Bernadette Smith

Bernadette Smith

Point Douglas constituency report

Bernadette Smith is the NDP MLA for Point Douglas.

Recent articles of Bernadette Smith

Let’s aspire to reconnect this summer

Bernadette Smith 3 minute read Preview

Let’s aspire to reconnect this summer

Bernadette Smith 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2022

The last couple of years have been hard for many people, as the COVID-19 pandemic isolated us from our loved ones. This summer I will be catching up on lost time by reconnecting with friends and family and celebrating milestones we missed. I would encourage you all to do the same. I’m personally grateful that I’ll be able to spend time with my grandchildren in the pool, eating ice cream at White Top Drive-In, visiting the Manitoba Museum and exercising our dog Luna at neighborhood parks.

Feelings of isolation during the pandemic have been particularly strong for Point Douglas residents as our community is especially strong and close-knit. It’s clear that a sense of community and taking care of one another is something Point Douglas appreciates. With events back in full swing, I’ve been feeling even more grateful that I’m part of a community that looks after each other. So let’s be aspirational rather than return to the status quo — coming together after the shared experience of the pandemic bonds us together and strengthens the neighbourhood. Working together gives people a chance to combine their skills and build relationships. Everyone has an important role in the community.

There are many community organizations doing great work in Point Douglas. These include Mama Bear Clan and Bear Clan, which rganize multiple weekly patrols to help provide non-violent, supportive security to Point Douglas and other neighbourhoods. They also help clean up our community and provide support to those who need it. CommUNITY 204 provides hundreds of people with free food every Sunday. They also provide people with clothing, water, hygiene products and moving services. Other organizations include Spirit Horse Initiative, SABE Peace Walkers and more. If you are looking to give back to the community, volunteering with one of these organizations is a great option. You can also donate money or goods such as food and clothing.

I would also encourage everyone to take advantage of the summer weather and spend time outdoors. There are many great spots in Point Douglas such as Michelle Jean Park, which has basketball courts and a splash pad. Margaret Scott Skateboard Plaza, The Edge Skatepark, Sargent Tommy Prince Place, Ross House Museum and Shaw Park are other great options.

Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2022

The White Top Drive-In is a great neighbourhood spot for ice cream.

Addiction care, support needs attention

Bernadette Smith 3 minute read Preview

Addiction care, support needs attention

Bernadette Smith 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

The addictions crisis in Manitoba needs more attention. If you go to the federal government’s opioid information portal, you can see statistics from every single province and territory — except for Manitoba, where information is listed as “not available.”

This is of real concern as this information needs to be taken seriously and Manitoba families need to get up-to-date information about what is happening with the addictions crisis in this province. I have a plan to address this. During this past session I introduced Bill 217 in the legislature, which would ensure the government releases information about overdose deaths on a month-by-month basis along with the drug suspected of causing the overdose.

We need to know this information so we can combat the overdose crisis we’re currently experiencing with accurate, up-to-date information. Sadly, the government refused to pass Bill 217, or even vote on it. But I did pass another important piece of legislation — Bill 234, which makes the first Sunday in May every year known as Drug-related Death Bereavement Day. It is an important opportunity for all Manitobans to reflect on the impact of drugs in Manitoba and grieve those who died through overdoses.

The lack of information provided on overdose deaths is jarring contrasted with how seriously community groups take data collection when it comes to other social issues. Last month, End Homelessness Winnipeg conducted its annual street census so that we have up-to-date information on the homelessness crisis in Winnipeg. We’ve all seen the increasing number of homeless encampments around the city, and thanks to End Homelessness Winnipeg and all census volunteers we’ll soon have precise data with which to address the crisis.

Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

The addictions crisis in Manitoba needs more attention. If you go to the federal government’s opioid information portal, you can see statistics from every single province and territory — except for Manitoba, where information is listed as “not available.”

This is of real concern as this information needs to be taken seriously and Manitoba families need to get up-to-date information about what is happening with the addictions crisis in this province. I have a plan to address this. During this past session I introduced Bill 217 in the legislature, which would ensure the government releases information about overdose deaths on a month-by-month basis along with the drug suspected of causing the overdose.

We need to know this information so we can combat the overdose crisis we’re currently experiencing with accurate, up-to-date information. Sadly, the government refused to pass Bill 217, or even vote on it. But I did pass another important piece of legislation — Bill 234, which makes the first Sunday in May every year known as Drug-related Death Bereavement Day. It is an important opportunity for all Manitobans to reflect on the impact of drugs in Manitoba and grieve those who died through overdoses.

The lack of information provided on overdose deaths is jarring contrasted with how seriously community groups take data collection when it comes to other social issues. Last month, End Homelessness Winnipeg conducted its annual street census so that we have up-to-date information on the homelessness crisis in Winnipeg. We’ve all seen the increasing number of homeless encampments around the city, and thanks to End Homelessness Winnipeg and all census volunteers we’ll soon have precise data with which to address the crisis.

Political will required to end homelessness

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Political will required to end homelessness

Bernadette Smith 3 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022

Many Manitobans are only a couple of bad months away from losing their homes and living in emergency shelters, bus shelters or an encampment. It’s a reality for far too many. Our neighbours shouldn’t have to survive without access to clean water or be forced to burn garbage to stay warm.

We can and must end this crisis.

People lose their homes for many different reasons. Sudden job loss, a house fire, unsupported disabilities, and addiction can quickly upend people’s finances and put them in a situation that most think will never happen to them, until it does. This can happen to anyone, and it affects everyone. Once you’ve lost it, getting stable housing can be impossible without support. Let’s ensure our vulnerable neighbours get the support they need. Let’s focus on solutions.

The good news is that we know a lot about the root causes of homelessness, and we have proven solutions from decades of work by experts in health care and emergency shelter/supportive housing systems across Canada and all over the world.

Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022

Many Manitobans are only a couple of bad months away from losing their homes and living in emergency shelters, bus shelters or an encampment. It’s a reality for far too many. Our neighbours shouldn’t have to survive without access to clean water or be forced to burn garbage to stay warm.

We can and must end this crisis.

People lose their homes for many different reasons. Sudden job loss, a house fire, unsupported disabilities, and addiction can quickly upend people’s finances and put them in a situation that most think will never happen to them, until it does. This can happen to anyone, and it affects everyone. Once you’ve lost it, getting stable housing can be impossible without support. Let’s ensure our vulnerable neighbours get the support they need. Let’s focus on solutions.

The good news is that we know a lot about the root causes of homelessness, and we have proven solutions from decades of work by experts in health care and emergency shelter/supportive housing systems across Canada and all over the world.

