James Teitsma

James Teitsma

Radisson constituency report

James Teitsma is the PC MLA for Radisson.

Recent articles of James Teitsma

Helping Manitobans deal with sky-high inflation

James Teitsma 3 minute read Preview

Helping Manitobans deal with sky-high inflation

James Teitsma 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

I first started working to become the MLA for Radisson back in 2015. It was winter – some of the coldest days of the year. One person I met on anicy front step joked: “It’s so cold, politicians will be keeping their hands in their own pockets!”

I laughed but the remark stuck with me. At the time, it made sense. Seventeen years of NDP governments had produced 17 budgets and in every single one of them, Manitobans ended up paying more taxes. Whether it was breaking their promise by raising the PST or simply failing to increase income tax brackets by inflation, Manitoba’s New Democratic Party found one way after another to make life less affordable. If that wasn’t bad enough, they also wasted billions of future taxpayer and ratepayer dollars by mismanaging massive Hydro projects such as Bipole 3 and Keeyask.

Before entering politics, I wrote financial planning software for over 20 years. I also provided financial literacy counselling. I know how important it is to manage your finances carefully. When elected, I worked to ensure those lessons were applied to our provincial government as well. Since 2016, my colleagues and I have kept our promise to lower the PST. Manitoba Public Insurance has also been able to return three rounds of rebates putting hundreds of dollars back in the pockets of Manitoba vehicle owners. Homeowners have benefited from two annual education property tax rebates averaging more than $500 per household. Renters benefit from a new tax credit as well. Plus, we made it the law that income tax brackets be increased every year so that inflation doesn’t make income taxes take an even bigger bite out of your paycheck.

Inflation also means that life has been getting more expensive. It’s becoming tougher for families to make ends meet. The Liberals and NDP have been making it worse by raising taxes like the carbon tax resulting in record prices for gasoline and groceries.

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Dreamstime

Inflation means that life has been getting more expensive.

Connecting with community

James Teitsma 3 minute read Preview

Connecting with community

James Teitsma 3 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2022

It’s important for elected representatives to stay connected with their communities. Summertime provides many great opportunities to do just that. I kicked off the summer with the Hi Neighbour Festival back in June. For the first time in a long while, Manitoba’s premier came to Transcona, too — Heather Stefanson has kept very busy this summer, getting out to community events and speaking with Manitobans across our province.

My favourite way to hear from constituents is at their doorsteps. With most pandemic restrictions behind us, I was able to get out again this summer and knock on a few thousand doors in neighbourhoods in the Radisson constituency. It’s a great way to find out what’s important to people instead of just listening to the news media or to those who shout loudest.

This summer I also got back to hosting an annual community barbecue, this time right next to the amazing CN 2747 locomotive engine on Plessis Road. Thank you to the hundreds of people who attended the event. Thank you to the Transcona Optimists who supplied the hot dogs, drinks, and chips, plus chef Tom Nesby for cooking for us all. Thanks also to the Transcona Museum for opening the fence and allowing attendees access to get close to the locomotive engine itself. Ground has now been broken on the project to build a protective shelter over the locomotive and I look forward to seeing that project come to completion. It will certainly be a cause for celebration!

Speaking of celebrations, earlier this summer I had the opportunity to go to a one-of-a-kind celebration – six (yes SIX!) Transcona couples got together to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversaries. I was happy to drop by the event and presented each of the six couples with a commemorative certificate.

Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2022

MLA James Teitsma recently presented six Transcona couples with 50th wedding anniversary certificates.

Productive summer for your government

James Teitsma 3 minute read Preview

Productive summer for your government

James Teitsma 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with or find out what government is doing to improve things for citizens. Family, work, community, and other obligations can take all of our time and focus, especially over the summer. So, I want to highlight a few things our government is doing to make life better for you, and all Manitobans.

Before concluding the spring legislative sitting, we worked hard to ensure that all Manitoba homeowners would receive their education property tax rebate cheques promptly. For reasons I can’t pretend to understand, the opposition attempted to delay the required legislation. They only relented when we made it clear we were willing to continue working through the summer as long as was needed to get it through. If you rent your home instead of owning it, you will benefit instead through the Manitoba residential renters tax credit.

Government’s work continues through the summer. This past week alone we announced investments of nearly $170 million to improve and update transit in Winnipeg, over $15 million invested in bilingual municipalities through the Building Sustainable Communities, and Urban and Hometown Green Team funds, as well as expanding eligibility of the high-dose flu vaccine this fall, and offering free entry to provincial parks from July 11 to 17. Those are just a few highlights. Clearly, we do not take the summers off.

Ever since I was first elected, I have been advocating for coverage for cochlear implant sound processors. Previously, replacement processors and upgrades were only covered for children under 18. I was very excited to hear that my efforts at advocacy were successful and that same coverage will be extended to all adults. This removes a tremendous financial burden from affected families and individuals and improves their quality of life.

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with or find out what government is doing to improve things for citizens. Family, work, community, and other obligations can take all of our time and focus, especially over the summer. So, I want to highlight a few things our government is doing to make life better for you, and all Manitobans.

Before concluding the spring legislative sitting, we worked hard to ensure that all Manitoba homeowners would receive their education property tax rebate cheques promptly. For reasons I can’t pretend to understand, the opposition attempted to delay the required legislation. They only relented when we made it clear we were willing to continue working through the summer as long as was needed to get it through. If you rent your home instead of owning it, you will benefit instead through the Manitoba residential renters tax credit.

Government’s work continues through the summer. This past week alone we announced investments of nearly $170 million to improve and update transit in Winnipeg, over $15 million invested in bilingual municipalities through the Building Sustainable Communities, and Urban and Hometown Green Team funds, as well as expanding eligibility of the high-dose flu vaccine this fall, and offering free entry to provincial parks from July 11 to 17. Those are just a few highlights. Clearly, we do not take the summers off.

Ever since I was first elected, I have been advocating for coverage for cochlear implant sound processors. Previously, replacement processors and upgrades were only covered for children under 18. I was very excited to hear that my efforts at advocacy were successful and that same coverage will be extended to all adults. This removes a tremendous financial burden from affected families and individuals and improves their quality of life.

Manitoba welcomes Ukrainian refugees

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Manitoba welcomes Ukrainian refugees

James Teitsma 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 1, 2022

For over 150 years, Manitoba has been a beacon of hope to many immigrants. Over the years, tens of thousands of refugees and immigrants, including my own parents, have made their way to Manitoba searching for peace, prosperity, and a brighter future for their children.

Because of that migration, Manitoba has a strong and vibrant Ukrainian community with 14.5 per cent of all Manitobans having Ukrainian ancestry – higher than any other Canadian province. Manitoba offers Ukrainian language classes for public school students, top-tier Ukrainian dance ensembles such as Rusalka and Zoloto, many Ukrainian churches, and is home to Canada’s annual National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin.

Therefore, it was no surprise that Manitoba was selected as the destination for the very first planeload of Ukrainian refugees coming to Canada. 328 newcomers were greeted enthusiastically and ushered to the Ukrainian Refugee Welcome Centre – the only one of its kind in Canada. At the welcome centre, refugees received information about temporary accommodations, long-term housing, language training, work permits, study permits, available financial supports, access to health services, and more. Newcomers were impressed with the organization and efficiency of the welcome centre.

This level of organization does not happen overnight. Within the Manitoba government, a multi-department deputy minister’s task force was established already in March to ensure childcare, health care, K-12 education, post-secondary education, housing, employment and more would be ready to receive these refugees as well as many more that continue arriving daily.

