that there were beauty spots: the beauty spots in the faces of the people who make it up, Madam Speaker. The immigrants, the sons and daughters of immigrants, working people, people who have fought to make their way in this province, in this city, people who have waited for their place in the sun, many people who are still waiting, but yet they are people of a rich multicultural background who have contributed their history and their traditions, their songs and their dances and mainly, their love for democracy. And, to me, it is of some pleasure to know that as I interpret their love of democracy, they have shown it, in the sense that they have for many, many years elected representatives that are true representatives of the people, who are the workers and the immigrants and the sons and daughters of immigrants.

      Now, Mr. Cherniack's maiden speech went on, showing his passion for social justice and showing clear shades of his political leanings, but the member for Morris (Mr. Martin) and other members on this side of the House would note with pleasure what he had to say about red tape. I quote: the number of boards and authorities which his friend, at the time,   had to approach for approval numbered approximately 20. I wondered then and I wonder now, what can be done to get rid of so much of the red tape so that progress could be made? It could be blamed on the City of Winnipeg, possibly. It could be blamed, possibly, on the federal government, but I have the 'fleasure,' Madam Speaker, to be addressing the provincial government.

      So Mr. Cherniack's first speech then continued with extensive commentary about the metro. In that, I think we can see a foreshadowing of his main accomplishment of bringing us together as a city.

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      Mr. Cherniack then ended his speech with these closing words, which I hope most of the MLAs here can echo: Madam Speaker, I want to comply with the rules. I see that there are some progressive measures in the Speech from the Throne; there have been some in past speeches. To the extent that they continue, I hope that I can support them. To the extent that I disagree with any of them, I hope I will be able to criticize them in a positive way. I think I understand the duty which I have undertaken. I know I have much to learn in the work that I have to do, but I hope that I will be able, with the help of yourself and other members of this House, to make a form of contribution to the work of this House.

      So he began his career with a hope to make a   contribution. I think it's fair to say that his contribution was significant indeed. His fingerprints are indelibly imprinted on our city and on our province. He will be missed by many. So, on behalf of the Progressive Conservative caucus, I extend our condolences to his family and friends on the loss of Mr. Saul Cherniack, a pillar, a 'statesment' and a pre-eminent public servant.

      Thank you.

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): I rise to extend condolences to family and friends of Saul Cherniack, a lawyer with experience in military service, experience working with the intelligence service in the Second World War, helping to translate encrypted Japanese messages and continuing after  the war to work with people from Japan, Japanese‑Canadians, and with the issues that they had experienced, many with their property being taken away during the war.

      He was an active member of the Jewish community of Winnipeg and nationally. He was known for his integrity, his passion for helping others, his belief that each of us have the responsibility as citizens toward those who are less fortunate.

      After service as a school trustee and a Winnipeg city alderman, a councillor for the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg, he was elected as a member of the Legislature for St. Johns where he served for 19 years, including as minister of Urban Affairs, helping modernize government in Winnipeg and bringing various communities together as one city. He also contributed as minister of Finance and deputy premier, and following his leaving as an MLA, he served as chair of Manitoba Hydro during an important time for our most important Crown corporation.

      He was long lived, for 101 years, and he used those years well, to help many, many people and not just in government, not just in the city of Winnipeg, but that was his passion, and he was vital and intellectually strong and with integrity right to the very end.

      So thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity. Merci, miigwech.

Ms. Flor Marcelino (Logan): It is an honour and joy for me to speak briefly about Saul Cherniack. A long list of accomplishments have already been mentioned, so I wouldn't repeat them. But I would like to state that how blessed and happy I was to have met Saul Cherniack on two occasions.

      I wish there were more. I wish I had lived in the era that Saul had lived in. I thought they were quite exciting times. He lived alongside–or at least, he was around during the time of Tommy Douglas, J.S. Woodsworth, A.A. Heaps, all prominent socialists, members of the then-CCF, which was the forerunner of the New Democratic Party which I am proudly a member of.

      The first opportunity to meet Saul was during the event at the Jewish–at the Rady centre, and that  was to recognize A.A. Heaps–Abraham Albert Heaps, a Jewish–actually, the first Jewish Member of Parliament in the '20s. Heaps, by the way, was–we should, alongside J.S. Woodsworth, we should be thanking him–Canadians should be thanking him for what for–they introduced the first social programs in the House of Commons that Canadians now enjoy, such as old age pension, among others.

      Incidentally, at that incident, I had the pleasure of being accompanied by my colleague from Flin Flon, and so I think that was also my colleague's first meeting with Saul Cherniack.

      I don't know about my colleague, but first meeting, the first encounter or the–right after seeing Saul Cherniack, I saw someone who's a hero in many aspects. I think he lived his life with passion, with integrity, with mission, which is to make social justice work for all, and he not only spoke of words related to it, but lived a life according to that–to those principles.

      And I heard that particular story about him refusing to be paid more for basically the same amount of work done simply because he was known to the employer. At a young age, having that kind of principle, I thought, speaks volumes about the way he would live his life later on.

      So I had a very nice conversation, though brief, with Saul Cherniack during that first meeting, and right away I could glean the wisdom, the depth of understanding, learning and strong character of the man. He was very cordial, gracious, very friendly and had a ready smile, and we caught that beautiful smile for posterity. I kept that photo with him and another photo during his hundredth birthday celebration, and that was my second encounter with Saul Cherniack.