Harm reduction report shows ‘lack of sincerity’

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Harm reduction report shows ‘lack of sincerity’

Bernadette Smith 5 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2022

 

It’s been a tough few months for Point Douglas residents. Snowbanks are piling high, our health-care system continues to struggle to provide the care many of us need, and community members continue to die from overdoses. But sadly, the Progressive Conservative government is still failing to make the necessary investments to help those of us who are struggling. It’s clear from the latest harm reduction report that under the PCs, Manitoba is falling behind. Advocates and families have been telling the PC government what they need, like a safe consumption site and more detox and treatment beds, but the PCs refuse to listen, even though these supports can save lives. Meanwhile, overdose deaths likely surpassed 400 in 2021. The pandemic has also worsened mental health issues, but the PC government refuses to act and implement necessary supports to address them. Its recently announced five-year plan is the second plan produced by a high-priced consultant. Not only does the government keep delaying action by producing plan after plan, advocates say that this most recent plan doesn’t go far enough. One expert, Dr. Rehman Abdulrehman, told media that the plan “makes me think that there’s either a lack of awareness or lack of sincerity or intent, because we don’t have that specificity here.” Another area in which the PCs continue to fail is addressing homelessness and poverty, especially right now when Manitobans are seeing the cost of living skyrocket – food and housing just keep getting more expensive. While the government continues to fail Point Douglas families, community groups, such as commUNITY.204, have been working tirelessly to support those in need. CommUNITY.204, does great work protecting the vulnerable in the North End. I was happy to help them distribute food and clothing during an event a few weeks ago, and it was so heartwarming to see how resilient and generous our community is even during stressful times like this one. When I look back at the pandemic in the coming years, I’ll remember the commUNITY.204 staff and volunteers as heroes. And in the meantime, I’ll continue to fight in the Legislature to ensure that they, and groups like them, get the funding they deserve. Do you know of those organizations in Point Douglas doing great work in the community? I want to hear from you. Call my office at 204-414-4241 or email me at bernadette.smith@yourmanitoba.ca  

It’s been a tough few months for Point Douglas residents. Snowbanks are piling high, our health-care system continues to struggle to provide the care many of us need, and community members continue to die from overdoses. 

But sadly, the Progressive Conservative government is still failing to make the necessary investments to help those of us who are struggling. It’s clear from the latest harm reduction report that under the PCs, Manitoba is falling behind. Advocates and families have been telling the PC government what they need, like a safe consumption site and more detox and treatment beds, but the PCs refuse to listen, even though these supports can save lives. Meanwhile, overdose deaths likely surpassed 400 in 2021. 

Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2022

 

It’s been a tough few months for Point Douglas residents. Snowbanks are piling high, our health-care system continues to struggle to provide the care many of us need, and community members continue to die from overdoses. But sadly, the Progressive Conservative government is still failing to make the necessary investments to help those of us who are struggling. It’s clear from the latest harm reduction report that under the PCs, Manitoba is falling behind. Advocates and families have been telling the PC government what they need, like a safe consumption site and more detox and treatment beds, but the PCs refuse to listen, even though these supports can save lives. Meanwhile, overdose deaths likely surpassed 400 in 2021. The pandemic has also worsened mental health issues, but the PC government refuses to act and implement necessary supports to address them. Its recently announced five-year plan is the second plan produced by a high-priced consultant. Not only does the government keep delaying action by producing plan after plan, advocates say that this most recent plan doesn’t go far enough. One expert, Dr. Rehman Abdulrehman, told media that the plan “makes me think that there’s either a lack of awareness or lack of sincerity or intent, because we don’t have that specificity here.” Another area in which the PCs continue to fail is addressing homelessness and poverty, especially right now when Manitobans are seeing the cost of living skyrocket – food and housing just keep getting more expensive. While the government continues to fail Point Douglas families, community groups, such as commUNITY.204, have been working tirelessly to support those in need. CommUNITY.204, does great work protecting the vulnerable in the North End. I was happy to help them distribute food and clothing during an event a few weeks ago, and it was so heartwarming to see how resilient and generous our community is even during stressful times like this one. When I look back at the pandemic in the coming years, I’ll remember the commUNITY.204 staff and volunteers as heroes. And in the meantime, I’ll continue to fight in the Legislature to ensure that they, and groups like them, get the funding they deserve. Do you know of those organizations in Point Douglas doing great work in the community? I want to hear from you. Call my office at 204-414-4241 or email me at bernadette.smith@yourmanitoba.ca  

It’s been a tough few months for Point Douglas residents. Snowbanks are piling high, our health-care system continues to struggle to provide the care many of us need, and community members continue to die from overdoses. 

But sadly, the Progressive Conservative government is still failing to make the necessary investments to help those of us who are struggling. It’s clear from the latest harm reduction report that under the PCs, Manitoba is falling behind. Advocates and families have been telling the PC government what they need, like a safe consumption site and more detox and treatment beds, but the PCs refuse to listen, even though these supports can save lives. Meanwhile, overdose deaths likely surpassed 400 in 2021. 

Construction helping residents

Bernadette Smith - Point Douglas MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Preview

Construction helping residents

Bernadette Smith - Point Douglas MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022

Last month I rose in the Manitoba legislature to speak about a project that has inspired me — a new housing complex being created in the North End by Purpose Construction.The project inspires me because it incorporates so many elements of community leadership that are making life better for Winnipeggers residents. First, Purpose Construction is creating the complex with workers who would otherwise face barriers to employment. At a time when many Manitobans are underpaid and underemployed, their employees are given living wages and full benefits.Second, the complex itself will have three units — a three-bedroom suite for families in which the children were formerly in the care of Child and Family Services; and two other units for young adults who are aging out of the CFS system. I am so happy when I think of how these units will help better the lives of those who live within them.Additionally, these units will be supported by non-profit organizations both during and after their construction. Funding for the project was provided by Raising the Roof, an Ontario-based organization that works to end homelessness by creating accessible housing across the country. And once the project is complete, the residents of the new units will be supported by staff at the North Point Douglas Women’s Centre. Even while I am inspired by how these organizations have come together to help make life better for Winnipeggers, I am saddened that they have to do so largely without support from our provincial government.Since the Progressive Conservatives took office in 2016, they’ve cut funding across the board in ways that have hurt families in Point Douglas. The impact of these cuts is clear in many instances — like how hard it is for many families across Manitoba to find safe, affordable housing, a problem that has only been exacerbated by the pandemicSometimes it takes a project like the one by Purpose Construction to remind us how much better conditions could be in our community if we had a government that invested in a housing-first approach. I want to thank them, and all the other organizations working in the North End, for improving our community even while our government is failing it.If there is anything that I can help you or your families with over the coming weeks, please call my office at 204-414-1477 or email me at bernadette.smith@yourmanitoba.ca

Last month I rose in the Manitoba legislature to speak about a project that has inspired me — a new housing complex being created in the North End by Purpose Construction.

