Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders

Legislature reporter

A Free Press reporter since 2000, Carol carved out a niche in Winnipeg media getting to know immigrants and refugees, the people helping them resettle and how the system works – or doesn’t, and sharing stories of the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home.

In 2014, she was a finalist for the Canadian Association of Journalists human rights reporting award for her coverage of the usually closed-door Immigration and Refugee Board process. In 2015, she won Amnesty International Canada’s media award for her coverage of the world’s largest refugee camp and the people there waiting to come to Winnipeg.

She’s broken news to the world about the perilous journeys of asylum seekers – from the Somali man who nearly drowned in the Red River trying to swim into Canada in 2015 to the Ghanaians who nearly froze to death walking over the border on Christmas Eve, 2016.

After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020. She arrived just in time to report on how the provincial government handles the biggest health and financial crisis it has ever faced: the global pandemic.

The province is facing challenges similar to the many resettled refugees she’s interviewed over the years, but on a massive scale: In a life or death crisis, how do you respond? What risks are you willing to take? The plans and choices the government makes will have lasting consequences – possibly for generations.

Recent articles of Carol Sanders

Mixed response as Tories propose shift in liquor sales

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Preview

Mixed response as Tories propose shift in liquor sales

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Yesterday at 7:28 PM CST

A move to allow beer vendors and wine stores to also sell other types of liquor received a tepid response from those who say it doesn’t go far enough and criticism from those who fear it will shift some Crown-owned Liquor Mart profits that fund health and education to the private sector.

On Monday, the Progressive Conservative government introduced Bill 9 (Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Amendment and Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Amendment Act).

“What this bill does is enable the hundreds of existing licences to be able to sell liquor, spirits, wine and beer — a complete offering,” John Graham, director of government relations for the Retail Council of Canada’s Prairie region, said Monday at the Manitoba legislature.

“What it doesn’t do is really improve convenience for Manitobans, the way it happens around the world and across Canada, where grocery stores would be able to sell a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer.”

Yesterday at 7:28 PM CST

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

On Monday, the Progressive Conservative government introduced Bill 9 (Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Amendment and Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Amendment Act).

Lions board made commitment to help residents ‘long term,’ charity official says

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Preview

Lions board made commitment to help residents ‘long term,’ charity official says

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Yesterday at 6:17 PM CST

The executive director of Lions Housing Centres is defending the sale of Manitoba’s largest non-profit seniors housing complex to an Alberta firm, criticizing opponents of the move and concerned about comments made by a provincial cabinet minister.

Gilles Verrier told the Free Press Monday that residents and their advocates who’ve expressed concerns about being priced out of the building are not being forthcoming.

“What we committed to do to help them long term, that was never mentioned once,” said Verrier, speaking on behalf of the charitable organization’s board, without providing any details. “It’s probably the most vital part for that facility because we have seniors there.

“Residents were never, never, never told in any way, shape or form they would have to find another location.”

Yesterday at 6:17 PM CST

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Last Friday, residents in the 287-unit building at 610 Portage Ave., received a “notice of entry,” informing them that management would be inspecting their suites Monday “starting shortly after 12:00 a.m. (sic) and hopefully be done by 4:00 p.m.”

Minister vows ‘positive outcome,’ no rent hike for Lions Place residents

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Preview

Minister vows ‘positive outcome,’ no rent hike for Lions Place residents

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Friday, Nov. 25, 2022

Elderly residents at Lions Place who fear losing their homes in a planned sale of the non-profit seniors complex, got some positive, although vague, news Friday.

Families Minister Rochelle Squires told the Free Press work is going on behind the scenes to find a solution, despite concerns from tenants and their advocates that silence from the Progressive Conservative government indicated nothing was being done on their behalf.

Residents, who describe the 287-unit building as a tightly knit community that allows them to continue living independently, learned over the summer the Lions Housing Centres board intends to sell it to private interests.

Squires promised there will be no rent increases.