* (15:50)

      At 100 years old we will definitely be envious, not only of the strength in character but also, though not physically strong, but the strength of the mind. He spoke with such deep substance and learning, he spoke with gentleness and sincerity, and you wouldn't see him–or you wouldn't–if you don't know that he's 100 years old, you wouldn't recognize that it's–those words are coming from someone who's 100 years old. If only I could be–I don't hope to a hundred–but if I could–if I were to be blessed by the Lord to live longer, I wish I could be as sane and clear-minded as Saul.

      It's a blessing to have met Saul only–even if it were only two occasions. I have learned a lot from reading about his life, his works. The kind of services he had provided to various communities in Manitoba. I wish many, many more people will be like Saul. I wish, we, here, at the Legislature would take up–take on causes that Saul had taken up. And, surely, our world, Manitoba, Canada, are much better places because Saul Cherniack was here. 

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is there any further speakers?

      Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion? [Agreed]

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

A moment of silence was observed.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Please be seated.

Laurie Evans

Hon. Cliff Cullen (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): I move, seconded by the member for River Heights (Mr. Gerrard), that this House convey to the family of the late Laurie Edward Evans, who served as a member of 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.

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to extend condolences to the family and friends of Laurie Evans and to recognize his considerable achievements over the course of his lifetime. I speak on behalf of the Liberal caucus, as I do this, and knowing and recognizing that Laurie was a lifelong Liberal who served two years in the Manitoba Legislature from 1988 to 1990.

      Born in Unity, Saskatchewan, he obtained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Saskatchewan and then moved to Manitoba where he completed a Master's and a Ph.D. degree in plant breeding and in cytogenetics at the University of Manitoba. He made quite a number of scientific achievements in plant breeding and genetics, and then he rose to become the head of the Department of Plant Science in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba. During this period, he also travelled to Africa and Australia as a technical adviser and visiting professor, sharing his knowledge to help farmers around the globe.

      In 1988, Laurie, always involved with his community, after being president of the Fort Richmond Community Club, was elected as the Liberal MLA in Fort Garry. His two years as MLA were very busy. It was a very active time for the Legislature, which was a minority government, and there were long hours sitting. But he also was able to travel the province helping farmers and others in the agricultural industry, and was very involved, as I said, with the day-to-day business in the Legislature. He was a workhorse. His ability to reach out around the province to talk to, to connect with people and to help people was noteworthy.

      After retiring, he and his wife, Mary Ellen settled in the Paradise Village community. And Laurie served for a number of years as councillor in Ste. Anne where he kept busy dealing with a wide variety of local issues, and most important to him were those dealing with water management and with agriculture.

      I had the opportunity to meet with and talk to Laurie and his wife, Mary Ellen, on many, many occasions. Both were devoted Liberals. Mary Ellen had worked in the Legislature with the caucus during the period when Laurie was an MLA. She always had a smile and a kind word for people, and she was always very, very well organized.

      When Mary Ellen developed cancer, Laurie was incredibly supportive. They were a remarkable pair, and together they made a significant contribution to the life of Manitoba, their community in river–in Fort Garry and then subsequently in Ste. Anne and to the work of the Legislature during the two years that he served so ably in this Chamber.

      Thank you. Merci. Miigwech.

Mr. Shannon Martin (Morris): It's a pleasure to rise and put a brief, some brief and yet important comments on the life and passing of Dr. Evans. Dr. Evans–actually, it's quite interesting that earlier on in the Legislature as a guest we had the brother of Harry Enns, and Harry obviously is on the spectrum in terms of the tenure of an elected official, I think in the extreme, having served close to four decades. And Dr. Evans, while may–his tenure as an elected official may be brief from 1988 to 1990, doesn't diminish that accomplishment. There are actually very few individuals that will ever have the opportunity and honour to serve their constituents and the people of Manitoba in this–in these chambers on their behalf, and Dr. Evans was one of those.

      Truly, as I looked into the life of Dr. Evans, I was truly moved and inspired by the roots that he came from, having come from the small community of Unity, Saskatchewan, a community that I'm familiar with, having driven through on a few occasions, and being somebody that, you know, got his education in the one-room schoolhouse. And so he would have seen during the course of his life, both   as a student throughout the primary and post‑secondary and obviously as an elected official, some considerable changes within that education system.

      He also showed us the value of pursuing one's passion and through the education system, and that no matter where one is born and no matter one's starts, here in Canada truly one's opportunities are limitless. As my colleague for River Heights noticed, Dr. Evans went on to not only get a bachelor's degree from the University of Saskatchewan but a Ph.D. in cytogenetics and plant breeding at the University of Manitoba, and did indeed travel around the world, including Africa and Australia, sharing some of that knowledge.

* (16:00)

      As been noted, his tenure during the Sharon Carstairs Liberal–I guess red wave back in '88. Laurie was–Dr. Laurie Evans was part of that wave and served with distinction during, as was noted, in a very tumultuous time here in Manitoba politics. Minority governments can be short-lived, but they–what they may make up in longevity, they make up in spades in passion and excitement, and it's no doubt that Dr. Evans was part of that.

      Obviously, despite having only served as an MLA for two years, Dr. Evans realized that he had much more to offer individuals as an elected representative. And he went on, actually, as a public servant to serve for several terms as a councillor in the RM of Ste. Anne, and it is his election and repeated re-elections as a councillor in Ste. Anne that you got an appreciation for his role and his ability to connect with those people that put him into office and, obviously, their appreciation for his abilities to provide them that representation they so desired.