The project inspires me because it incorporates so many elements of community leadership that are making life better for Winnipeggers residents. First, Purpose Construction is creating the complex with workers who would otherwise face barriers to employment. At a time when many Manitobans are underpaid and underemployed, their employees are given living wages and full benefits.

Second, the complex itself will have three units — a three-bedroom suite for families in which the children were formerly in the care of Child and Family Services; and two other units for young adults who are aging out of the CFS system. I am so happy when I think of how these units will help better the lives of those who live within them.

Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022

Last month I rose in the Manitoba legislature to speak about a project that has inspired me — a new housing complex being created in the North End by Purpose Construction.The project inspires me because it incorporates so many elements of community leadership that are making life better for Winnipeggers residents. First, Purpose Construction is creating the complex with workers who would otherwise face barriers to employment. At a time when many Manitobans are underpaid and underemployed, their employees are given living wages and full benefits.Second, the complex itself will have three units — a three-bedroom suite for families in which the children were formerly in the care of Child and Family Services; and two other units for young adults who are aging out of the CFS system. I am so happy when I think of how these units will help better the lives of those who live within them.Additionally, these units will be supported by non-profit organizations both during and after their construction. Funding for the project was provided by Raising the Roof, an Ontario-based organization that works to end homelessness by creating accessible housing across the country. And once the project is complete, the residents of the new units will be supported by staff at the North Point Douglas Women’s Centre. Even while I am inspired by how these organizations have come together to help make life better for Winnipeggers, I am saddened that they have to do so largely without support from our provincial government.Since the Progressive Conservatives took office in 2016, they’ve cut funding across the board in ways that have hurt families in Point Douglas. The impact of these cuts is clear in many instances — like how hard it is for many families across Manitoba to find safe, affordable housing, a problem that has only been exacerbated by the pandemicSometimes it takes a project like the one by Purpose Construction to remind us how much better conditions could be in our community if we had a government that invested in a housing-first approach. I want to thank them, and all the other organizations working in the North End, for improving our community even while our government is failing it.If there is anything that I can help you or your families with over the coming weeks, please call my office at 204-414-1477 or email me at bernadette.smith@yourmanitoba.ca

Last month I rose in the Manitoba legislature to speak about a project that has inspired me — a new housing complex being created in the North End by Purpose Construction.

The project inspires me because it incorporates so many elements of community leadership that are making life better for Winnipeggers residents. First, Purpose Construction is creating the complex with workers who would otherwise face barriers to employment. At a time when many Manitobans are underpaid and underemployed, their employees are given living wages and full benefits.

Second, the complex itself will have three units — a three-bedroom suite for families in which the children were formerly in the care of Child and Family Services; and two other units for young adults who are aging out of the CFS system. I am so happy when I think of how these units will help better the lives of those who live within them.

Time to vaccinate your kids, get your boosters

Bernadette Smith 3 minute read Preview

Time to vaccinate your kids, get your boosters

Bernadette Smith 3 minute read Friday, Dec. 3, 2021

Manitobans recently  received some good news — COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children aged five to 11. Adults are eligible for a third dose of the vaccine as long as it’s been six months since their second dose.

I have two grandchildren aged seven and nine, and they both have appointments for their first shots in December. I’m so relieved this is finally available to help keep them and their families safe. The sooner everyone gets their shots, the sooner this pandemic will end and we can get back to doing all the things we love without worry.

But, even though I’m excited that my own grandkids are getting their shots, I know there are some families that are hesitant about making appointments for their own children. Families in Point Douglas just want the best for their kids, so it’s understandable that some have questions about the vaccine. We know COVID-19 shots are safe and saving lives but unfortunately, the Manitoba government hasn’t done enough outreach to Manitobans who are hesitant.

The government may have dropped the ball, but community leaders have done great work to address the concerns of Point Douglas families.

Friday, Dec. 3, 2021

Manitobans recently  received some good news — COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children aged five to 11. Adults are eligible for a third dose of the vaccine as long as it’s been six months since their second dose.

I have two grandchildren aged seven and nine, and they both have appointments for their first shots in December. I’m so relieved this is finally available to help keep them and their families safe. The sooner everyone gets their shots, the sooner this pandemic will end and we can get back to doing all the things we love without worry.

But, even though I’m excited that my own grandkids are getting their shots, I know there are some families that are hesitant about making appointments for their own children. Families in Point Douglas just want the best for their kids, so it’s understandable that some have questions about the vaccine. We know COVID-19 shots are safe and saving lives but unfortunately, the Manitoba government hasn’t done enough outreach to Manitobans who are hesitant.

The government may have dropped the ball, but community leaders have done great work to address the concerns of Point Douglas families.

Investment needed to address addictions crisis

Bernadette Smith 2 minute read Preview

Investment needed to address addictions crisis

Bernadette Smith 2 minute read Friday, Oct. 8, 2021

Last month, Canada re-elected the Liberal Party to a third term in office. Sadly, the Liberals have spent their first two terms failing to address the mental health and addictions crises in Point Douglas. It is time for them to step up and make the investments that we need.

It is especially important for the federal Liberals to step up because the Progressive Conservative government in Manitoba also refuses to do the right thing. For years, the government led by Brian Pallister refused to make investments in mental health and addictions, including refusing to fund a safe consumption site in Winnipeg, even though such sites are proven to reduce overdose fatalities.

The PCs even a commissioned a report that recommended a safe consumption site — but deliberately removed that recommendation. When we presented a report compiled by health experts that called for more supports for those facing addiction, Pallister threw it on the ground in the legislature.

The question we’re all asking is: will the new PC leader follow in Pallister’s footsteps? Or will she listen to the NDP and Manitobans who know safe consumption sites work to save lives and get people the help they need? 

Friday, Oct. 8, 2021

Last month, Canada re-elected the Liberal Party to a third term in office. Sadly, the Liberals have spent their first two terms failing to address the mental health and addictions crises in Point Douglas. It is time for them to step up and make the investments that we need.

It is especially important for the federal Liberals to step up because the Progressive Conservative government in Manitoba also refuses to do the right thing. For years, the government led by Brian Pallister refused to make investments in mental health and addictions, including refusing to fund a safe consumption site in Winnipeg, even though such sites are proven to reduce overdose fatalities.