Friday, Nov. 25, 2022

Work is going on behind the scenes to find a solution regarding the sale of Lions Place, according to Families Minister Rochelle Squires. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Speak up, pay up to save lives, frustrated doctor urges province

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Preview

Speak up, pay up to save lives, frustrated doctor urges province

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022

A Winnipeg family doctor who focuses on addictions medicine has decided she can no longer wait quietly for the province to do the right thing while fatal opioid overdoses soar to record levels.

Dr. Anne Durcan says Manitoba Health neither promotes nor covers the upfront costs of opioid replacement therapy using Suboxone and methadone, two medications she said have saved dozens of her patients’ lives and enabled them to live healthy, productive lives.

“We have to speak out,” said Durcan, who was named one of Canada’s top 10 family doctors in 2010 by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. “I don’t think there is movement being made on this.”

Manitoba reported a record 407 overdose death in 2021 and is on track to exceed that number this year.

Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dr. Anne Durcan, a family medicine doctor, is photographed at the HSC Brodie Centre on November 23, 2022. Reporter: Carol Sanders

Klein says he’s victim of ‘American-style’ politics

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Preview

Klein says he’s victim of ‘American-style’ politics

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022

Progressive Conservative candidate Kevin Klein has accused the NDP of dirty “American-style” politics over allegations involving his employment with disgraced fashion mogul Peter Nygard.

If elected, Klein promises to fight the use of privilege that legally protects Manitoba members’ speech in the legislative chamber.

For the third question period in a row, the NDP or the Liberals asked about Klein’s time as an employee of Nygard and his suitability to serve as MLA if elected in the Dec. 13 Kirkfield Park byelection.

“I’m not going to allow individuals that I don’t even know to continue to find things and bring out new things to try and take me off the work that I want to do, which is represent the people of Kirkfield Park,” Klein told reporters at a hastily called news conference at his campaign headquarters on Portage Avenue.

Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022

For the third question period in a row, the NDP or the Liberals asked about Kevin Klein’s time as an employee of Peter Nygard and his suitability to serve as MLA if elected in the Dec. 13 Kirkfield Park byelection. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press file)

NDP says Tory byelection candidate lying about history with Nygard

Carol Sanders and Danielle Da Silva 5 minute read Preview

NDP says Tory byelection candidate lying about history with Nygard

Carol Sanders and Danielle Da Silva 5 minute read Monday, Nov. 21, 2022

Progressive Conservative byelection candidate Kevin Klein’s work history came under attack again during question period Monday, with New Democrats taking issue with his claim he quit working for disgraced Winnipeg fashion mogul Peter Nygard in 2014.

“New information shows Kevin Klein worked as (a public relations) executive for Nygard in 2015,” NDP house leader Nahanni Fontaine said in the legislature Monday.

Fontaine accused Klein — who is carrying the Tory banner in the Dec. 13 election to fill the open Kirkfield Park seat — of “lying” to Manitobans about no longer working for Nygard after 2014.

Nygard has been charged with sex assaults against several women in Canada and the United States and is facing accusations of rape, sex trafficking and sexual misconduct from 57 women as part of a class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. Federal Court.

Monday, Nov. 21, 2022

NYGARD

Photo from Nygard’s corporate website shows Peter Nygard with Kevin Klein at the 2008 opening of the Kenaston store in Winnipeg. The gallery of images from the opening also include politicians Sam Katz and Rod Bruinooge.

PCs forced to defend record on adding care-home beds

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Preview

PCs forced to defend record on adding care-home beds

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Friday, Nov. 18, 2022

The Progressive Conservatives ran on a campaign to create 1,200 new personal care home beds in Manitoba, but more than six years after taking office, the bed count has only dropped.

There were 9,698 licensed personal care home beds when the Tories formed government.

As of September, there were 9,549 beds in use or available for use in Manitoba, a freedom of information request obtained by the NDP shows.

The Opposition has repeatedly gone after the government for “breaking its promise” of 1,200 new beds, and it did so again Friday.

Friday, Nov. 18, 2022

Health Minister Audrey Gordon said the provinical government established a ministry of seniors and long term care to focus on the needs of seniors. (Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Tories plan to allow Vital Statistics to register traditional Indigenous names

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Preview

Tories plan to allow Vital Statistics to register traditional Indigenous names

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

Manitoba’s government introduced legislation Thursday that would allow residents to register traditional names previously blocked by the Vital Statistics Act.