      As has been noted, we will all have this opportunity as elected officials to have these final comments made. But to Dr. Evans and to his–and, obviously, to his surviving family, we here on the PC caucus–and indeed, all legislators–extend our sincerest condolences on a life well lived. We thank you for your contribution to the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, to your place as an MLA, to your role in our legislative history. You will forever be known as one of the few who took that oath of office and served it to your best of your abilities.

      And so, with those free–few brief comments, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I appreciate the House's time.

Mr. James Allum (Fort Garry-Riverview): I'm also honoured to get up and pay tribute to Laurie Evans today, who represented Fort Garry for the Liberal party from 1988 to 1990. And I can hardly do better than my colleagues from River Heights and from Morris in describing Dr. Evans's contribution, not only to this Legislature but to the province of Manitoba.

      And as already noted, he was born in Unity,  Saskatchewan, which sounds like a brilliant, beautiful place, as one can imagine, then went on to get his B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan and his Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba. And so I would just add on that note that you probably don't need to have a Ph.D. to represent the people of Fort Garry, but it certainly seems to help.

      He was president of the Fort Richmond community club, had three daughters, two stepsons and was also a councillor, as was already noted, for the RM of Ste. Anne.

      Dr. Evans passed away June 19th, 2016, at the age of 82 and clearly lived a life of–was a life well lived, with making a great contribution in many aspects.

      But I wanted to speak most particularly about his academic life in the sense that I know how important it is for a senior academic to provide guidance and mentorship to the students that they supervise. And so I want to quote the words of Bruce Murray, former graduate student of Dr. Evans, who had these words to say about him. Quote: Dr. Evans took me on as a master's student in 1985. I think I might have been his last graduate student. Laurie was a wonderful person and always had time for me during my masters and after. I enjoyed his sense of humour and his calm demeanour. It was fun watching him banter back and forth in the office with his assistant, Gwen. He was a practical man with a strong sense of what was right and worthwhile. The world was a better place with him in it. I will miss him.

      Those were the words of Bruce Murray, a former graduate student of Laurie. And I couldn't think of a better or more appropriate tribute to this wonderful man and this fine MLA from Fort Garry.

      Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is there any further speakers?

      Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion? [Agreed]

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

A moment of silence was observed.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Please be seated.

Leonard Evans

Hon. Colleen Mayer (Minister of Crown Services): I move, seconded by the member for Fort Rouge (Mr. Kinew), that this House convey to the family of the late Leonard Salusbury Evans, who served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, its sincere sympathy in their bereavement and its appreciation for 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. Wab Kinew (Leader of the Official Opposition): I'm honoured to rise today to put a few words on the record to honour the late Len Evans, who was a long-time member of this Legislative Assembly for the constituency of Brandon East. Was born in 1929, passed away early in 2016, and at least in our party's circles, is known as Mr. Brandon, if you will.

      He was born in August of 1929 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, attended the University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba, as well as Simon Fraser and   the University of Ottawa. He worked as an economist and a professor at BU before he entered politics. He married his wife, Alice Lorraine Mazinke, in 1953, and together they welcomed three children: Brenda, Janet and Randall.

      Now, certainly family life was very important, and hosting parties was very important to Len. They were also devoted to their faith and were long-time members of the Unitarian church. 

      Now, though he was a professor at BU when he decided to enter politics, he was by no means sure‑footed when he first made that leap. I understand that he was telling friends and family in 1969, the year that he was first elected, that he had planned to go back to teaching economics after the election. Basically, he didn't expect to win. And yet he was part of that historic 1969 election in which Edward Schreyer swept to power, forming a New Democratic government in Manitoba for the first time nearly 50 years ago.

Madam Speaker in the Chair

      And, upon winning that seat, Mr. Evans would end up representing the area for 30 years, so three  decades. Now, this election certainly caught Mr. Evans by surprise. And I hear that he played the accordion at the election night party back there in 1969, and sounds like they had quite a good time, surprised as they were to be part of Schreyer's sweep to power.

      Now, the NDP formed a government with 28   seats that time. Of course, they had the co‑operation of a Liberal member and were able to form the government. Following this election, Mr. Evans was named the minister of Mines and Natural Resources. Later on the year–in the year, he would be promoted to the ministry–to the minister responsible for Industry and Commerce, a position that he would hold for the entirety of Schreyer's time in the premier's office. During that time, he also did serve as the minister responsible for housing and for the renewal corporation, and so he was a very important Cabinet minister during this first turn that he had at government.

* (16:10)

      Now, even though he was very surprised to be elected for the first time in 1969, he was easily re‑elected in 1973–1977, of course being the year that the Schreyer government fell, he did face a more serious challenge, but even though the Progressive Conservatives were on the rise in that election, Mr. Evans held on to his seat by a margin of more than a thousand votes, a testament to the bond that he had formed over his first few terms in office with the people of Brandon.

      Now, Mr. Evans made the commitment to stay on in the opposition, and he served as a opposition critic for many years, and he would be part of the return to government under Howard Pawley that the New Democrats saw in the subsequent election.