The PCs even a commissioned a report that recommended a safe consumption site — but deliberately removed that recommendation. When we presented a report compiled by health experts that called for more supports for those facing addiction, Pallister threw it on the ground in the legislature.

The question we’re all asking is: will the new PC leader follow in Pallister’s footsteps? Or will she listen to the NDP and Manitobans who know safe consumption sites work to save lives and get people the help they need? 

Collaboration between officials benefits all

Bernadette Smith 5 minute read Preview

Collaboration between officials benefits all

Bernadette Smith 5 minute read Monday, Sep. 13, 2021

In every election - for any level of government - Manitobans cast their votes for the people they want to represent them and their communities at a municipal, provincial, or federal scale. They expect these people to work hard for them and to advocate for their needs in government.Being an elected official is a position of privilege, and it comes with a lot of responsibility. For me personally, I take the job of representing Point Douglas and the people who live here very seriously. When people come to me with their questions, suggestions, or concerns, I do my best to help them.I am grateful to have fantastic relationships with many of the elected officials, from all levels of government and political stripes whose constituencies neighbour or overlap with Point Douglas. When we are all able to work together in a positive way on casework and important political issues, we are able to get more done to help our communities.I want to work with whomever is elected in the federal electoral district of Winnipeg North to address the challenges our community faces. Over the past few months, my office has seen a concerning spike in cases of fixed-income seniors who have lost federal benefits, as well as other issues that require collaboration with federal officials. It’s been far too difficult to resolve these important issues and Point Douglas and Winnipeg North residents need action now. I look forward to working collaboratively to ensure our seniors get the support that they need. I hope to see everyone in Point Douglas coming out to vote in the federal election on Mon., Sep. 20. It is important for your voices to be heard and for you to have a say in who represents you in Ottawa. You can vote at your designated polling stations on election day, or vote by mail if you applied by September 14th. You can find your local polling station at www.elections.ca. The Elections Canada website also has all of the information you need about how to register to vote and what identification to bring with you. So please make a plan to vote and cast your ballot. We have to elect leaders at all levels of government who will work for everyone and who are willing to collaborate to achieve common goals.Please contact my office anytime at 204-414-1477 or Bernadette.Smith@yourmanitoba.ca

In every election - for any level of government - Manitobans cast their votes for the people they want to represent them and their communities at a municipal, provincial, or federal scale. They expect these people to work hard for them and to advocate for their needs in government.

Being an elected official is a position of privilege, and it comes with a lot of responsibility. For me personally, I take the job of representing Point Douglas and the people who live here very seriously. When people come to me with their questions, suggestions, or concerns, I do my best to help them.

I am grateful to have fantastic relationships with many of the elected officials, from all levels of government and political stripes whose constituencies neighbour or overlap with Point Douglas. When we are all able to work together in a positive way on casework and important political issues, we are able to get more done to help our communities.

Monday, Sep. 13, 2021

In every election - for any level of government - Manitobans cast their votes for the people they want to represent them and their communities at a municipal, provincial, or federal scale. They expect these people to work hard for them and to advocate for their needs in government.Being an elected official is a position of privilege, and it comes with a lot of responsibility. For me personally, I take the job of representing Point Douglas and the people who live here very seriously. When people come to me with their questions, suggestions, or concerns, I do my best to help them.I am grateful to have fantastic relationships with many of the elected officials, from all levels of government and political stripes whose constituencies neighbour or overlap with Point Douglas. When we are all able to work together in a positive way on casework and important political issues, we are able to get more done to help our communities.I want to work with whomever is elected in the federal electoral district of Winnipeg North to address the challenges our community faces. Over the past few months, my office has seen a concerning spike in cases of fixed-income seniors who have lost federal benefits, as well as other issues that require collaboration with federal officials. It’s been far too difficult to resolve these important issues and Point Douglas and Winnipeg North residents need action now. I look forward to working collaboratively to ensure our seniors get the support that they need. I hope to see everyone in Point Douglas coming out to vote in the federal election on Mon., Sep. 20. It is important for your voices to be heard and for you to have a say in who represents you in Ottawa. You can vote at your designated polling stations on election day, or vote by mail if you applied by September 14th. You can find your local polling station at www.elections.ca. The Elections Canada website also has all of the information you need about how to register to vote and what identification to bring with you. So please make a plan to vote and cast your ballot. We have to elect leaders at all levels of government who will work for everyone and who are willing to collaborate to achieve common goals.Please contact my office anytime at 204-414-1477 or Bernadette.Smith@yourmanitoba.ca

In every election - for any level of government - Manitobans cast their votes for the people they want to represent them and their communities at a municipal, provincial, or federal scale. They expect these people to work hard for them and to advocate for their needs in government.

Being an elected official is a position of privilege, and it comes with a lot of responsibility. For me personally, I take the job of representing Point Douglas and the people who live here very seriously. When people come to me with their questions, suggestions, or concerns, I do my best to help them.

I am grateful to have fantastic relationships with many of the elected officials, from all levels of government and political stripes whose constituencies neighbour or overlap with Point Douglas. When we are all able to work together in a positive way on casework and important political issues, we are able to get more done to help our communities.

Ensuring a safe return to school

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

Ensuring a safe return to school

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Friday, Aug. 6, 2021

Point Douglas families have been hit hard by the pandemic. We had one of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the province, due largely to the impacts of poverty and homelessness. Many people lost their jobs or could not get the child care they needed to go back to work.

Now that restrictions are slowly loosening thanks to reduced case counts and high vaccine uptake, Point Douglas families are getting a much-needed reprieve and can spend the summer reconnecting safely with family and friends.

The next step towards getting back to normal is making sure our kids can go back to school safely in September, but the Progressive Conservative government doesn’t seem to be making this its top priority. As the start of the 2021-22 school year fast approaches, students, parents, and educators want to be assured that our schools will be a safe place this fall.

The government left making its Safe Return to Schools Plan to the last minute, so the NDP team has highlighted five areas the PC government needs to invest in to ensure students, educators and their families are safe and supported in the coming school year.

Friday, Aug. 6, 2021

Point Douglas families have been hit hard by the pandemic. We had one of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the province, due largely to the impacts of poverty and homelessness. Many people lost their jobs or could not get the child care they needed to go back to work.

Now that restrictions are slowly loosening thanks to reduced case counts and high vaccine uptake, Point Douglas families are getting a much-needed reprieve and can spend the summer reconnecting safely with family and friends.