“Names are deeply personal and reflect our culture and our ancestry,” Government Services Minister Reg Helwer said in the house. “This bill provides for additional characters and a single-name option to be used on foundational identity documents when in accordance with cultural practice.”

Legislation currently prohibits the use of characters other than letters A through Z, accents from English or French, hyphens and apostrophes on birth certificates.

Bill 3 (the Vital Statistics Amendment Act — Name Registration) responds to one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action in 2015 “for all levels of government to enable residential school survivors and their families to reclaim names changed by the residential school system by waiving administrative costs for a period of five years for the name-change process and the revision of official identity documents, such as birth certificates, passports, driver’s licences, health cards, status cards, and social insurance numbers.”

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

“Names are deeply personal and reflect our culture and our ancestry,” Government Services Minister Reg Helwer said. (Jessica Lee / Free Press files)

Live up to community-service principles, concerned senior-care experts tell Lions Club

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Preview

Live up to community-service principles, concerned senior-care experts tell Lions Club

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

Experts in seniors care have asked Lions Place to reconsider a pause on the sale of the 287-unit non-profit building, saying the spectre of losing their homes is causing residents harm and puts them at risk of elder abuse.

“If the building becomes privatized and profitized, the displacement of existing tenants can push some into homelessness or unsuitable housing, as well as precipitate premature entry into long-term residential care,” said a joint letter sent by 10 university professors of sociology, criminology, social work and nursing to the board of Lions Place and Manitoba’s ministers responsible for seniors and housing.

They wrote the letter after it was reported the Lions Club rejected a request from Lions Place residents to put a 90-day hold on the sale of Manitoba’s largest non-profit seniors housing apartment block.

“We believe your board will aggrieve and potentially victimize Lions Place residents if it does not pause the sale to allow for a solution to be worked out to ensure the building remains not-for-profit, and most importantly, affordable…. If older adults were displaced from their homes this way in a family setting, it would be considered a form of elder abuse or ‘oppressive action,’” said the letter bearing Wednesday’s date.

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

10 university professors sent a joint letter to the board of Lions Place and Manitoba’s ministers responsible for seniors and housing asking them to reconsider a pause on the sale of the 287-unit non-profit Lions Place building.

Tory MLA Khan asks court to dismiss lawsuit

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Preview

Tory MLA Khan asks court to dismiss lawsuit

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

A lawsuit alleging Tory backbencher Obby Khan and his eight-year-old juice company failed to repay more than $560,000 in financial support is “rife with false and reckless allegations,” a statement of defence says.

A statement of claim filed Sept. 23 by Jones and Company Wine Merchants Inc. alleges Khan, the main shareholder of Green Carrot Juice Company Inc., a co-defendant in the lawsuit, “orally committed” to repaying the money in a series of emails to Jones and Company principal Tina Jones, but has yet to do so.

Khan “expressly denies that he ever personally guaranteed the repayment of any sum of money to Ms. Jones or the plaintiff,” says the statement of defence, which was filed Nov. 7 in Manitoba Court of King’s Bench.

Aside from a $50,000 loan advanced to Green Carrot in 2014 with a promissory note, any other funds Jones gave to the company were a capital investment and not a loan, according to the statement of defence.

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

A statement of claim filed by Jones and Company Wine Merchants Inc. alleges Obby Khan, the main shareholder of Green Carrot Juice Company Inc., a co-defendant in the lawsuit, orally committed to repaying $560,000, but has yet to do so. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Hydro seeks rate hikes; says it can’t meet debt targets

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Preview

Hydro seeks rate hikes; says it can’t meet debt targets

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

Manitoba Hydro says it expects it will need to increase rates by an average of 3.5 per cent per year for the next decade, as it released its long-awaited, long-term financial forecast Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the publicly owned utility applied to the Public Utilities Board for 3.5 per cent increases to electricity rates effective Sept. 1, 2023 and April 1, 2024. That works out to an average of $4 per month more for a residential customer without electric heat.