Wednesday, Jun. 1, 2022

Manitoba premier Heather Stefanson welcomes refugees from Ukraine to Winnipeg

Concordia surgical capacity increasing

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Concordia surgical capacity increasing

James Teitsma 2 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2022

Concordia Hospital has long been Manitoba’s leading site for joint replacement surgeries, including hips and knees. Recently, this leading role has been further cemented by another investment by our government with the addition of a fifth operating room and funding for an additional 1,000 hip and knee replacements each year.

Prior to this announcement, Manitoba had already increased the number of hip and knee replacement surgeries by more than any other province except British Columbia over the past five years (source: CIHI Canadian Institute for Health Information). With this announcement, we should be solidly in first place.

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic required resources to be shifted away from surgical units such as those at Concordia in order to increase intensive-care unit and hospital capacity.

That’s not to say COVID-19 is over. In some sense, it never will be. Today, every Influenza-A type flu virus is essentially a variant of the 1918 Spanish flu. In the same way, variants of COVID-19 will continue to spread in the months and years to come. The most likely COVID-19 variants to spread are those that can successfully infect vaccinated or naturally immune individuals. Omicron is one such variant. We continue to monitor the impact of these variants on our health-care system, both through hospital and ICU admissions and staff absentee rates.

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2022

The number of knee and hip surgeries done at Concordia Hospital will soon increase by as many as 1,000 per year.

Immigration is key to Manitoba’s success

James Teitsma 5 minute read Preview

Immigration is key to Manitoba’s success

James Teitsma 5 minute read Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022

 

I am a child of immigrants. My dad came to Canada as a farm labourer in the early 1950s. My mom followed a few years later as a housekeeper and nanny. They knew that Canada was where they could enjoy freedom and secure social and economic opportunities for themselves and their children. Millions of fellow immigrants who came before or since feel the same way.In 1998, Manitoba launched the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. This program has since attracted over 165,000 talented, hard-working newcomers and their families. Even with this injection of talent, the Manitoba economy is projected to require an additional 15,500 skilled workers annually over each of the coming years.Our new premier, Heather Stefanson, recently conducted a tour of the entire province. As she listened to Manitobans, a common theme emerged — we need more skilled labourers and a more efficient immigration process. Many of my constituents have recently come to Canada. I have heard from them first-hand how complex, complicated, and lengthy the immigration process can be. I have also heard from some with foreign credentials who struggle to have those skills recognized here in Manitoba — qualified doctors and nurses who end up working as health care aides or taxi drivers instead. For these reasons, our government has created an immigration advisory council, to be co-chaired by Jon Reyes, minister of advanced education, skills and Immigration and Dr. Lloyd Axworthy. Together, they will review everything to do with immigration. The council will provide clear recommendations to the Manitoba government about how to recruit and retain newcomers and business investors, streamline the MPNP, fill labour market needs and improve foreign credential recognition.Manitoba has been welcoming immigrants for well over a century and will continue to do so. It is a place where people of many cultures live together in harmony. Over 200 languages are spoken throughout the province. Manitoba also has one of Canada’s strongest and most diversified economies, with a low cost of living and plenty of opportunities for quality careers, for education or to start a business. Manitoba also has a strong tradition of welcoming refugees. Typically, Manitoba receives between 1,500 and 2,200 refugees per year from many different countries. For more than 100 years, immigrants such as my parents have helped build Manitoba into the amazing province it is today. In the years to come, immigration will remain key to Manitoba’s success as newcomer Manitobans will continue to drive economic growth and prosperity in our province. 

I am a child of immigrants. My dad came to Canada as a farm labourer in the early 1950s. My mom followed a few years later as a housekeeper and nanny. They knew that Canada was where they could enjoy freedom and secure social and economic opportunities for themselves and their children. Millions of fellow immigrants who came before or since feel the same way.

In 1998, Manitoba launched the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. This program has since attracted over 165,000 talented, hard-working newcomers and their families. Even with this injection of talent, the Manitoba economy is projected to require an additional 15,500 skilled workers annually over each of the coming years.

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022

 

I am a child of immigrants. My dad came to Canada as a farm labourer in the early 1950s. My mom followed a few years later as a housekeeper and nanny. They knew that Canada was where they could enjoy freedom and secure social and economic opportunities for themselves and their children. Millions of fellow immigrants who came before or since feel the same way.In 1998, Manitoba launched the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. This program has since attracted over 165,000 talented, hard-working newcomers and their families. Even with this injection of talent, the Manitoba economy is projected to require an additional 15,500 skilled workers annually over each of the coming years.Our new premier, Heather Stefanson, recently conducted a tour of the entire province. As she listened to Manitobans, a common theme emerged — we need more skilled labourers and a more efficient immigration process. Many of my constituents have recently come to Canada. I have heard from them first-hand how complex, complicated, and lengthy the immigration process can be. I have also heard from some with foreign credentials who struggle to have those skills recognized here in Manitoba — qualified doctors and nurses who end up working as health care aides or taxi drivers instead. For these reasons, our government has created an immigration advisory council, to be co-chaired by Jon Reyes, minister of advanced education, skills and Immigration and Dr. Lloyd Axworthy. Together, they will review everything to do with immigration. The council will provide clear recommendations to the Manitoba government about how to recruit and retain newcomers and business investors, streamline the MPNP, fill labour market needs and improve foreign credential recognition.Manitoba has been welcoming immigrants for well over a century and will continue to do so. It is a place where people of many cultures live together in harmony. Over 200 languages are spoken throughout the province. Manitoba also has one of Canada’s strongest and most diversified economies, with a low cost of living and plenty of opportunities for quality careers, for education or to start a business. Manitoba also has a strong tradition of welcoming refugees. Typically, Manitoba receives between 1,500 and 2,200 refugees per year from many different countries. For more than 100 years, immigrants such as my parents have helped build Manitoba into the amazing province it is today. In the years to come, immigration will remain key to Manitoba’s success as newcomer Manitobans will continue to drive economic growth and prosperity in our province. 

I am a child of immigrants. My dad came to Canada as a farm labourer in the early 1950s. My mom followed a few years later as a housekeeper and nanny. They knew that Canada was where they could enjoy freedom and secure social and economic opportunities for themselves and their children. Millions of fellow immigrants who came before or since feel the same way.

In 1998, Manitoba launched the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. This program has since attracted over 165,000 talented, hard-working newcomers and their families. Even with this injection of talent, the Manitoba economy is projected to require an additional 15,500 skilled workers annually over each of the coming years.

Reflecting on the past and looking to the future

James Teitsma 3 minute read Preview

Reflecting on the past and looking to the future

James Teitsma 3 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022

It’s been quite a few years since I went to prison.

The first time was when I was just 12 years old. My dad was a parole officer, and he took me on a drive to Stony Mountain penitentiary. I was in awe of the high walls topped with curls of barbed wire that surrounded the medium-security facility. I was also intrigued by the array of white houses next door that made up the minimum-security Rockwood Institution.

As an adult, I joined my church’s prison fellowship team and made regular Sunday visits to Rockwood to share the gospel and sing hymns with some of the inmates. Growing up, my parents taught me to not look down on anyone but to recognize that every human being has value and purpose.

One of the main reasons I decided to run for public office was my desire to improve outcomes for individuals involved in the justice system. I was stunned to learn that more than two-thirds of those held in Manitoba’s prisons have not been convicted of a crime. Most provincial inmates are awaiting trial and are imprisoned because they have violated bail conditions. Often these violations are rooted in addictions through the consumption of alcohol or drugs.

Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022

Supplied photo
Radisson MLA James Teitsma is pictured here with his father, Dennis, who served as a parole officer for 25 years. Dennis passed away in 2018.