The next step towards getting back to normal is making sure our kids can go back to school safely in September, but the Progressive Conservative government doesn’t seem to be making this its top priority. As the start of the 2021-22 school year fast approaches, students, parents, and educators want to be assured that our schools will be a safe place this fall.

The government left making its Safe Return to Schools Plan to the last minute, so the NDP team has highlighted five areas the PC government needs to invest in to ensure students, educators and their families are safe and supported in the coming school year.

You are seen, heard and appreciated

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

You are seen, heard and appreciated

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Friday, Jul. 9, 2021

The world has been turned on its head for the last couple of years. Every person in Point Douglas has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even those who have been fortunate enough not to get sick have felt stress added to their lives.

Few of us have felt more of that stress than our young people. Teenagers who would in more normal times have been dealing with the pitfalls and joys of growing up were dealt a different hand.

Instead of socializing and exploring the world to develop a sense of self, high schoolers have had a very different experience. Many have been dealing with feelings of isolation, depression, and other mental health struggles.

As vaccinations continue and we slowly begin to emerge from the pandemic, we can also begin to meet our social needs. Speaking directly to the young people who have struggled so much — you are seen, you are appreciated. Take a breath, appreciate yourself, appreciate your accomplishments and appreciate the family and friends around you.

Friday, Jul. 9, 2021

Supplied photo
JC Dacuycuy from Isaac Newton High School receives a scholarship from Point Douglas MLA Bernadette Smith.

Honouring the 215 children found in B.C.

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

Honouring the 215 children found in B.C.

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Friday, Jun. 11, 2021

As we all know, just weeks ago the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation found the remains of children as young as three years old on the site of what used to be Canada’s largest residential school. The discovery of these 215 children reverberated across the country, resurfacing old and ongoing traumas for residential school survivors and their families.

Each of these children was somebody’s child or grandchild, brother or sister, niece or nephew, cousin or friend. These children never should have been taken to these horrific schools to begin with and need to be brought home to their families and communities so that they can grieve. These families deserved the dignity of being able to bury their child and have some sense of closure and not left wondering for decades where their child is.

It is the darkest possible reminder of the importance of having every level of government and every Canadian committed to implementing all 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. It is important to note that this discovery was only made possible because of the initiative of the local Indigenous government of Tk’emlups. Without Indigenous leadership, these families would likely have never found their children.

We must have a commitment from every level of government across the country to search the sites of all other residential schools so that we can know the truth and bring all the children home. Every former residential school site in Canada should be examined so that Indigenous families who are wondering what happened to their babies or were told that they ran away can be brought home. So far, our PC Government has refused to commit to this most basic act of reconciliation here in Manitoba. What if it was your child, would you not want everything humanly possible done to bring them home?

Friday, Jun. 11, 2021

As we all know, just weeks ago the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation found the remains of children as young as three years old on the site of what used to be Canada’s largest residential school. The discovery of these 215 children reverberated across the country, resurfacing old and ongoing traumas for residential school survivors and their families.

Each of these children was somebody’s child or grandchild, brother or sister, niece or nephew, cousin or friend. These children never should have been taken to these horrific schools to begin with and need to be brought home to their families and communities so that they can grieve. These families deserved the dignity of being able to bury their child and have some sense of closure and not left wondering for decades where their child is.

It is the darkest possible reminder of the importance of having every level of government and every Canadian committed to implementing all 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. It is important to note that this discovery was only made possible because of the initiative of the local Indigenous government of Tk’emlups. Without Indigenous leadership, these families would likely have never found their children.

We must have a commitment from every level of government across the country to search the sites of all other residential schools so that we can know the truth and bring all the children home. Every former residential school site in Canada should be examined so that Indigenous families who are wondering what happened to their babies or were told that they ran away can be brought home. So far, our PC Government has refused to commit to this most basic act of reconciliation here in Manitoba. What if it was your child, would you not want everything humanly possible done to bring them home?

Pallister government should support Bill 224

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

Pallister government should support Bill 224

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Monday, Apr. 19, 2021

Across the province, many Manitobans continue to struggle with addictions, and the pandemic has only made it worse.

Here in Point Douglas, addiction is personal to many families including my own — I lost both my uncle in 2005 and my auntie just last year. Too many Manitobans have been lost to addictions, are still struggling, or are watching a family member or friend suffer. This is unacceptable, yet the Pallister government’s new budget does nothing to address the drug crisis we are facing, including access to safe consumption sites and other proven measures to prevent and reduce addiction in Manitoba.

Manitobans deserve a government that takes the growing drug crisis seriously. In the first nine months of 2020 there were 259 fatal drug overdoses in our province — an all-time high. The Pallister government has fallen behind other provinces on reporting this much-needed data. Having access to this data would help advocates and the opposition hold this government to account.

Earlier this month I introduced Bill 224 - The Fatality Inquiries Amendment Act (Overdose Death Reporting). This bill would require the province to publish the number of drug overdose deaths, as well as the type of drug, on a government website in a timely fashion.

Monday, Apr. 19, 2021

Across the province, many Manitobans continue to struggle with addictions, and the pandemic has only made it worse.

Here in Point Douglas, addiction is personal to many families including my own — I lost both my uncle in 2005 and my auntie just last year. Too many Manitobans have been lost to addictions, are still struggling, or are watching a family member or friend suffer. This is unacceptable, yet the Pallister government’s new budget does nothing to address the drug crisis we are facing, including access to safe consumption sites and other proven measures to prevent and reduce addiction in Manitoba.

Manitobans deserve a government that takes the growing drug crisis seriously. In the first nine months of 2020 there were 259 fatal drug overdoses in our province — an all-time high. The Pallister government has fallen behind other provinces on reporting this much-needed data. Having access to this data would help advocates and the opposition hold this government to account.

Earlier this month I introduced Bill 224 - The Fatality Inquiries Amendment Act (Overdose Death Reporting). This bill would require the province to publish the number of drug overdose deaths, as well as the type of drug, on a government website in a timely fashion.

Community volunteers fighting homelessness

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

Community volunteers fighting homelessness

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Monday, Mar. 22, 2021

I have risen in the house time and time again to call on the Pallister government to take action in addressing the increasing population of homelessness in Manitoba. Manitobans in Point Douglas and across the province are struggling to survive and yet this government refuses to take the steps that are needed to save lives.

During the coldest weeks of the winter, community volunteers came together to do what this government will not and provided shelter, food and warm clothing to those who most needed it.