The proposed rate increases “will ensure Manitoba Hydro can continue to meet customer expectations and become a financially healthy utility that Manitobans can continue to rely on for their energy needs now and in the future,” the Crown corporation’s general rate application says.

That application includes a 20-year financial forecast scenario ordered by Manitoba’s rate-setting overseer, the PUB. Hydro’s long-term forecast is for an average 3.5 per cent rate increase annually followed by a 0.5 per cent yearly increase from 2033-34 to 2041-42.

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

TIM SMITH / THE BRANDON SUN FILES

Manitoba Hydro’s long-term forecast is for an average 3.5 per cent rate increase annually followed by a 0.5 per cent yearly increase from 2033-34 to 2041-42.

Kirkfield Park byelection date set

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Preview

Kirkfield Park byelection date set

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022

After what was probably the most important throne speech for a Tory government trying to hang onto power, the province quietly announced a Dec. 13 byelection in Kirkfield Park.

While it was required to call the byelection by that date — following the June resignation of Progressive Conservative cabinet minister Scott Fielding — the timing Tuesday afternoon seemed odd, one political observer says.

“It is quite surprising that the writ was dropped on the same day another major event took place — the speech from the throne,” University of Winnipeg political science Prof. Felix Mathieu said.

“That being said, the speech from the throne does provide the government with a certain political momentum, which in turn can help the Progressive Conservatives promote their brand and candidate in the next few weeks leading to the byelection.”

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

PC candidate for Kirkfield Park Kevin Klein.

Manitoba open to shipping LNG through Churchill

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Preview

Manitoba open to shipping LNG through Churchill

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022

Manitoba isn’t shying away from the Hudson Bay Railway and Port of Churchill being used to ship energy from Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“We are looking at liquefied natural gas, primarily,” Premier Heather Stefanson said Tuesday at a news conference about the throne speech and her Progressive Conservative government’s agenda.

In August, the province and the federal government announced $147.6 million to turn the railway into a modern trade corridor to Canada’s lone Arctic port. The railway is owned and operated by Arctic Gateway Group LP, a partnership of 41 First Nations and rail line communities.

At the time, the premier wouldn’t say the railway could be used to ship energy products (natural gas, oil or oil pucks) through the port, and would only say there’s an “opportunity for a dialogue in many of those areas.”

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS

“We are looking at liquefied natural gas, primarily,” Premier Heather Stefanson said Tuesday at a news conference about the throne speech and her Progressive Conservative government’s agenda.

Observers seek big-picture throne speech

Carol Sanders 5 minute read Preview

Observers seek big-picture throne speech

Carol Sanders 5 minute read Monday, Nov. 14, 2022

The Progressive Conservative government will set out its legislative agenda for the next session Tuesday — as it gears up for an election in 2023, while facing multiple crises in health care, homelessness and cost of living.

Premier Heather Stefanson hinted last week the Manitoba throne speech will address affordability issues and measures to tackle violent crime and safety concerns.

“I think you can expect to see more along those lines,” Stefanson said at an unrelated Nov. 8 event at Fort Whyte Alive in Winnipeg. Her government has also used words such as “bold” in recent days to describe its plans for the legislative session ahead.

At 1:30 p.m., Lt.-Gov. Anita Neville is to deliver the speech from the throne, opening the fifth session of the 42nd legislature.

Monday, Nov. 14, 2022

Ruth Bonneville / Pool - Winnipeg Free press / The Canadian Press

At 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Lt.-Gov. Anita Neville is to deliver the speech from the throne, opening the fifth session of the 42nd legislature.

HSC to install ‘amnesty lockers’ to boost safety

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Preview

HSC to install ‘amnesty lockers’ to boost safety

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

So-called amnesty lockers have been introduced at the Health Sciences Centre emergency department.

It’s part of a “very, very bold” action plan Health Minister Audrey Gordon outlined Thursday to recruit, retain and train 2,000 more health care professionals.

The lockers are part of the plan to make workers feel safe at the downtown hospital.

“The amnesty lockers allow people to voluntarily lock up things that they may have on their person that might be considered weapons or if they have something they should not have with them,” said Jennifer Cumpsty, executive director of acute health services at HSC.

Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

It’s part of a “very, very bold” action plan Health Minister Audrey Gordon outlined Thursday to recruit, retain and train 2,000 more health care professionals.

Stefanson announces plan to add 2,000 health workers to alleviate staffing crisis

Carol Sanders 5 minute read Preview

Stefanson announces plan to add 2,000 health workers to alleviate staffing crisis

Carol Sanders 5 minute read Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

Doctors and nurses are urging the Progressive Conservative government to hurry up and implement its $200-million action plan announced Thursday to retain, train and recruit a mix of 2,000 health-care professionals.

“We can’t hit the road fast enough with this right now,” Doctors Manitoba president Dr. Candace Bradshaw said at a news conference with Health Minister Audrey Gordon and Premier Heather Stefanson at Health Sciences Centre’s Women’s Hospital.

“The urgency with our members is critical,” said the head of the doctors advocacy group that was provided no more details of the human resources action strategy than the media received Thursday.

She offered to meet right away with government officials to learn more about the plan regarding primary care physicians, amid a system-wide staffing crisis.

Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“Our commitment is to work with those stakeholders to ensure we make life a bit easier for those people who are working on the front lines,” said Premier Heather Stefanson.

Lions Place residents continue push for non-profit ownership

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Preview

Lions Place residents continue push for non-profit ownership

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Manitoba’s largest non-profit housing complex won’t give worried seniors time to come up with an alternative to their home potentially being sold to for-profit buyers.

The Lions Place residents council had asked the Lions Housing Centres board of directors for a 90-day pause on the sale of the 287-unit building in downtown Winnipeg, while seeking an alternative non-profit housing ownership solution.

The board responded last week, saying the request was reviewed, discussed and declined.

After bidding closed Oct. 14, the board said it will continue to review the offers from interested buyers.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

JOHN WOODS / FREE PRESS FILES

After bidding closed Oct. 14, the Lions Housing Centres board said it will continue to review the offers from interested buyers.

Sit tight for health announcement Thursday: premier

Carol Sanders 2 minute read Preview

Sit tight for health announcement Thursday: premier

Carol Sanders 2 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Premier Heather Stefanson says her government will make an announcement Thursday on “concrete steps to strengthen Manitoba’s health system.”

But she won’t give any hints.

In a statement late Wednesday — in the wake of provincial health ministers failing to get a commitment from the federal government to increase the Canada Health Transfer after two days of meetings in Vancouver — Stefanson said the PC government is taking action in this province “despite federal avoidance and inaction.”

As the current chair of the Council of the Federation, the alliance of premiers and territorial leaders, Stefanson has called on the federal government to increase its share of funding to the provinces to 35 per cent of health costs from 22 per cent.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Premier Heather Stefanson says her government will make a health care announcement Thursday.

Credit agency rates province, Hydro ‘A’, but uncertainty in the air

Carol Sanders 2 minute read Preview

Credit agency rates province, Hydro ‘A’, but uncertainty in the air

Carol Sanders 2 minute read Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022

The Province of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro both received an A from global credit-rating agency but a possible change in government next year, it says, adds an element of policy uncertainty.

Both the province and the publicly owned power company Tuesday received a high rating for long-term debt, or an A rating and a middle, or R-1, grade for their short-term obligations from DBRS Limited (DBRS Morningstar).

“All trends are stable, supported by a well-diversified and resilient provincial economy, the government’s commitment to fiscal sustainability, and prudent debt management,” it said in a news release.

“These attributes provide stability to the ratings, although a weakening global economic outlook and an upcoming provincial election in 2023 add an element of policy uncertainty and limit ratings improvement in the near term,” it said.

Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

The Province of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro both received an A from global credit-rating agency but a possible change in goverment next year, it says, adds an element of “policy uncertainty.”

Health ministers gather, call for transfer hike

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Preview

Health ministers gather, call for transfer hike

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Monday, Nov. 7, 2022

Manitoba Health Minister Audrey Gordon joined her provincial and territorial counterparts Monday in Vancouver to present a united front in calling for increased health-care funding with “no strings attached.”