Feeding hope at Plessis Family Resource centre

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency report 5 minute read Preview

Feeding hope at Plessis Family Resource centre

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency report 5 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021

I first noticed the work of the Plessis Family Resource Centre when a cheerful group of a few dozen children walked by my house early one morning. They were guided by several responsible adults and were on their way to Bernie Wolfe School. This ‘walking school bus’ has since become a fixture in the Mission Gardens community, guiding younger children from the 100-plus homes on Plessis Road south of Kernaghan Avenue on the long walk to school. Last month, I visited the centre in person to see firsthand how they were adapting to the “new normal”.  I was met by four resource centre staff — Debra, Rick, Melissa, and Erin — who gave of their time to explain the work of the centre including the role the province plays in funding their work and operating the surrounding housing units. Every day, the centre provides a nutritious take-home breakfast and bagged lunch to many of the children living around the centre. Many of these same children join the walking school bus to get to Bernie Wolfe School.The Plessis Family Resource Centre was established in 2006 and is one of seven resource centres operated by Family Dynamics in Winnipeg. They operate a wide array of programming including community kitchens, family fun nights, drop-in, public access computers, a used-clothing depot, breakfast and lunch programs, counselling, youth programming, employment supports, and the walking school bus. Check out their monthly community calendar on Instagram @plessisresourcecentre or at www.familydynamics.ca to get a sense of just how much this centre accomplishes. Their goal is to have empowered individuals living in healthy families within a well-connected, supportive community. I believe these connections need to reach well beyond the 100 Manitoba Housing units off Plessis and into all of Transcona and Mission Gardens. If we work together, we can strengthen the fabric of our entire community by providing employment opportunities or child care or by sharing a meal or making friends with the residents around the centre. One way those connections can be initiated is by volunteering or donating at the centre. I was pleased to see a long list of Transcona churches, citizens, and other organizations recognized on the centre’s Wall of Fame as having donated their time or money. My family and I are doing both and I encourage you do the same. They are always in need of donations for their emergency food closet, or for arts and craft supplies. Cash donations are always welcome. Christmas hampers are needed as well. Contact the centre at 204-777-1215 or by email at plessis@familydynamics.ca to find out more about how you can give, especially during this Christmas season.

I first noticed the work of the Plessis Family Resource Centre when a cheerful group of a few dozen children walked by my house early one morning. They were guided by several responsible adults and were on their way to Bernie Wolfe School.

 This ‘walking school bus’ has since become a fixture in the Mission Gardens community, guiding younger children from the 100-plus homes on Plessis Road south of Kernaghan Avenue on the long walk to school. 

Last month, I visited the centre in person to see firsthand how they were adapting to the “new normal”.  I was met by four resource centre staff — Debra, Rick, Melissa, and Erin — who gave of their time to explain the work of the centre including the role the province plays in funding their work and operating the surrounding housing units. Every day, the centre provides a nutritious take-home breakfast and bagged lunch to many of the children living around the centre. Many of these same children join the walking school bus to get to Bernie Wolfe School.

Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021

Supplied photo
MLA James Teitsma visiting with Plessis Family Resource Centre staff Erin, Rick and Debra.

Remembering history while making it

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Preview

Remembering history while making it

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021

More than 100 years ago, women in Manitoba won the right to vote. Manitoba was the first province in Canada to achieve this milestone. At the very same time, women also won the right to put themselves forward as candidates for election as members of the Legislative Assembly. Edith Rogers made history by becoming the first woman to be elected as an MLA in the Manitoba Legislature in 1920.Just over 100 years later, Manitoba (finally) has its first woman premier. Heather Stefanson took office as premier of Manitoba on Nov. 2, 2021. In her inaugural speech, she said, “I stand before you today as Manitoba’s 24th premier. This was something that was once unthinkable. I reflect on the many people who have paved the way to make this possible and I promise that our government will embrace their values of equality, inclusivity, and understanding.”Freedoms are not guaranteed. They need to be fought for. They need to be defended. Sometimes they must be bought at a terrible price. Every year on Remembrance Day, we honour the courage and devotion of brave Canadian men and women that answered the call and fought to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens of Canada and our allies. Most of us can scarcely imagine what it would take for these youngsters to leave their homes and endure battles, bombing and bloodshed.Thankfully, going to war and risking one’s life isn’t the only way to win freedom. William Wilberforce worked for decades to abolish slavery in the British Empire, including Canada. Just a few weeks ago, all Manitoba MLAs unanimously passed a bill that will help commemorate this accomplishment every Aug. 1 on Emancipation Day. Nellie McClung and other suffragettes worked hard to get women recognized as persons so they could own property, run for office, and vote. Later, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker introduced a Bill of Rights emphasizing equal rights for all Canadians. He subsequently righted a decades-long wrong by granting Indigenous Canadians the right to vote in 1960. Today, we have a Manitoba legislature that is more representative of the diversity of Manitobans than ever. Our legislature includes MLAs that are Indigenous, Métis, Black Canadian, Indo-Canadian, and Filipino. And now, Heather Stefanson is the very first woman to serve as Manitoba Premier. Together, we are making history.

More than 100 years ago, women in Manitoba won the right to vote. Manitoba was the first province in Canada to achieve this milestone. At the very same time, women also won the right to put themselves forward as candidates for election as members of the Legislative Assembly. Edith Rogers made history by becoming the first woman to be elected as an MLA in the Manitoba Legislature in 1920.

Just over 100 years later, Manitoba (finally) has its first woman premier. Heather Stefanson took office as premier of Manitoba on Nov. 2. In her inaugural speech, she said, “I stand before you today as Manitoba’s 24th premier. This was something that was once unthinkable. I reflect on the many people who have paved the way to make this possible and I promise that our government will embrace their values of equality, inclusivity, and understanding.”

Freedoms are not guaranteed. They need to be fought for. They need to be defended. Sometimes they must be bought at a terrible price. Every year on Remembrance Day, we honour the courage and devotion of brave Canadian men and women that answered the call and fought to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens of Canada and our allies. Most of us can scarcely imagine what it would take for these youngsters to leave their homes and endure battles, bombing and bloodshed.

Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021

Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Fre
Heather Stefanson was sworn in as Manitoba’s 24th premier, and the first woman to hold the office, on Nov. 2.

Ceremony helps promote truth and reconciliation

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Preview

Ceremony helps promote truth and reconciliation

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021

I am writing this article on Sept. 30 - Orange Shirt Day and the first ever official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.The events of the past year, including the discovery of unmarked graves on the sites of Indian residential schools and the protests around Canada Day, have helped focus our attention on the historical and present treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Earlier in the week, I participated in a blanket ceremony, along with several other MLAs, at the Manitoba legislature, organized by Alan Lagimodiere, minister of Indigenous reconciliation and northern relations. It was facilitated by senior education officials.During the exercise, we were asked to stand on blankets representing the land we now call Canada. We were guided through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization, resistance and much more and learned how this impacted First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Afterward, we shared insights and discussed what we had learned.We were joined by two Indigenous grandmothers, Ivy Chaske and Myra Laramee. Ivy proudly traces her lineage to Lakota cChief Sitting Bull (made famous by his defeat of Gen. Custer of the U.S. cavalry). Each grandmother shared their personal experiences and their parents’ experiences with residential schools and with racism. Despite these experiences, both emphasized that it is what we have in common that should bind us together. We are all people. We are all children of a creator god. They asked that we all respect one other and show kindness to each other and work together towards reconciliation.I am grateful for the experience. Perhaps the most poignant part of the exercise was when they acted out how children were forcibly removed from their families to attend residential schools. It was heartbreaking. Increasing our awareness of the impact of these government-sponsored actions should motivate all of us promote a full and truthful acknowledgement of the history of our nation and to desire to live together peacefully and respectfully - that’s what reconciliation looks like.Racist actions and attitudes have existed and will continue to exist in every culture throughout history including ours today. The question we need to ask ourselves is: how will we respond to them?Will we stand with the oppressed or will we sit on the sidelines?Will we speak up for those marginalized or will we remain silent?Will we defend the rights of all people or only those we like?I encourage you to think about that today and every day.