In February, the Community Caring Camp was formed by a coalition of Indigenous grassroots organizations who set up teepees outside the Thunderbird House to give unsheltered Manitobans a warm place to go. The camp was a huge success thanks to the empathy, love, and hard work of groups like Anishiative, Community 204, and Mama Bear Clan Patrol.

Homelessness is a systemic crisis - no Manitoban wakes up and wants to be unsheltered, particularly in such a ruthless climate. We know that homelessness is a symptom of other crises our province is facing, namely poverty, addiction, and mental health. The Pallister government cut funding to Addictions Manitoba during a pandemic — when overdoses have been skyrocketing and babies are being born with congenital syphilis — and plans to restructure Addictions Foundation Manitoba during Phase 2 of its health care cuts. This will directly harm Manitobans struggling with addictions.

Monday, Mar. 22, 2021

John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press
Volunteers take care of garbage at the Community Caring Camp at Thunderbird House in February.

Unsheltered people deserve better

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

Unsheltered people deserve better

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Friday, Feb. 19, 2021

As a cold snap gripped Manitoba for much of February, people experiencing homelessness in Point Douglas and across the province were struggling more than ever.

In recent months, we’ve heard numerous heartbreaking stories of people living in bus shelters, sometimes up to a dozen in a single shelter. This is a very challenging decision for people to make — as it puts them at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 — but our support system for the underhoused and homeless community is so overwhelmed right now that many have no other choice.

This is not a dignified way for anyone to have to live, spending your days in a fishbowl with all of your struggles — addiction, mental health, or otherwise — on display.

Winnipeggers experiencing homelessness deserve safe, warm, and private places to get the help they need. Unfortunately, many shelter beds have been lost due to pandemic restrictions and the provincial government has not even close to made up for this reduced capacity. Since taking office, it has also sold off 500 affordable housing units, failed to build a single new unit, and cut nearly $100 million from its housing maintenance budget.

Friday, Feb. 19, 2021

As a cold snap gripped Manitoba for much of February, people experiencing homelessness in Point Douglas and across the province were struggling more than ever.

In recent months, we’ve heard numerous heartbreaking stories of people living in bus shelters, sometimes up to a dozen in a single shelter. This is a very challenging decision for people to make — as it puts them at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 — but our support system for the underhoused and homeless community is so overwhelmed right now that many have no other choice.

This is not a dignified way for anyone to have to live, spending your days in a fishbowl with all of your struggles — addiction, mental health, or otherwise — on display.

Winnipeggers experiencing homelessness deserve safe, warm, and private places to get the help they need. Unfortunately, many shelter beds have been lost due to pandemic restrictions and the provincial government has not even close to made up for this reduced capacity. Since taking office, it has also sold off 500 affordable housing units, failed to build a single new unit, and cut nearly $100 million from its housing maintenance budget.

Addiction: The other public health crisis

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

Addiction: The other public health crisis

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Friday, Jan. 22, 2021

While COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc on our health-care system, another public health crisis has been worsening throughout the pandemic — addiction, which also requires some serious attention. A major gap in the recovery process for Manitobans is the limited number of detox beds available.

Prior to COVID-19, the Main Street Project had 34 men’s detox beds, a number that was far below demand. It has lost 50 per cent capacity during the pandemic and now has only 17 beds, yet the province has made no attempt to compensate for this loss. In late 2020, the Pallister government promised eight additional men’s detox beds. This is horribly inadequate for men’s needs and does nothing to help women and non-binary people struggling with addiction.

I have spoken with Marion Willis at Morberg House, which receives daily requests for detox services. Morberg House is a recovery centre, not a detox centre, but always tries to help connect people with the services they need including detox. People trying to access detox services are being put on a wait list, which is pointless because when a person makes the decision to get help, that help must be immediate to have an impact.

Some detox beds operated by the random access addiction medicine clinics have proven problematic, as well. Marion Willis shared that she tried to work with RAAM to find a bed for a young man battling addiction but was informed that he did not meet their criteria. Where else are people supposed to go if they need to detox before they can be accepted into places like Morberg House?

Friday, Jan. 22, 2021

While COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc on our health-care system, another public health crisis has been worsening throughout the pandemic — addiction, which also requires some serious attention. A major gap in the recovery process for Manitobans is the limited number of detox beds available.

Prior to COVID-19, the Main Street Project had 34 men’s detox beds, a number that was far below demand. It has lost 50 per cent capacity during the pandemic and now has only 17 beds, yet the province has made no attempt to compensate for this loss. In late 2020, the Pallister government promised eight additional men’s detox beds. This is horribly inadequate for men’s needs and does nothing to help women and non-binary people struggling with addiction.

I have spoken with Marion Willis at Morberg House, which receives daily requests for detox services. Morberg House is a recovery centre, not a detox centre, but always tries to help connect people with the services they need including detox. People trying to access detox services are being put on a wait list, which is pointless because when a person makes the decision to get help, that help must be immediate to have an impact.

Some detox beds operated by the random access addiction medicine clinics have proven problematic, as well. Marion Willis shared that she tried to work with RAAM to find a bed for a young man battling addiction but was informed that he did not meet their criteria. Where else are people supposed to go if they need to detox before they can be accepted into places like Morberg House?

High case counts due to systemic issues

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 2 minute read Preview

High case counts due to systemic issues

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 2 minute read Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Point Douglas has quickly become one of a few epicentres of new cases in Manitoba.

This is having a terrible impact on our community and I would like to send my condolences to all those who have lost loved ones during this time. It breaks my heart to know that so many of these cases could have been prevented with greater government investment in our community.

Myself and other advocates predicted that COVID-19 would hit Point Douglas hard, due to a variety of socioeconomic factors. We have a large homeless population, many people living in poverty, and many newcomers who face language and other barriers to navigating our health-care system. Many of these people live in close contact with others or work in essential jobs. They also cannot afford to buy groceries in bulk and have to go out more frequently to shop. On top of this, it can be difficult for those without transportation to walk all the way to testing sites, especially during the winter months.

The Pallister government failed to protect Manitoba’s most vulnerable before the pandemic, which only exacerbated the housing issue when COVID-19 came. They actively underfunded shelters and community organizations, they sold off a building which eliminated nearly 400 units and have divested management of thousands of Manitoban Housing units.

Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Point Douglas has quickly become one of a few epicentres of new cases in Manitoba.

This is having a terrible impact on our community and I would like to send my condolences to all those who have lost loved ones during this time. It breaks my heart to know that so many of these cases could have been prevented with greater government investment in our community.