      One of the stories that I've heard from some of   our colleagues who witnessed one of the instrumental periods in the 1980s was about Mr. Evans' stance with regards to the Meech Lake Accord. Now, Elijah Harper is, of course, famous for having stood in the way of the Meech Lake Accord by saying no in this very Chamber. However, perhaps a lesser-known story is that Len Evans also opposed the Meech Lake Accord, and though he opposed the Meech Lake Accord and was prepared to also deny leave for that constitutional process to move through this Chamber, Mr. Evans had the perspicacity and the foresight to recognize the importance that having Elijah Harper defeat the accord on the basis of ignoring Aboriginal rights, just how symbolic that would be and how important it would be as a stand in the name of Aboriginal rights.

      So, very graciously, Mr. Evans, though he did want to make his point known, he agreed to step back and let Elijah Harper occupy the spotlight singularly. And I think that's a remarkable testament to the character of Mr. Evans, that in one of the most historic moments in our province's history, he could have been right there at the forefront, and yet he stepped back to make room for a colleague's principled stand. And I'm sure, regardless of which party we belong to, we can honour the magnanimity of that moment.

      Now, he would, of course, make another big impact for indigenous Manitobans during his time in government. As a Cabinet minister, Mr. Evans actually stopped the process of adopting indigenous children to non-indigenous families outside of the province. So, many years later, a subsequent NDP government would apologize to victims of the '60s scoop, but it was actually Mr. Evans, during his time as a minister of the Crown, that put a stop to the practices that we now refer to as the '60s scoop.

      Now, many activists, of course, refer to this as a policy of cultural genocide. Other community members talk about the pain and the hurt, but it's important to note that Mr. Evans did make a principled stand on this issue and started to push our province towards the right direction while he had a time in government.

      Perhaps his most significant contribution, in terms of his legacy, however–the way he's remembered in the province, anyway–is his connection to Brandon and the degree to which he served the people of, you know, the hub of the Westman.

      And it was during his time in office that he was instrumental in projects that are very important to the city of Brandon even to this day: contributing to the creation of the Keystone Centre and helping along the construction of the First Street Bridge. Now, this was very important to, I guess, you know, bringing about the Brandon that we know today, and I think we have Mr. Evans to thank for some part of that city's success.

      Now, he was so liked that he has been honoured. In September 2010–I should note, I guess, that he retired from politics in 1999. He did not seek re‑election and cleared the way for the next member of Brandon East, who was a part of the Doer government, but Mr. Evans was content to move on and to leave politics, serving for three decades already.

      And a few years later, in September of 2010, he was honoured by ACC, one of the preeminent educational institutions in Brandon. He was honoured by having a building named for him. You know, the Len Evans Centre for Trades and Technology opened in September 2010. And apart from boosting the number of seats and the ability for more students across Westman and even the Parkland region to be able to get their training at ACC, it certainly is a very fitting honour for this person who gave so much to the city and to the region.

      He was also a recipient of many other honours   after leaving politics. He received a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977, and again, Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. After his retirement he served on the PUB–the Public Utilities Board, served as the president of the association of former Manitoba MLAs and was on the member of the board of governors for Brandon University.

      In 2001, he received an honorary doctorate at Brandon University. And an important figure to many of us, Errol Black, actually nominated him for the doctorate. And Mr. Black at the time joked that, quote, I was thinking actually of nominating him for a doctor of music, but then I found out the Guess Who were being nominated that time and so I thought I'd better stick with the doctor of laws. End Quote. Probably get no arguments on any side of the House on that one, but certainly a high honour to be named a doctor, especially at the university in which he served his academic career.

      Len Evans passed away at St. Boniface Hospital on January 2nd, 2016, at the age of 86. He was  predeceased by his wife Alice in 2015, leaves behind his children and grandchildren, Jamie, Devon,   Andrew and Jeffrey, as well as his great‑grandchildren, Spencer, Corbin, Reegan, Keira and Griffin. The Len Evans Memorial Scholarship at Brandon University was established upon his death at the request of the family, and Evans was posthumously awarded Manitoba's Order of the Buffalo Hunt in 2016.

      Now, he certainly left many words on the record in this Chamber, but I thought, perhaps, that it would be fitting to end this tribute to Mr. Evans with the words of a few others, showing the impact that he made across party lines and across many different sectors of our province.

      Quote from former Conservative leader Hugh McFadyen, 2006; he reflected on Mr. Evans, quote: I respected Len Evans for his commitment to the province. We disagreed on politics, but he was a man of commitment. End quote.

      Again, Errol Black said of him: As an MLA and a Cabinet minister, Evans, I think, was exemplary. He was honest. He had a great deal of integrity. He believed in speaking the truth. He was just a class act.

      And finally, Brandon mayor, Rick Chrest, who we know was acclaimed just last night in the city of Brandon, said upon the passing of Mr. Evans, quote: It's a surprising and significant loss for the fabric and political history of Brandon. End quote.

      So, on this occasion of us moving this motion of condolence, I would like to offer my best wishes and sincere thanks to the family of Mr. Evans, his descendants, for sharing their father, grandfather, great-grandfather with us. On behalf of the NDP, I want to say thank you for his service of our party, but more importantly, his service to our province. And, as a member of the indigenous community, I want to thank him for the important contributions that he made for the good-being–the well-being and good of all of us here in the province of Manitoba.