I am writing this article on Sept. 30 - Orange Shirt Day and the first ever official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The events of the past year, including the discovery of unmarked graves on the sites of Indian residential schools and the protests around Canada Day, have helped focus our attention on the historical and present treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada. 

Earlier in the week, I participated in a blanket ceremony, along with several other MLAs, at the Manitoba legislature, organized by Alan Lagimodiere, minister of Indigenous reconciliation and northern relations. It was facilitated by senior education officials.

Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021

I am writing this article on Sept. 30 - Orange Shirt Day and the first ever official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.The events of the past year, including the discovery of unmarked graves on the sites of Indian residential schools and the protests around Canada Day, have helped focus our attention on the historical and present treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Earlier in the week, I participated in a blanket ceremony, along with several other MLAs, at the Manitoba legislature, organized by Alan Lagimodiere, minister of Indigenous reconciliation and northern relations. It was facilitated by senior education officials.During the exercise, we were asked to stand on blankets representing the land we now call Canada. We were guided through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization, resistance and much more and learned how this impacted First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Afterward, we shared insights and discussed what we had learned.We were joined by two Indigenous grandmothers, Ivy Chaske and Myra Laramee. Ivy proudly traces her lineage to Lakota cChief Sitting Bull (made famous by his defeat of Gen. Custer of the U.S. cavalry). Each grandmother shared their personal experiences and their parents’ experiences with residential schools and with racism. Despite these experiences, both emphasized that it is what we have in common that should bind us together. We are all people. We are all children of a creator god. They asked that we all respect one other and show kindness to each other and work together towards reconciliation.I am grateful for the experience. Perhaps the most poignant part of the exercise was when they acted out how children were forcibly removed from their families to attend residential schools. It was heartbreaking. Increasing our awareness of the impact of these government-sponsored actions should motivate all of us promote a full and truthful acknowledgement of the history of our nation and to desire to live together peacefully and respectfully - that’s what reconciliation looks like.Racist actions and attitudes have existed and will continue to exist in every culture throughout history including ours today. The question we need to ask ourselves is: how will we respond to them?Will we stand with the oppressed or will we sit on the sidelines?Will we speak up for those marginalized or will we remain silent?Will we defend the rights of all people or only those we like?I encourage you to think about that today and every day.

I am writing this article on Sept. 30 - Orange Shirt Day and the first ever official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The events of the past year, including the discovery of unmarked graves on the sites of Indian residential schools and the protests around Canada Day, have helped focus our attention on the historical and present treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada. 

Earlier in the week, I participated in a blanket ceremony, along with several other MLAs, at the Manitoba legislature, organized by Alan Lagimodiere, minister of Indigenous reconciliation and northern relations. It was facilitated by senior education officials.

New premier sets a new tone

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 6 minute read Preview

New premier sets a new tone

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 6 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 15, 2021

A lot has happened in Manitoba politics over the last six weeks.  On Aug. 10, Premier Brian Pallister announced he was leaving politics. The wheels were thus set in motion to select a replacement leader by the end of October but, by the end of August, Pallister decided to leave sooner, opening the door to an interim premier.  My colleagues and I unanimously selected Kelvin Goertzen to serve as premier until a new PC party leader is selected. Kelvin is well-respected by his colleagues and staff and is one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable people I have ever known. He is also respectful and kind and truly wants what is best for our province. I deeply appreciate his willingness to return calls and keep his office door open.Goertzen immediately set about setting a new tone. He made long overdue calls from the premier’s office to Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman, Grand Chiefs Arlen Dumas and Garrison Settee, Manitoba Métis Federation president David Chartrand and other union, business and political leaders throughout Manitoba. His goal is to invite all of them and as many Manitobans as possible into the premier’s office, to listen to what they have to say, and to relay what he hears to the next Premier.During his first press conference as premier, Goertzen set a tone that was calm, conciliatory, and confidence-building. He said, “the loudest voice isn’t always the strongest voice. It’s often better to listen for a while before trying to figure out a solution. I spent a lot of time listening and talking to friends and neighbours who don’t agree with me, and in trying to convince them of my view, but in a respectful way. “... the loudest voice isn’t always the strongest voice.“It should always be done respectfully,” he added. “One of my great concerns right now in taking this role is that there is lots of division in Manitoba. Lots of people who, fundamentally don’t just disagree with each other -which isn’t a bad thing - but that there is growing animosity between people and between communities and that worries me. It’s the animosity that worries me as much as anything. Regardless of your ethnicity or your beliefs, I want to represent all Manitobans in my time as premier.”During the same conference, Goertzen also announced that Bill 64 was dead. Bill 64 sought to eliminate elected public school boards in Manitoba. Thank you to everyone who contacted me about this issue. I especially appreciate the approach taken by River East Transcona School Division chair Jerry Sodomlak and several other trustees who met with me personally on more than one occasion to discuss their valid concerns. I am much more optimistic as I see our new premier follow the same approach I try to bring to my role as MLA. I try to listen to and be respectful of all Manitobans, try to put their interests ahead of my own, and  try to remains available, accountable and active. Contact my office anytime by calling 204-691-7976 or emailing office@jamesteitsma.ca

A lot has happened in Manitoba politics over the last six weeks.  

On Aug. 10, Premier Brian Pallister announced he was leaving politics. The wheels were thus set in motion to select a replacement leader by the end of October but, by the end of August, Pallister decided to leave sooner, opening the door to an interim premier.  

My colleagues and I unanimously selected Kelvin Goertzen to serve as premier until a new PC party leader is selected. Kelvin is well-respected by his colleagues and staff and is one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable people I have ever known. He is also respectful and kind and truly wants what is best for our province. I deeply appreciate his willingness to return calls and keep his office door open.

Wednesday, Sep. 15, 2021

A lot has happened in Manitoba politics over the last six weeks.  On Aug. 10, Premier Brian Pallister announced he was leaving politics. The wheels were thus set in motion to select a replacement leader by the end of October but, by the end of August, Pallister decided to leave sooner, opening the door to an interim premier.  My colleagues and I unanimously selected Kelvin Goertzen to serve as premier until a new PC party leader is selected. Kelvin is well-respected by his colleagues and staff and is one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable people I have ever known. He is also respectful and kind and truly wants what is best for our province. I deeply appreciate his willingness to return calls and keep his office door open.Goertzen immediately set about setting a new tone. He made long overdue calls from the premier’s office to Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman, Grand Chiefs Arlen Dumas and Garrison Settee, Manitoba Métis Federation president David Chartrand and other union, business and political leaders throughout Manitoba. His goal is to invite all of them and as many Manitobans as possible into the premier’s office, to listen to what they have to say, and to relay what he hears to the next Premier.During his first press conference as premier, Goertzen set a tone that was calm, conciliatory, and confidence-building. He said, “the loudest voice isn’t always the strongest voice. It’s often better to listen for a while before trying to figure out a solution. I spent a lot of time listening and talking to friends and neighbours who don’t agree with me, and in trying to convince them of my view, but in a respectful way. “... the loudest voice isn’t always the strongest voice.“It should always be done respectfully,” he added. “One of my great concerns right now in taking this role is that there is lots of division in Manitoba. Lots of people who, fundamentally don’t just disagree with each other -which isn’t a bad thing - but that there is growing animosity between people and between communities and that worries me. It’s the animosity that worries me as much as anything. Regardless of your ethnicity or your beliefs, I want to represent all Manitobans in my time as premier.”During the same conference, Goertzen also announced that Bill 64 was dead. Bill 64 sought to eliminate elected public school boards in Manitoba. Thank you to everyone who contacted me about this issue. I especially appreciate the approach taken by River East Transcona School Division chair Jerry Sodomlak and several other trustees who met with me personally on more than one occasion to discuss their valid concerns. I am much more optimistic as I see our new premier follow the same approach I try to bring to my role as MLA. I try to listen to and be respectful of all Manitobans, try to put their interests ahead of my own, and  try to remains available, accountable and active. Contact my office anytime by calling 204-691-7976 or emailing office@jamesteitsma.ca

A lot has happened in Manitoba politics over the last six weeks.  