The group is asking Ottawa to increase the Canada Health Transfer to 35 per cent from its current 22 per cent, and will meet Tuesday with federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos.

“We won’t waver in that unanimous voice,” Gordon said in a phone interview from Vancouver following a news conference with all the provincial and territorial health ministers.

“I’m hoping that minister Duclos is open to having those discussions and making that a reality. We want adequate, stable and predictable funding through the Canada Health Transfer.”

Monday, Nov. 7, 2022

Manitoba Health Minister Audrey Gordon wants the federal government to provide health-care funding to provinces based on their individual needs with no strings attached, she says. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Tories earn praise for police task force from unlikely ally

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Preview

Tories earn praise for police task force from unlikely ally

Carol Sanders 4 minute read Friday, Nov. 4, 2022

A longtime community advocate, who’s an NDP supporter, sent Manitoba’s Tory premier and justice minister thank-you notes a day after they announced a police task force to target violent “bad guys.”

“Our politics are totally different, but more had to be done about this: seriously violent criminals breaching conditions,” Sel Burrows said Friday.

The founder of the North Point Douglas crime-prevention Powerline said he knows more needs to be done to address the long-term issues of poverty and addictions to prevent crime, but there is an immediate need to protect people from violent attacks.

On Thursday, Premier Heather Stefanson and Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced an integrated task force to track and monitor high-risk and violent offenders.

Friday, Nov. 4, 2022

Community activist Sel Burrows says there is an immediate need to protect people from violent attacks. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Ottawa mini-budget misses health-care funds: Manitoba

Carol Sanders 2 minute read Preview

Ottawa mini-budget misses health-care funds: Manitoba

Carol Sanders 2 minute read Friday, Nov. 4, 2022

MANITOBA Finance Minister Cameron Friesen’s initial response to Ottawa’s fiscal update was disappointment.

“It is disappointing that the federal government has again not responded to our premier’s consensus call for a Canada Health Transfer equal to 35 per cent of health-care costs,” Friesen said by email Thursday, during the last day of the fall session of the Manitoba legislature.

Premier Heather Stefanson chairs the Council of the Federation, an alliance of Canada’s premiers and territorial leaders that has called on the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to increase health transfer payments.

Stefanson has said Ottawa initially covered 50 per cent of provinces’ health costs when Canada implemented universal coverage in the 1960s. She said the federal government now covers only 22 per cent.

Friday, Nov. 4, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

“It is disappointing that the federal government has again not responded to our premier’s consensus call for a Canada Health Transfer equal to 35 per cent of health-care costs,” said Cameron Friesen, minister of finance.

Most Tory bills pass as Manitoba legislature wraps up

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Preview

Most Tory bills pass as Manitoba legislature wraps up

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022

Legislation to expand private liquor sales didn’t make the cut, but laws to free up the use of pesticides, cut the theft of catalytic converters and get rid of the public-sector wage freeze did.

A turbulent session of the Manitoba legislature was set to end Thursday night.

The Progressive Conservative government also passed a bill that imposes new debt limits on Manitoba Hydro.

Bills that would allow more private liquor sales and simplify liquor service licensing for restaurants and bars will be revived in the next session, which will kick off Nov. 15 with a throne speech that outlines the Tories’ plan for the next year.

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Bills to update liquor laws will be reintroduced, says government house leader Kelvin Goertzen.

Protesters seek affordable housing protection

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Preview

Protesters seek affordable housing protection

Carol Sanders 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022

A United Church group attended a protest Wednesday outside the office of Families Minister Rochelle Squires to back up demands from Lions Place residents the province do more to provide and protect housing.

“We have to change the course of what we’re doing,” said minister Caryn Douglas. She was joined by eight members of her congregation, United Church in Meadowood, outside of the Riel constituency office of the local MLA.

The church committee advocating for affordable housing protested alongside a dozen Lions Place residents.

Douglas said the “humanitarian crisis” prominent Winnipeg businessman Mark Chipman referred to at a downtown safety announcement Tuesday is citywide.

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

United Church minister Caryn Douglas said the “humanitarian crisis” Winnipeg businessman Mark Chipman referred to at a downtown safety announcement Tuesday is citywide.