Mr. Reg Helwer (Brandon West): It is indeed an honour to rise and speak to this motion honouring Mr. Len Evans, a long-time president and MLA from Brandon East–in fact, the first MLA for Brandon East. I'm told the story that when he was teaching at Brandon University and Brandon East was created as a constituency out of the constituency of Brandon, he was approached to run, and they said, you know, it's been a Conservative constituency in Brandon for quite a while, but, you know, why don't you consider  running, Len? And indeed he did. And to his surprise and, perhaps, some others, he did win the constituency of Brandon East for the first time, and held that for 30 years, as the leader of the opposition has said.

      So is someone that I have watched for many years, obviously, as a resident of Brandon West, and Brandon, and my colleague from Brandon East, and indeed, the–my colleague from Morris who grew up in Brandon and attended school there, this was a politician that we were well aware of and interacted with. He was well known, of course, for his many contributions to the governments of both Howard Pawley and Ed Schreyer, the two premiers. And while he was very instrumental in moving ahead the government agenda and making sure that everything worked in order, he was also, in what I saw, a very non-partisan politician and was able to reach across the House to deal with many people here.

* (16:20)

      In fact, I–my first time that I had anything to do with him very much, I was the president of the Brandon University Students' Union and was invited into a meeting in the Canada–Canadian inn, I believe at that time, down in downtown Brandon. And the–his successor, Drew Caldwell, the other–the next MLA from Brandon East, was there, as well, although Drew was not too deep in politics at that time–and several other members of what I would say at this time is kind of the NDP elite in Brandon. And I guess they assumed as student union president, I might have that opportunity as well.

      Very interesting meeting and learned a great deal about politics at that time. But what was discussed, I'll just leave that for now.

      He reached out, as I said, to many people during his career and was well known for an excellent constituency representative. While he was a minister for several years–his 30 years of politics, he spent a great deal of time representing his constituents, not just in Brandon East but in Brandon 'est'–Brandon West and the surrounding communities, as well, and was well loved for that, Madam Speaker.

      While he was known for being very tenacious, he was also, in my mind, a very kind person. And he always had time for me and time to spend to talk, whether it was–I was a business person or a student or a newly elected member of the Legislative Assembly.

      So I think that something that maybe not too many people know was when we were trying to attract Maple Leaf to Brandon, there was a very large group of people in Brandon and in the current–government of the day, Premier Filmon, that worked throughout the province to try to make sure that we not only attracted Maple Leaf Foods to Manitoba but also to Brandon. And, while Mr. Evans was, at that time, in opposition, he was instrumental in making sure that that happened. I know he worked very closely with labour organizations to make sure that we could help pave the way to attract such a company as Maple Leaf to Manitoba.

      So I think those are things that are very important for people here to know, that not only in   government but also in opposition he was instrumental not only in developing Manitoba, but in Brandon as a whole.

      Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Len Evans, to extend condolences to his family and friends, on behalf of the Liberal caucus, and to salute the many years that he contributed in public life.

      Indeed, when I was first elected to the Manitoba Legislature, in 1999, Len Evans was a legend. I mean, his contributions in Brandon, his constituency work was incredible, and he was just known for somebody who was always there for people. He had a degree in economics and had been to university, and he was always carrying around books and briefing books and was well informed on whatever subject that he was working on.

      I think it's noteworthy the work that he did to put a stop, at least at that time, to the Garrison Diversion project and that he worked across party lines. He gathered people who were interested and–really, was a force to be reckoned with in his activities in that area and, in stopping, as I said, at least at that time, the Garrison Diversion project.

      He served well in Brandon, being involved with the expansion of the boundaries of the city of Brandon, with promoting and aiding with the development and construction of the Keystone Centre, with the rebuilding of the First Street Bridge, among many, many other achievements and accomplishments, for people in the city of Brandon.

      So it is with honour that I give this tribute to Len Evans today and acknowledge the tremendous contribution that he made in the Legislature for 30 years and to Brandon and to our province.

      Thank you. Merci.

Mr. James Allum (Fort Garry-Riverview): I'm pleased to get up and join in paying tribute–join with others in paying tribute to Len Evans today. It's actually humbling that over the past two days we have paid tribute to Howard Pawley, Roland Penner, Saul Cherniack and now Len Evans. These are giants in our party and reminder that we stand on the shoulders of those who've come before us, and it's also very humbling, as well, when you think of their records of achievement and their contribution to this province.

      I didn't have the opportunity to know Mr. Evans very well; I moved here in 1996. But I did know in my first few years here the–I learned quite quickly that he was a iconic figure in this Legislature and in our party, but an iconic figure in Brandon and in Westman and obviously, then, in Manitoba and in Canada. But because I didn't know him very well, I reached out to someone who did know him very well, and so I want to read into the record the thoughts of Drew Caldwell, former MLA for Brandon East.

      So he says, and I'm quoting from the letter now: Thank you for the opportunity to put some brief words into Hansard commemorating the passing of   Len Evans, my friend, mentor, comrade and predecessor as Brandon East MLA. Len Evans was the single greatest public servant ever elected to the Manitoba Legislature from the constituency of Brandon East. He served his constituents honourably and faithfully for 30 years, from 1969 until 1999, and was responsible for transforming Brandon into a modern community.

      His signature achievement as MLA, as he saw it in retirement, was achieving the expansion of Brandon's municipal boundaries. This boundary expansion, achieved in the early years of the Ed Schreyer NDP government, provided the City of Brandon with an industrial tax base and provided the municipality with the resources necessary to build a modern city. His tenure saw water and sewage replacing outhouses in Brandon's north end, no less a push towards modernization than his boundary expansion but one felt rather more directly by a   long‑suffering and largely neglected Brandon population.