On Aug. 10, Premier Brian Pallister announced he was leaving politics. The wheels were thus set in motion to select a replacement leader by the end of October but, by the end of August, Pallister decided to leave sooner, opening the door to an interim premier.  

My colleagues and I unanimously selected Kelvin Goertzen to serve as premier until a new PC party leader is selected. Kelvin is well-respected by his colleagues and staff and is one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable people I have ever known. He is also respectful and kind and truly wants what is best for our province. I deeply appreciate his willingness to return calls and keep his office door open.

Thoughts on residential schools

James Teitsma 4 minute read Preview

Thoughts on residential schools

James Teitsma 4 minute read Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021

I have six children. I love each one of them dearly. I know parents who have lost children to cancer, to vehicle accidents, and to SIDS. I cannot comprehend how devastating a loss that is. Not because I am unwilling to try and understand but because, unless you have experienced it yourself, you simply cannot understand. So, when we talk about children being taken from their parents against their will and being sent to residential schools, we know that it was devastating. We know many of these children suffered neglect, abuse, and malnourishment while there. We know many of them died, never to return, while miles and miles away from their mother’s arms. That is unacceptable.This happened at the hands of government and church officials, acting in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, in a concerted effort to prevent the transmission of cultural beliefs and values from one generation to another. That is reprehensible.When those I love and care about experience trauma or pain, my first instinct is to do everything in my power to fix it. I need to remember that some things simply cannot be fixed. God gave me two ears and only one mouth. So first, I should listen. But then I should also speak and use my voice to amplify theirs.As a Canadian, I share in the history of this country — both the good and the bad, the honourable and the dishonourable. My commitment is to promote a truthful acknowledgement of the history of our nation.Many quickly condemn the legacy of residential schools without looking in the mirror. Even today government still takes children, mostly Indigenous children, away from their parents, extended family and community. Removing children from their families should be a last resort, not an automatic occurrence based on rules and regulations. Reuniting children with their parents should be a key priority. Changing the way Child and Family Services operates needs to be part of reconciliation as well.I do not pretend to have full knowledge of the history of our nation. I will learn and listen. I do not pretend to know everything about the path we should follow forward. I will seek and study.I do not pretend to be able to change what is needed by myself. I will commit and co-operate.

I have six children. I love each one of them dearly. 

I know parents who have lost children to cancer, to vehicle accidents, and to SIDS. I cannot comprehend how devastating a loss that is. Not because I am unwilling to try and understand but because, unless you have experienced it yourself, you simply cannot understand. 

So, when we talk about children being taken from their parents against their will and being sent to residential schools, we know that it was devastating. We know many of these children suffered neglect, abuse, and malnourishment while there. 

Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021

I have six children. I love each one of them dearly. I know parents who have lost children to cancer, to vehicle accidents, and to SIDS. I cannot comprehend how devastating a loss that is. Not because I am unwilling to try and understand but because, unless you have experienced it yourself, you simply cannot understand. So, when we talk about children being taken from their parents against their will and being sent to residential schools, we know that it was devastating. We know many of these children suffered neglect, abuse, and malnourishment while there. We know many of them died, never to return, while miles and miles away from their mother’s arms. That is unacceptable.This happened at the hands of government and church officials, acting in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, in a concerted effort to prevent the transmission of cultural beliefs and values from one generation to another. That is reprehensible.When those I love and care about experience trauma or pain, my first instinct is to do everything in my power to fix it. I need to remember that some things simply cannot be fixed. God gave me two ears and only one mouth. So first, I should listen. But then I should also speak and use my voice to amplify theirs.As a Canadian, I share in the history of this country — both the good and the bad, the honourable and the dishonourable. My commitment is to promote a truthful acknowledgement of the history of our nation.Many quickly condemn the legacy of residential schools without looking in the mirror. Even today government still takes children, mostly Indigenous children, away from their parents, extended family and community. Removing children from their families should be a last resort, not an automatic occurrence based on rules and regulations. Reuniting children with their parents should be a key priority. Changing the way Child and Family Services operates needs to be part of reconciliation as well.I do not pretend to have full knowledge of the history of our nation. I will learn and listen. I do not pretend to know everything about the path we should follow forward. I will seek and study.I do not pretend to be able to change what is needed by myself. I will commit and co-operate.

I have six children. I love each one of them dearly. 

I know parents who have lost children to cancer, to vehicle accidents, and to SIDS. I cannot comprehend how devastating a loss that is. Not because I am unwilling to try and understand but because, unless you have experienced it yourself, you simply cannot understand. 

So, when we talk about children being taken from their parents against their will and being sent to residential schools, we know that it was devastating. We know many of these children suffered neglect, abuse, and malnourishment while there. 

Summer is a great time to explore Manitoba

James Teitsma 5 minute read Preview

Summer is a great time to explore Manitoba

James Teitsma 5 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 20, 2021

My family and I recently camped out at Birds Hill Park for a couple of nights. The weather was warm and sunny and the beach was loads of fun for our younger children. It was a great antidote to being “cooped up by COVID.”  Enjoying Manitoba’s outdoors can be good for both your mental health and your physical health.Manitoba is a large and diverse province. You can see polar bears and beluga whales, explore beautiful lakes and forests, cruise past glowing fields of canola and tall stands of sunflowers, walk through a desert or gaze up at northern lights.Here are four of my family’s favourite Manitoba destinations:• Churchill – There is something other-worldly about seeing beluga whales and polar bears in the wild. The northern lights in Churchill are also absolutely amazing. Some people visit Churchill by air but when my family went there several years ago, we decided to drive to Thompson and then ride the VIA rail train from Thompson to Churchill.  If you do get to Churchill, make sure you visit the York Factory National Historic Site too.• Whiteshell Provincial Park – This large provincial park is home to countless lakes, beaches and hiking trails. Trails vary from simple self-guided trails to the three-day, 60-kilometre long Mantario trail. My family loves to go canoeing on the smaller lakes, especially early in the morning when the water is calm. This year we hope to spend a week there again in late August.• Birds Hill Park – The best thing about this park is how close it is to home – a short drive and you are at a picturesque beach with hiking and cycling trails, horseback riding, camping and more. Not many cities Winnipeg’s size can boast such a great park so close to town. Last time my family went there, we rented one of the Bee-Together multi-person “surrey” bikes and pedalled around the entire lake.• Assiniboine Park & Zoo – This park is even closer to home. I have many fond memories of cycling from Transcona to Assiniboine Park as a teenager. These days, I take my family there to see the breathtaking polar bear exhibit at the Zoo, enjoy the duck pond or walk across the river for some great ice cream treats at Sargent Sundae on Portage Avenue. These are just a few ideas for how to explore Manitoba this summer. You can find even more at www.travelmanitoba.com.  I hope you have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the outdoors this summer, too.

My family and I recently camped out at Birds Hill Park for a couple of nights. The weather was warm and sunny and the beach was loads of fun for our younger children. It was a great antidote to being “cooped up by COVID.”  Enjoying Manitoba’s outdoors can be good for both your mental health and your physical health.