Myself and other advocates predicted that COVID-19 would hit Point Douglas hard, due to a variety of socioeconomic factors. We have a large homeless population, many people living in poverty, and many newcomers who face language and other barriers to navigating our health-care system. Many of these people live in close contact with others or work in essential jobs. They also cannot afford to buy groceries in bulk and have to go out more frequently to shop. On top of this, it can be difficult for those without transportation to walk all the way to testing sites, especially during the winter months.

The Pallister government failed to protect Manitoba’s most vulnerable before the pandemic, which only exacerbated the housing issue when COVID-19 came. They actively underfunded shelters and community organizations, they sold off a building which eliminated nearly 400 units and have divested management of thousands of Manitoban Housing units.

Main Street Project is in crisis

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 2 minute read Preview

Main Street Project is in crisis

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 2 minute read Monday, Nov. 30, 2020

This pandemic is hitting vulnerable Manitobans hard, in ways most of us could never imagine. When you are experiencing homelessness, organizations such as Main Street Project are a desperately-needed lifeline.

Main Street Project detox was recently forced to temporarily close due to staffing issues. Many staff had tested positive for COVID-19 or had to self-isolate. These staff often work at multiple organizations and this is putting a huge strain on the support systems available in our city. They need more financial supports today to hire more staff to ensure programming doesn’t have to close or be decreased indefinitely.

Main Street Project has had to decrease the amount of beds it provides nightly due to low staffing and the lack of support from the provincial government. Too many programs are having to close or scale back their support due to staffing shortages.

Non-profits across the province are being hit hard right now. Staff-to-staff transmission is happening and so is client-to-client. Isolation space is full and staff are burning out, testing positive, or having to self-isolate, which adds stress to an already stressed system. They need help from the provincial government today.

Monday, Nov. 30, 2020

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Adrienne Dudek, housing director (left), and Anastasia Ziprick, development director at Main Street Project walk through their newly renovated Main Street facility in September.

Isaac Newton School celebrates centennial

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

Isaac Newton School celebrates centennial

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Friday, Oct. 30, 2020

We all have people, places, and communities who helped shape who we are today.

One formative experience for me was my time in junior high at Isaac Newton School, which is celebrating 100 years in the community this year, a monumental milestone.

The building itself is a municipally-designated historic site but more importantly it has been a home for thousands of students over the years, myself included.

Many notable Manitobans have walked the halls of 730 Aberdeen St., including former Winnipeg police Chief Devon Clunis and my friend Kevin Chief, former MLA for Point Douglas. Even the current principal, Mohammed Rezai, is a graduate of Isaac Newton, where he was welcomed with open arms when he immigrated from Iran 30 years ago.

Friday, Oct. 30, 2020

Supplied photo
Bernadette Smith, MLA for Point Douglas, stands outside her old middle school, Isaac Newton School, which is celebrating its centennial this year.

Navigating CERB and EIA

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 2 minute read Preview

Navigating CERB and EIA

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 2 minute read Monday, Oct. 5, 2020

It almost goes without saying that this year has been anything but normal. As these uncertain times continue, it is critical that all Manitobans have the support they need.

I have been hearing concerns from residents of Point Douglas about eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and its implications for Employment and Income Assistance. The provincial government did not issue a clear message on eligibility until mid-April, announcing that EIA recipients do not qualify for CERB. However, applications for CERB opened on April 6, meaning the government’s delayed messaging caused many people to apply for CERB who were not eligible.

Due to this lapse in communication, many EIA files are at risk of being closed. While people can choose to reopen their EIA files as CERB runs out, they may be without any income during the waiting period. At the same time, the federal government will eventually take back any ineligible CERB payments, leaving vulnerable Manitobans worse off than they were before COVID-19.

If you have found yourself in a precarious financial situation due to CERB interfering with your EIA benefits, you can call the Winnipeg EIA office at 204-948-2888 to discuss your file. Families Minister Heather Stefanson has had little to say about this issue; however, you can also contact her office at 204-945-4173 or minfs@leg.gov.mb.ca

Monday, Oct. 5, 2020

It almost goes without saying that this year has been anything but normal. As these uncertain times continue, it is critical that all Manitobans have the support they need.

I have been hearing concerns from residents of Point Douglas about eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and its implications for Employment and Income Assistance. The provincial government did not issue a clear message on eligibility until mid-April, announcing that EIA recipients do not qualify for CERB. However, applications for CERB opened on April 6, meaning the government’s delayed messaging caused many people to apply for CERB who were not eligible.

Due to this lapse in communication, many EIA files are at risk of being closed. While people can choose to reopen their EIA files as CERB runs out, they may be without any income during the waiting period. At the same time, the federal government will eventually take back any ineligible CERB payments, leaving vulnerable Manitobans worse off than they were before COVID-19.

If you have found yourself in a precarious financial situation due to CERB interfering with your EIA benefits, you can call the Winnipeg EIA office at 204-948-2888 to discuss your file. Families Minister Heather Stefanson has had little to say about this issue; however, you can also contact her office at 204-945-4173 or minfs@leg.gov.mb.ca

Education is sacred

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 2 minute read Preview

Education is sacred

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 2 minute read Monday, Sep. 14, 2020

It’s constant across different cultures and different times. It begins in the womb, it continues through schooling, and it ends when we die. Education is the responsibility and right of everyone in society.

Going back to school should be a time filled with joy and hope for our future. For educators, caring for and inspiring our children. For parents, knowing that their children are getting an excellent education. For children, learning and growing as people, and having fun with their friends.

Instead, I’ve been hearing from many families in Point Douglas who are anxious about school returning, and genuinely afraid for their well-being and the well-being of their children. This is wrong. The provincial government should be doing the right thing and taking necessary steps in our education system now so that parents, school staff, and children don’t have to worry.

As an educator myself, I know how important and beautiful education is. I imagine most people would agree. Why then won’t our government give educators what they need in a global pandemic? Myself and my colleagues in the Manitoba NDP caucus have been calling for better safety infrastructure including ventilation for classrooms, capping class sizes to 15 students, and hiring more teachers and EAs in schools to allow for smaller class sizes and ensure the safety of our children.

Monday, Sep. 14, 2020

It’s constant across different cultures and different times. It begins in the womb, it continues through schooling, and it ends when we die. Education is the responsibility and right of everyone in society.

Going back to school should be a time filled with joy and hope for our future. For educators, caring for and inspiring our children. For parents, knowing that their children are getting an excellent education. For children, learning and growing as people, and having fun with their friends.

Instead, I’ve been hearing from many families in Point Douglas who are anxious about school returning, and genuinely afraid for their well-being and the well-being of their children. This is wrong. The provincial government should be doing the right thing and taking necessary steps in our education system now so that parents, school staff, and children don’t have to worry.