      Len was also responsible for the construction of Keystone Centre, an explosion of development at Brandon University and the building of several hundred seniors housing units in newly constructed apartment blocks throughout the city. His work to build Brandon was an inspiration to me and informed my own work as an MLA to direct the largest amount of provincial resources possible into the community.

      Len was family to me. He inspired in me a desire to serve my community and, in keeping with his philosophy of democracy, to never turn away anyone from western Manitoba who sought help. Len had two principles by which he conducted his business as MLA. One, just mentioned, was never to turn away people seeking help; the second was to deliver for Brandon. He made it his life's work to place Brandon at the centre of the provincial agenda, to bring in unprecedented resources into our community and build our city. Brandon will forever hold a debt of gratitude for his work.

      Today my thoughts are with Len and his late wife Alice, with his children Brenda, Janet and Randy and their families and with his extended family, friends and surviving colleagues. The 'sacriface'–sacrifice made by Len's family during his 30 years of service to Brandon was significant. The generosity shown to our community by them is overwhelming. Len was a good man, kind man and generous man, an accordionist of legendary, of virtuosity and a democratic socialist in the vein of Tommy Douglas. Thank you for sharing his life with us.

      Those are the words of Drew Caldwell, former MLA for Brandon East, and I'm proud to put them on the record today, 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 your support for the motion.

A moment of silence was observed.

* * *

* (16:30)

Hon. Kelvin Goertzen (Government House Leader): Madam Speaker, would you please call for a second reading debate Bill 29, 35 and 36?

Madam Speaker: It has been announced by the honourable Government House Leader that we will now proceed to debate on Bill 29, followed by 35, followed by 36.

Debate on Second Readings

Bill 29–The Wildlife Amendment Act
(Safe Hunting and Shared Management)

Madam Speaker: So starting then with Bill 29, The  Wildlife Amendment Act (Safe Hunting and Shared   Management). Standing in the name of the honourable member for Fort Garry-Riverview, who has 11 minutes remaining.

      It has been indicated that the member is not going to be using up his 11 minutes.

      Are there any other members wishing to stand in debate on Bill 29?

      Are there any other members wishing to speak to the proposed motion that the question be now put?

      Is it the pleasure of the House to accept the motion? Agreed?

Some Honourable Members: Agreed.

An Honourable Member: No.

Madam Speaker: I hear a no.

Voice Vote

Madam Speaker: All those in favour, please say yea.

Some Honourable Members: Yea.

Madam Speaker: All those opposed, please say nay.

Some Honourable Members: Nay.

Madam Speaker: In my opinion, the Yeas have it.

Ms. Nahanni Fontaine (Official Opposition House Leader): Madam Speaker, on division.

Madam Speaker: On division. 

* * *

Madam Speaker: Moving now to–we'll now deal directly with putting the question on Bill 29, The Wildlife Amendment Act (Safe Hunting and Shared Management).

      All those in–is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Some Honourable Members: Agreed.

Some Honourable Members: No.

Madam Speaker: I hear a no.

Voice Vote

Madam Speaker: All those in favour of the motion, please say yea.

Some Honourable Members: Yea.

Madam Speaker: All those opposed, please say nay.

Some Honourable Members: Nay.

Madam Speaker: In my opinion, the Yeas have it.

Ms. Fontaine: Madam Speaker, on division.

Madam Speaker: On division.

Bill 35–The Crown Lands Amendment Act (Improved Management of Community Pastures and Agricultural Crown Lands)

Madam Speaker: We will now move then Bill 35, The Crown Lands Amendment Act (Improved Management of Community Pastures and Agricultural Crown Lands). Standing in the name of the honourable member for Fort-Garry Riverview, who has 25 minutes remaining.

Mr. James Allum (Fort Garry-Riverview): I went from 11 minutes to 25 in no time. But I can tell you those 11 minutes would have been very powerful; I'm not sure about the 25, that's to come, however.

      I have to say I do recall speaking to this particular bill some time ago in the continuing revolving door of legislation that gets put by the House leader from the government side. And I recall  talking about the–some of the very severe weaknesses associated with this particular piece of legislation.

      The minister will remember that we criticized, and I think rightly criticized this bill for frankly selling out young farmers in Manitoba. The system that's being implemented replaces the former points‑based system which prioritized for young ranchers allowing families to add parcels to their existing operation and having continuous access to other lands for the purposes of their farming operation. In fact, the former points-based system as it existed, only helped young farmers to gain traction in their farming operation and so that they could go on and develop their lands in a way over a generation as has become the history and tradition of this great province.

      So it's a mystery in some ways to us why a thoughtful minister like this, who I have no doubt would support young farmers, would suddenly do an about-face on them and another one-eighty as we have come to see, another flip-flop, as we've come to see from the government's side on critical issues.

      But this, I have to say, is quite inexplicable to me, and I'm uncertain why a man of the stature and  thoughtfulness of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Eichler) would take the government down this particular path, except to note that perhaps–perhaps it's unlikely, but perhaps he's been convinced by others to frankly sell out young farmers in Manitoba and to ensure that the advantages of the former points-based system would be replaced by a system which only favours large corporate farming interests.