Manitoba is a large and diverse province. You can see polar bears and beluga whales, explore beautiful lakes and forests, cruise past glowing fields of canola and tall stands of sunflowers, walk through a desert or gaze up at northern lights.

Here are four of my family’s favourite Manitoba destinations:

Tuesday, Jul. 20, 2021

Supplied photo
Radisson MLA James Teitsma and his family count Whiteshell Provincial Park among their favourite Manitoba destinations.

Education on property taxes

James Teitsma 3 minute read Preview

Education on property taxes

James Teitsma 3 minute read Tuesday, Jun. 22, 2021

My office has fielded quite a few questions about the plan to eliminate the education property tax.

Most homeowners should have received cheques in the mail by now for about 25 per cent of their gross education property taxes. That’s a good thing. Next year, homeowners should get cheques for twice that much again.

But what about renters? And why did property taxes go up slightly in the process?  And how will our education system be paid for anyway?

The budget for K-12 education in Manitoba is set independently of this tax. In fact, we spend three to four times as much on K-12 Education than this tax provides. It is paid for mostly by income tax and sales tax. Economic growth and population growth means that government is collecting more money in income tax and sales tax, even after lowering the PST. K-12 education funding this year is set at more than $3 billion for the first time  and it will only increase from there, continuing to be funded primarily by income tax and sales tax.

Tuesday, Jun. 22, 2021

My office has fielded quite a few questions about the plan to eliminate the education property tax.

Most homeowners should have received cheques in the mail by now for about 25 per cent of their gross education property taxes. That’s a good thing. Next year, homeowners should get cheques for twice that much again.

But what about renters? And why did property taxes go up slightly in the process?  And how will our education system be paid for anyway?

The budget for K-12 education in Manitoba is set independently of this tax. In fact, we spend three to four times as much on K-12 Education than this tax provides. It is paid for mostly by income tax and sales tax. Economic growth and population growth means that government is collecting more money in income tax and sales tax, even after lowering the PST. K-12 education funding this year is set at more than $3 billion for the first time  and it will only increase from there, continuing to be funded primarily by income tax and sales tax.

Homelessness crisis: how should we respond?

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 6 minute read Preview

Homelessness crisis: how should we respond?

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 6 minute read Saturday, May. 22, 2021

 

Today I want to talk about a difficult topic: homelessness. It is hard to do justice to this topic in such a short article. People are living in bus shelters and setting up camps in our community. What used to be seen mostly downtown is becoming increasingly visible all around Winnipeg. How should we respond as government? As society? As individuals? Before we jump to solutions, it is important to agree on some fundamental truths.First, we should treat all citizens fairly and have their best interests at heart. We need to do that without prejudice. We need to treat everyone the way we would want to be treated.Second, we are all fundamentally free people but there are limits to these freedoms. We cannot infringe on the rights of others. For example, you are free to get drunk but you are not free to drive a car on a public roadway while drunk. Government needs to uphold these freedoms while also enforcing their limits. Third, human beings are all worthy of respect and should be treated with care and dignity. Little separates us from folks who are living homeless. Losing our job coupled with being rejected by family members and friends would put many of us in similar circumstances.A compassionate, long-term strategy needs to keep these fundamentals in mind. Often homelessness is coupled with addictions, mental health issues or both. Providing shelter and assistance without addressing addiction and mental health just moves the problem out of sight and perhaps assuages our consciences, but fundamentally leaves them trapped.That is why we are using a model of “housing with supports” in Winnipeg to ensure that when people come off the streets and into housing, they also get help with addictions and mental health. In April alone, 60 people were moved out of bus shelters and the like and into housing with wrap-around supports to aid in sustaining that tenancy. The journey to recovery from addiction often starts at rock bottom, but rock bottom sometimes never comes. Deaths by suicide or overdose are part of this stark landscape. Law-enforcement and community groups play critical roles here. We should not compel an individual into addiction treatment against their will. When laws are broken, law enforcement has a duty to respond. This response represents an opportunity for intervention. Intervention can mark the start of recovery from addiction, when it is undertaken in the appropriate way. That is why our government has invested more than $450,000 equipping all Winnipeg Police Service officers with Health IM, an interactive application that walks officers through interactions with individuals in crisis. This tool enables police officers to better assess the individual and situation appropriately, and connect them with the support they need. Some might be tempted to think that letting the homeless do whatever they want with no consequences is part of a compassionate response, but it is not. You should not enable their addiction. Instead you want them to be able to life a fulfilling life. Recovering addicts often look back at those who took the time to understand their challenges and trauma, and who made a conscious effort to support them while they were at their lowest, with sincere gratitude. Without that intervention, they would never have again known the connection, purpose and joy that comes with beating their addiction.I believe these are the ingredients to a successful strategy to address homelessness. It requires effort, coordination, and resources. And it starts and ends with love. 

Today I want to talk about a difficult topic: homelessness. It is hard to do justice to this topic in such a short article. People are living in bus shelters and setting up camps in our community. What used to be seen mostly downtown is becoming increasingly visible all around Winnipeg. 

How should we respond as government? As society? As individuals? Before we jump to solutions, it is important to agree on some fundamental truths.

Saturday, May. 22, 2021

 

Today I want to talk about a difficult topic: homelessness. It is hard to do justice to this topic in such a short article. People are living in bus shelters and setting up camps in our community. What used to be seen mostly downtown is becoming increasingly visible all around Winnipeg. How should we respond as government? As society? As individuals? Before we jump to solutions, it is important to agree on some fundamental truths.First, we should treat all citizens fairly and have their best interests at heart. We need to do that without prejudice. We need to treat everyone the way we would want to be treated.Second, we are all fundamentally free people but there are limits to these freedoms. We cannot infringe on the rights of others. For example, you are free to get drunk but you are not free to drive a car on a public roadway while drunk. Government needs to uphold these freedoms while also enforcing their limits. Third, human beings are all worthy of respect and should be treated with care and dignity. Little separates us from folks who are living homeless. Losing our job coupled with being rejected by family members and friends would put many of us in similar circumstances.A compassionate, long-term strategy needs to keep these fundamentals in mind. Often homelessness is coupled with addictions, mental health issues or both. Providing shelter and assistance without addressing addiction and mental health just moves the problem out of sight and perhaps assuages our consciences, but fundamentally leaves them trapped.That is why we are using a model of “housing with supports” in Winnipeg to ensure that when people come off the streets and into housing, they also get help with addictions and mental health. In April alone, 60 people were moved out of bus shelters and the like and into housing with wrap-around supports to aid in sustaining that tenancy. The journey to recovery from addiction often starts at rock bottom, but rock bottom sometimes never comes. Deaths by suicide or overdose are part of this stark landscape. Law-enforcement and community groups play critical roles here. We should not compel an individual into addiction treatment against their will. When laws are broken, law enforcement has a duty to respond. This response represents an opportunity for intervention. Intervention can mark the start of recovery from addiction, when it is undertaken in the appropriate way. That is why our government has invested more than $450,000 equipping all Winnipeg Police Service officers with Health IM, an interactive application that walks officers through interactions with individuals in crisis. This tool enables police officers to better assess the individual and situation appropriately, and connect them with the support they need. Some might be tempted to think that letting the homeless do whatever they want with no consequences is part of a compassionate response, but it is not. You should not enable their addiction. Instead you want them to be able to life a fulfilling life. Recovering addicts often look back at those who took the time to understand their challenges and trauma, and who made a conscious effort to support them while they were at their lowest, with sincere gratitude. Without that intervention, they would never have again known the connection, purpose and joy that comes with beating their addiction.I believe these are the ingredients to a successful strategy to address homelessness. It requires effort, coordination, and resources. And it starts and ends with love. 