As an educator myself, I know how important and beautiful education is. I imagine most people would agree. Why then won’t our government give educators what they need in a global pandemic? Myself and my colleagues in the Manitoba NDP caucus have been calling for better safety infrastructure including ventilation for classrooms, capping class sizes to 15 students, and hiring more teachers and EAs in schools to allow for smaller class sizes and ensure the safety of our children.

It’s time to consider safe injection sites

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

It’s time to consider safe injection sites

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

We don’t know yet exactly what the impacts of COVID-19 have been on the social fabric of our community, but what we do know is that for many Point Douglas families, things are really hard. Social isolation, though necessary to limit the spread of a virus, has many consequences for mental and physical health.

Tragically, we are seeing a rise in deadly overdoses due to fentanyl and opioid use in the city as the supply chain for methamphetamine has been disrupted due to border closures.

Fentanyl and heroin use carry a lot of risk for folks. The potency of fentanyl means that overdoses are not only possible but likely, and heroin carries the risk of blood-borne disease when needles are re-used, and it is often laced with fentanyl. Now, because people are separated from one another, a person is more likely to experience an overdose alone, which is deadly.

These risks, and the damage to our community can be mitigated. Other provinces in Canada have invested in safe consumption sites which are keeping people safe and alive. These sites are staffed with medical workers and social workers who provide safe, clean, and supervised spaces so that folks are as safe as possible. These centres also provide drug treatment for folks who are ready to take that next step.

Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

We don’t know yet exactly what the impacts of COVID-19 have been on the social fabric of our community, but what we do know is that for many Point Douglas families, things are really hard. Social isolation, though necessary to limit the spread of a virus, has many consequences for mental and physical health.

Tragically, we are seeing a rise in deadly overdoses due to fentanyl and opioid use in the city as the supply chain for methamphetamine has been disrupted due to border closures.

Fentanyl and heroin use carry a lot of risk for folks. The potency of fentanyl means that overdoses are not only possible but likely, and heroin carries the risk of blood-borne disease when needles are re-used, and it is often laced with fentanyl. Now, because people are separated from one another, a person is more likely to experience an overdose alone, which is deadly.

These risks, and the damage to our community can be mitigated. Other provinces in Canada have invested in safe consumption sites which are keeping people safe and alive. These sites are staffed with medical workers and social workers who provide safe, clean, and supervised spaces so that folks are as safe as possible. These centres also provide drug treatment for folks who are ready to take that next step.

If you’re struggling in the pandemic, ask for help

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 2 minute read Preview

If you’re struggling in the pandemic, ask for help

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 2 minute read Monday, Jul. 13, 2020

Although we continue to see low numbers of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, and many sectors have reopened, we are far from out of the woods. We continue to feel the ongoing effects of this pandemic all around us, and this can take a toll on our mental health and emotional well-being.

Jobs have still been lost, businesses we love have had to close, and many of our plans for our families have stalled or fallen apart completely. Things are not back to normal — and we need to continue to acknowledge how our lives have changed.

It is beneficial for our mental health to not expect ourselves to feel normal. We are all dealing with losses and personal issues that have come up or been amplified due to the pandemic and we should be kind to ourselves. This pandemic is a marathon; it’s not a sprint.

Mental health experts have said for a number of months now that the next crisis many communities will face will be a mental health crisis. It is important that we invest in mental health supports here in our province.

Monday, Jul. 13, 2020

Although we continue to see low numbers of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, and many sectors have reopened, we are far from out of the woods. We continue to feel the ongoing effects of this pandemic all around us, and this can take a toll on our mental health and emotional well-being.

Jobs have still been lost, businesses we love have had to close, and many of our plans for our families have stalled or fallen apart completely. Things are not back to normal — and we need to continue to acknowledge how our lives have changed.

It is beneficial for our mental health to not expect ourselves to feel normal. We are all dealing with losses and personal issues that have come up or been amplified due to the pandemic and we should be kind to ourselves. This pandemic is a marathon; it’s not a sprint.

Mental health experts have said for a number of months now that the next crisis many communities will face will be a mental health crisis. It is important that we invest in mental health supports here in our province.

To the graduation class of 2020

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Preview

To the graduation class of 2020

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 3 minute read Monday, Jun. 15, 2020

This has been a tough year for our Grade 12 students. The usual excitement of graduating high school has been dampened by a global pandemic. Life as we know it has changed, and large, traditional graduation ceremonies will not go ahead.

Leaving high school and moving into the adult world has always been scary, exciting, and full of uncertainty. For the class of 2020, plans for the fall — be they post-secondary education, other training, or plans to join the workforce — have been upended and likely will be different than anticipated.

The public health crisis has dished out many losses to our grads. But it is OK to have complicated feelings about this year and to feel a sense of loss and disappointment.

I want to speak directly to the class of 2020 in Point Douglas to let you know that I am extremely proud of you all.

Monday, Jun. 15, 2020

This has been a tough year for our Grade 12 students. The usual excitement of graduating high school has been dampened by a global pandemic. Life as we know it has changed, and large, traditional graduation ceremonies will not go ahead.

Leaving high school and moving into the adult world has always been scary, exciting, and full of uncertainty. For the class of 2020, plans for the fall — be they post-secondary education, other training, or plans to join the workforce — have been upended and likely will be different than anticipated.

The public health crisis has dished out many losses to our grads. But it is OK to have complicated feelings about this year and to feel a sense of loss and disappointment.

I want to speak directly to the class of 2020 in Point Douglas to let you know that I am extremely proud of you all.

Thank you to all the Point Douglas helpers

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 2 minute read Preview

Thank you to all the Point Douglas helpers

Bernadette Smith - MLA for Point Douglas 2 minute read Tuesday, May. 19, 2020

I want to extend my sincere gratitude to all of you in Point Douglas who are continuing to stay home and take the necessary precautions to keep the curve flat in Manitoba.

We have been dealing with this pandemic for over two months now, and I know that it has not been easy. Our ability to plan for the future, for ourselves and for our families, has been put on hold. We have been forced to take things day by day, and to sit in this uncomfortable uncertainty.

Those who continue to have their children at home without the usual support from teachers, school programs, and extracurricular activities, which are now only accessible virtually — I see you.

Parents, guardians, and all people who care for children are now wearing many different hats. You are taking on the roles of tutors, of coaches, of other friends and family, any many more, because the normal village that helps raise our children now has to help from a distance.

Tuesday, May. 19, 2020

Supplied photo
The Mama Bear Clan community group is conducting wellness checks and providing food to those in need.