      And I cannot believe for a moment that the Minister of Agriculture, the humble man and gracious man that he is, would want to sell out young farmers and hand over their future to large corporate farming interests, but that's indeed what's happened here in this bill, and it's sad.

      I know others on the government benches are quick to sell out to large corporate interests at every possible opportunity, while we, on this side, defend the rights and interests of working Manitobans, of  families in Manitobans, of young people and Manitobans. And we'll continue to do that for as long as we're on this side of the House, until the next election when we're back on the other side of the House, where we certainly deserve to be and belong to be and where, frankly, Manitoba–the people of Manitoba need us to be at this critical juncture in our history.

      Now, just as a reminder, I think it would be very  important for members of the House to be reacquainted with the elements of the former points‑based system, because they were objectively awarded on the basis of a number of critical pieces, one being forage availability and land management practices. Another element of the points-based system was the size of the livestock herd. Another critical, critical feature of the former points-based system was the age of the farmer, which, of course, as I've said both last time I had the chance to speak on this bill and again today, prioritized access for young farm families.

      The points system also took into consideration the new lessee status, again–once again, Madam Speaker, prioritizing access for young farmers and for young farm families. Another element of the former system was proximity to the parcel, which ensured that farmers can move their animals between pastures. And then, also, there were elements related to distance from headquarters and also an appreciation for non-farm income.

      Taken together, Madam Speaker, the former points-based system provided an opportunity for young farmers in our province to get fair and equal access to Crown lands. And, instead, the bill proposed by the Minister of Agriculture, Bill 35, does quite the opposite. It hands over Crown lands not to young farmers trying to make a life here in Manitoba, trying to do their best to raise a family, feed the province, feed the world, but instead he's decided to hand it over to large corporate farming interests.

      And I have to tell you, that disappoints me greatly. I have to say, I'm more than a little disappointed in the Minister of Agriculture. I thought he would at least be the one voice of reason on that side of the House and, instead, he has sold out to large interests and he's sold out young farmers on his watch, which is not as it should be, Madam Speaker.

      And I would think and hope that he would take every opportunity to revisit elements of this bill to provide the proper amendments, if necessary, but maybe even withdraw it and take it back to the drawing board. I know there's any number of pieces of legislation–Bill 16 comes quickly to mind–that quickly needs to be withdrawn, taken back to the drawing board and re-evaluated and actually provide meaningful legislation in this House to serve the best interests of Manitobans, rather than selling out to large corporate interests as Bill 35 clearly does.

* (16:40)

      Now, the second element of this bill that I found quite hard to understand is that the minister has gotten up and he said that he did a big, huge consultation on this bill. If you listen to him closely, it was though he talked to every Manitoba farm family out there. But I suspect that quite didn't happen that way. My suspicion is is that he talked to the one or two very large corporate farming interests here in Manitoba. He said, what do you think if I hand over all the Crown lands to you. They said that sounds like a really fabulous idea. Why don't you do it? He said, fine; I'll get Bill 35 drawn up. Off they go, and that was the nature of the consultation.

      And instead what we really believe, Madam Speaker, is that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Eichler) really didn't do any kind of consultation or any kind of meaningful consultation, certainly no consultation with young farm families, or he would not have introduced this bill into this Legislature in this session. He would surely have come up with something better than this unfortunate sellout that we're now debating here today.

      Now, the minister, I see, just for those who might read this speech for posterity, and pity the poor soul that has to do that–[interjection] But, as my friend from Flin Flon says, how bored would they have to–to read this, and you never know, insomnia is an incurable thing, Madam Speaker, and sometimes my words can help to put people to sleep.

      But I see that the minister has sent me some notes in school, and I appreciate him doing so. And I'm flipping through it now for posterity sake so people will know just exactly what I'm doing. It appears to be side by side and it runs to–and I appreciate him sending me notes. It's the first note in our seven or eight years together in the House that he's sent me. I hope he'll send me more as time goes on, but I'm looking at the side by side, which is, I take it, intended to educate me about the legislation and I want to tell the minister I'm perfectly educated on this bill. We know what it's about. We're not going to support it, and we encourage him to take it back to the drawing board.

      But what I thought he was sending me, Madam Speaker, what I thought when he was passing me a note by one of our fine pages here today, what I thought he was doing, what he was tabling, the consultation document that he'd gone through and that he would be transparent and open and he would table this document, maybe. Besides, I'm not allowed to use any props, although my friend from Assiniboia has been sharing books with me the last couple of days since I outed myself as a historian and archivist, and so I have plenty of books here. And I thought–they're really large, and I was going to get it and show it, because I thought that would be the size of the consultation document that the minister would have tabled, introduced here so that we could see that he'd gone out and talked to farm family by farm family by farm family to get their opinion about his decision to sell out young farmers in Manitoba.

      But he didn't do that. He sent me the side by side which has a–describes the existing act, describes the proposed amendment, describes the explanation for the change, but doesn't include one iota of any kind of semblance of consultation at all. It was as though, Madam Speaker, it never actually happened, and I would suggest–I would suggest that that's exactly what happened, is that he talked to a few of his friends in large corporate agricultural interests. They said good job, Minister. Go do our bidding for us and that would be sufficient.

      So, on that–I know my friend from Steinbach, wanting me to sit down as he usually does–I should say to him while he's out busy fixing leaky roofs, we were building schools; we were building gyms; we were building science labs; we were building shops; we were building trades areas for hairstyling, for culinary arts. He can fix leaky roofs. We're going to build a whole education system just like we did once before.