Today I want to talk about a difficult topic: homelessness. It is hard to do justice to this topic in such a short article. People are living in bus shelters and setting up camps in our community. What used to be seen mostly downtown is becoming increasingly visible all around Winnipeg. 

How should we respond as government? As society? As individuals? Before we jump to solutions, it is important to agree on some fundamental truths.

Stepping up to protect CN 2747

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Preview

Stepping up to protect CN 2747

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Sunday, Apr. 25, 2021

Our community of Transcona was built because of the railway shops. Transcona is named for the Transcontinental Railway (Trans) and (Cona) from Lord Strathcona, the man who drove the last spike into the CPR railway in 1885. Over the years, the Transcona Shops built not just train cars but even munitions for the First World War. A total of 37 locomotives were constructed there, but the very first one - CN 2747 - rightfully holds a special place in our community.After chugging away for 34 years from when it first rolled off the line in April 1926, steam locomotive CN 2747 came to rest in what is now Rotary Heritage Park on Plessis Road just north of Transcona Boulevard. There can be no question that CN 2747 is a significant part of Transcona’s history. It deserves to be preserved. If no preservation work had been done over the past few years, this historical artifact would have soon been lost. Thankfully, many volunteers and professionals, supported by donors and grants, including from the provincial government, have made significant strides in making CN 2747 bright, shiny and durable once again.Now government and community members are stepping up with the efforts to build a $493,000 enclosure over and around the engine. This enclosure will protect the locomotive from the elements, increase security, and provide more opportunities for the public to see, interact with and appreciate the engine.Last week, I was pleased to join Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage Cathy Cox in providing a grant of $15,000 to kick off the capital campaign. I am hoping additional grants will flow from provincial, federal, and municipal governments. That said, government grants alone will not be enough. Individuals, businesses, and organizations in our community will also need to get on board and make this plan a reality. Before he passed away, my dad donated a painting of CN 2747 to the Transcona Museum and the museum has used postcard prints of this painting to help raise funds. My parents and my own family have contributed to the project and I encourage everyone in our community to do the same. Details about how to donate to the project are available at www.transconamuseum.mb.ca. If we all get on board, we will ensure this important reminder of Transcona’s history remains visible and present in our community for generations to come.

Our community of Transcona was built because of the railway shops. Transcona is named for the Transcontinental Railway (Trans) and (Cona) from Lord Strathcona, the man who drove the last spike into the CPR railway in 1885. 

Over the years, the Transcona Shops built not just train cars but even munitions for the First World War. A total of 37 locomotives were constructed there, but the very first one - CN 2747 - rightfully holds a special place in our community.

After chugging away for 34 years from when it first rolled off the line in April 1926, steam locomotive CN 2747 came to rest in what is now Rotary Heritage Park on Plessis Road just north of Transcona Boulevard. 

Sunday, Apr. 25, 2021

Supplied photo
Radisson MLA James Teitsma (far right) and Cathy Cox, Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage, presented a grant of $15,000 to the campaign to create an enclosure around the historic CN 2747 locomotive.

Welcoming those with Down syndrome

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Preview

Welcoming those with Down syndrome

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Sunday, Mar. 28, 2021

What is the first word that pops into your head when I say: “Down syndrome”?I imagine each of us might answer that question differently. One word that I really hope comes to the top of your mind is “joy”. Yes - joy.A recent study showed that people with Down syndrome are among the happiest on earth. A full 99 per cent of those surveyed said that they are happy with their lives; 97 per cent answered yes to the question, “Do you like who you are?”  An amazing 99 per cent agreed with the statement, “Do you love your family?” Happiness and joy are special commodities. The more you share and the more you give, the more you will have.  And people with Down syndrome seem to have more happiness than any other group of people on earth.Last week, we celebrated World Down Syndrome Day. Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition. It is universally present across all races, genders and socioeconomic conditions, and occurs in approximately one in 800 live births.When prenatal parents receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome for their unborn child, their first reaction may be one of sadness or shock. It takes time for them to understand that, despite having different abilities and medical needs, a child with Down syndrome will be able to live a happy and fulfilling life. Ontario recently passed a law that ensures expectant parents receiving a positive test result for Down syndrome are given accurate information and the time they need to process it. In the same study mentioned above, people with Down syndrome were asked what advice they would give to expectant parents. Participants wanted parents to know that their child will be happy, that their family will be better because of that baby, and that their baby will love them. These themes of self-worth, value, and acceptance were echoed again when participants were asked to provide advice to physicians.Our community is better when it includes people with Down syndrome. Let’s be sure to welcome them with open arms.

What is the first word that pops into your head when I say: “Down syndrome”?

I imagine each of us might answer that question differently. One word that I really hope comes to the top of your mind is “joy”. 

Yes - joy.

Sunday, Mar. 28, 2021

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Stacey Friesen spreads joy one cup of coffee at a time at L’Arche Tova Café in Transcona.

Honouring those who make Manitoba amazing

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Preview

Honouring those who make Manitoba amazing

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021

“I was hoping you could help me.”This is how most phone calls from Colleen Tackaberry begin. Colleen is the resource co-ordinator with the Transcona Council for Seniors, a not-for-profit organization providing a wide range of services for seniors in Park City. With her seemingly endless supply of energy, Colleen ensures the Transcona Council for Seniors fulfills its mission to assist seniors in Transcona to remain living independently for as long as possible. Even during the pandemic, she has managed to keep the congregate meal program going with lunch or dinner three times per week - now re-imagined as take-out. Meals are prepared in the Transcona Memorial United Church kitchen and distributed in a COVID-19 careful way from the front foyer. Colleen is always looking for more volunteers - she even roped me into helping hand out meals.In celebration of Manitoba’s 150th birthday, Manitobans were invited to nominate community volunteers who make an extraordinary difference in their community. The intent of the awards was to inspire future community engagement and leadership through these positive examples. I was thankful for the opportunity to nominate Colleen for this prestigious award and am very pleased that she was selected one of the Honour 150 honourees.When Colleen calls me, she is most often looking for advice and support on accessing government grants to help make the services offered by the Transcona Council for Seniors even better. Thankfully, I have been able to say “Yes, I can help,” almost every time she has called. Her willingness to tackle almost any project and her knack for getting the most out of other people led Rev. Carol Fletcher from Transcona Memorial to say she was “like glue holding together people and programs”. One of the most visible events Colleen hosts most years is the Community Health Fair. What began several years ago in a church basement has now grown to a packed two-day program that fills Kildonan Place shopping centre. The free program provides health information for everyone, but especially seniors. The last time this event was held, in 2019, dozens of different groups set up an assortment of interesting displays. I expect we are all looking forward to at time when it can be held once again.When I told Colleen I would be writing an article about her, she said, “All this positive attention might start going to my head, but don’t worry - my family keeps me grounded”. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of meeting her son, Michael, and working with her grandson Peyton. They are much like their mother and grandmother - kind, smart, hard-working and humble. To learn more about the Transcona Council for Seniors, please visit www.transconaseniors.ca, email tcs@mymts.net or call 204-222-9879. You can also always contact my office via email at office@jamesteitsma.ca or by phone at 204-691-7976.

“I was hoping you could help me.”

This is how most phone calls from Colleen Tackaberry begin. Colleen is the resource co-ordinator with the Transcona Council for Seniors, a not-for-profit organization providing a wide range of services for seniors in Park City. 

With her seemingly endless supply of energy, Colleen ensures the Transcona Council for Seniors fulfills its mission to assist seniors in Transcona to remain living independently for as long as possible. Even during the pandemic, she has managed to keep the congregate meal program going with lunch or dinner three times per week - now re-imagined as take-out. Meals are prepared in the Transcona Memorial United Church kitchen and distributed in a COVID-19 careful way from the front foyer. 