      So, on that cheery note, Madam Speaker, we won't be supporting Bill 35. Take it back to the drawing board. Go talk to young farmers. Do the right thing–withdraw this bill today. 

Mr. Ted Marcelino (Tyndall Park): Now I have to speak–

Madam Speaker: The member from Tyndall Park has already spoken on this bill.

Hon. Steven Fletcher (Assiniboia): I look forward to discussing this important legislation for the next 29 minutes.

      The–I want to be clear that I think the bill–the legislation is a good piece of legislation. The–needs to be updated. The entire freedom caucus–that is, at least half of it will be supporting this legislation. The Manitoba Party supports this legislation.

      There is a chronic issue about consultation in this place, particularly the consultation the government does towards getting input from Manitobans. And we've seen that with the flip flop on the carbon tax, the disregard on Bill 16, or The Efficiency Manitoba Act.

      But, having said all that, on this specific bill, this member of the freedom caucus supports it. And I will conclude my remarks with that.

Madam Speaker: Are there any further speakers on this debate?

      Is the House ready for the question?

Some Honourable Members: Question.

Madam Speaker: The question before the House is   second reading of Bill 35, The Crown Lands   Amendment Act (Improved Management of   Community Pastures and Agricultural Crown Lands).

      Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion? Agreed?

Some Honourable Members: Agreed.

Some Honourable Members: No.

Voice Vote

Madam Speaker: All those in favour of the motion, please say yea.

Some Honourable Members: Yea.

Madam Speaker: All those opposed, please say nay.

Some Honourable Members: Nay.

Madam Speaker: In my opinion, the Yeas have it.

Ms. Nahanni Fontaine (Official Opposition House Leader): On division.

Madam Speaker: On division.

Bill 36–The Highway Traffic Amendment Act
(Impaired Driving Offences)

Madam Speaker: We will now move to Bill 36, The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Impaired Driving Offences), standing in the name of the honourable member for St. Johns, who has two minutes remaining.

Ms. Nahanni Fontaine (St. Johns): As I said previously when this bill came before the House, certainly, I think that the government–members opposite could have done a better job at their first piece of legislation. They had years, they knew that the legalization of cannabis was forthcoming.

      But, to that end, that's all my final comments. Miigwech.

Madam Speaker: Are there any further members wishing to speak on debate on this bill?

      Is the House ready for the question? Oh, the honourable member for Assiniboia, sorry.

Hon. Steven Fletcher (Assiniboia): Madam–

Madam Speaker: Oh, pardon me. The honourable member for Assiniboia has already spoken on debate on this issue.

      Therefore, is the House ready for the question?

Some Honourable Members: Question.

Madam Speaker: The question before the House is second reading of Bill 36, The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Impaired Driving Offences).

      Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion? [Agreed]

Hon. Kelvin Goertzen (Government House Leader): Can you canvass the House to see if it's the will of members to call it 5 o'clock?

Madam Speaker: Is it the will of the House to call it 5 o'clock? [Agreed]

      The hour being 5 p.m., this House is adjourned and stands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. on Monday.



Thursday, October 25, 2018

Vol. 80B


Committee Reports

Standing Committee on Social and Economic Development

Fourth Report

Smook  3795

Tabling of Reports

Goertzen  3796

Driedger 3796

Members' Statements

Newly Elected Municipal Councillors

Johnson  3797

Mifegymiso Availability

Fontaine  3797

Rudi Hemsley

Eichler 3798

Iglesia Ni Cristo

Lamoureux  3798

Bruce Park

Johnston  3799

Oral Questions

Changes to Health Services

Kinew   3799

Pallister 3800

Municipal Road and Bridge Program

Kinew   3801

Pallister 3801

Climate and Green Plan

Altemeyer 3802

Squires 3803

Library System

F. Marcelino  3804

Cox  3804

Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Lamont 3804

Pallister 3805

Ivan Franko Manor

B. Smith  3806

Stefanson  3806

Affordable Housing Units

B. Smith  3806

Stefanson  3807

Health-Care Services

Micklefield  3807

Friesen  3807

Meth and Cannabis Awareness

Gerrard  3807

Goertzen  3807

Judicial Nomination Committee

Fontaine  3808

Cullen  3809


Seven Oaks General Hospital Emergency Room

B. Smith  3810

Vimy Arena

Fletcher 3811

Concordia Hospital Emergency Room

Wiebe  3811

Gender Neutrality

Gerrard  3812




Motions of Condolence

Charlotte Oleson

Pallister 3813

Cullen  3814

Lindsey  3815

Clarke  3816

Gerrard  3817

Pedersen  3817

Saul Cherniack

Mayer 3818

Fontaine  3818

Teitsma  3821

Gerrard  3822

F. Marcelino  3823

Laurie Evans

Cullen  3823

Gerrard  3824

Martin  3824

Allum   3825

Leonard Evans

Mayer 3825

Kinew   3826

Helwer 3828

Gerrard  3828

Allum   3829

Debate on Second Readings

Bill 29–The Wildlife Amendment Act (Safe Hunting and Shared Management) 3830

Bill 35–The Crown Lands Amendment Act (Improved Management of Community Pastures and Agricultural Crown Lands)

Allum   3830

Fletcher 3832

Bill 36–The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Impaired Driving Offences)

Fontaine  3833