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021

“I was hoping you could help me.”This is how most phone calls from Colleen Tackaberry begin. Colleen is the resource co-ordinator with the Transcona Council for Seniors, a not-for-profit organization providing a wide range of services for seniors in Park City. With her seemingly endless supply of energy, Colleen ensures the Transcona Council for Seniors fulfills its mission to assist seniors in Transcona to remain living independently for as long as possible. Even during the pandemic, she has managed to keep the congregate meal program going with lunch or dinner three times per week - now re-imagined as take-out. Meals are prepared in the Transcona Memorial United Church kitchen and distributed in a COVID-19 careful way from the front foyer. Colleen is always looking for more volunteers - she even roped me into helping hand out meals.In celebration of Manitoba’s 150th birthday, Manitobans were invited to nominate community volunteers who make an extraordinary difference in their community. The intent of the awards was to inspire future community engagement and leadership through these positive examples. I was thankful for the opportunity to nominate Colleen for this prestigious award and am very pleased that she was selected one of the Honour 150 honourees.When Colleen calls me, she is most often looking for advice and support on accessing government grants to help make the services offered by the Transcona Council for Seniors even better. Thankfully, I have been able to say “Yes, I can help,” almost every time she has called. Her willingness to tackle almost any project and her knack for getting the most out of other people led Rev. Carol Fletcher from Transcona Memorial to say she was “like glue holding together people and programs”. One of the most visible events Colleen hosts most years is the Community Health Fair. What began several years ago in a church basement has now grown to a packed two-day program that fills Kildonan Place shopping centre. The free program provides health information for everyone, but especially seniors. The last time this event was held, in 2019, dozens of different groups set up an assortment of interesting displays. I expect we are all looking forward to at time when it can be held once again.When I told Colleen I would be writing an article about her, she said, “All this positive attention might start going to my head, but don’t worry - my family keeps me grounded”. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of meeting her son, Michael, and working with her grandson Peyton. They are much like their mother and grandmother - kind, smart, hard-working and humble. To learn more about the Transcona Council for Seniors, please visit www.transconaseniors.ca, email tcs@mymts.net or call 204-222-9879. You can also always contact my office via email at office@jamesteitsma.ca or by phone at 204-691-7976.

“I was hoping you could help me.”

This is how most phone calls from Colleen Tackaberry begin. Colleen is the resource co-ordinator with the Transcona Council for Seniors, a not-for-profit organization providing a wide range of services for seniors in Park City. 

With her seemingly endless supply of energy, Colleen ensures the Transcona Council for Seniors fulfills its mission to assist seniors in Transcona to remain living independently for as long as possible. Even during the pandemic, she has managed to keep the congregate meal program going with lunch or dinner three times per week - now re-imagined as take-out. Meals are prepared in the Transcona Memorial United Church kitchen and distributed in a COVID-19 careful way from the front foyer. 

Investing in education in our community

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Preview

Investing in education in our community

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

 

Over the past few years, thousands of new homes have been built on and around Transcona Boulevard, including my own family home in Crocus Meadows. Thousands more homes are expected to be built in this community over the coming years. Our community is growing and, as a result, more and more students will be attending schools such as Joseph Teres School and Bernie Wolfe Community School.  Soon after I was first elected, the River East Transcona School Division board met with me and other northeast Winnipeg MLAs to discuss the education needs of our growing community. Since that first meeting, I have been advocating on behalf of our community for more classrooms and a new school. The result of this advocacy has been two significant investments.Since it was first built in the 1970s, Bernie Wolfe Community School has had large, open learning spaces, each intended to accommodate multiple classes with no walls or sound barriers. While open-room learning may have been a fad in the 1970s, it has long since been discredited. Educators know that students, especially those with special needs, perform better in structured classrooms.  With enrolment rising quickly at Bernie Wolfe school, my first priority was to push for a multi-phase, multi-year project to transform these large open spaces into several well-lit, functional classrooms. In total, the project will convert four open spaces into 24 beautiful classrooms, as well as add extra windows, a new multipurpose room, building envelope upgrades and more. I am pleased to report that this project is nearly complete!Second, the province recently purchased several acres of land in Devonshire Park, north of Transcona Boulevard and east of Peguis Street as a site for a future school. This is part of $24 million invested by our government in acquiring land for seven new schools this year. In all, our government is investing over $210 million in kindergarten to Grade 12 capital projects this year as part of our commitment to building 20 new schools over 10 years.  Six of these schools are already open and the remainder are expected to be completed ahead of schedule. I am pleased I have been able to successfully advocate for the education priorities of our community. If you have any ideas for how we can continue to make our community better, please contact my office by emailing office@jamesteitsma.ca or by calling 204-691-7976.  

Over the past few years, thousands of new homes have been built on and around Transcona Boulevard, including my own family home in Crocus Meadows. Thousands more homes are expected to be built in this community over the coming years. Our community is growing and, as a result, more and more students will be attending schools such as Joseph Teres School and Bernie Wolfe Community School.  

Soon after I was first elected, the River East Transcona School Division board met with me and other northeast Winnipeg MLAs to discuss the education needs of our growing community. Since that first meeting, I have been advocating on behalf of our community for more classrooms and a new school. 

Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

Supplied photo by Norbert K. Iwa
The open-plan spaces in Bernie Wolfe School are being converted into 24 individual classrooms as part of a project that is nearly complete.

Finding positives in a tough year

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Preview

Finding positives in a tough year

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020

The year 2020 started so well. We planned to celebrate Manitoba’s 150th birthday and the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Legislature. Beautiful lights illuminated the Legislative grounds. Manitoba was on the verge of posting its first budgetary surplus in over 10 years. Those were the days...Then things went sideways. The impacts of COVID-19 and the restrictions that came with it are too broad to do justice to in this brief article. Looking back, it is hard to find positives, even with the benefit of hindsight. But there were some good things. One highlight was the ability to cut through bureaucratic processes and accomplish important tasks quickly. As an example, during the early days of the pandemic, the City of Winnipeg IT department rolled out Microsoft Teams to all councillors and civil servants in a matter of days. Normally, this would have taken more than a year to accomplish. The HelpNextDoorMB.ca app was designed, developed and deployed in just over a week. Efforts to build a new uncertified health-care aide program at Red River College followed by the recruitment, training and hiring of dozens of new staff all happened in under a month. I saw this sense of urgency at work firsthand when I joined the testing task force. This team was set up in late September, when wait times were measured in hours, lineups at test sites were measured in city blocks, and the turnaround time for COVID-19 test results had risen from 48 hours to over six days. The second wave had hit us harder and earlier than expected. Nevertheless, in just a few weeks, this team managed to deploy a new, appointment-based system, open additional test sites, and change the organization and flow in test sites and labs. Today, test turnaround time is below 30 hours and lineups at test sites are virtually non-existent.The government’s actions in response to the urgency of the pandemic is like the Agile method of software development. When I first studied computer science in the 1990s, the older Waterfall method was common. Requirements, specifications and designs could take months or years to document before any code was even written. Government tends to work like this. In contrast, the Agile method has you coding from the get-go and involves the entire team along the way. Agile development produces better software, more quickly and at a lower cost. It was good to see government act in a similar way in response to these trying times.By learning from these experiences, we are both better prepared for a future pandemic and better equipped to serve Manitobans in all sorts of challenges. If you have ideas please send an email tow office@jamesteitsma.ca

The year 2020 started so well. We planned to celebrate Manitoba’s 150th birthday and the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Legislature. Beautiful lights illuminated the Legislative grounds. Manitoba was on the verge of posting its first budgetary surplus in over 10 years. Those were the days...

Then things went sideways. The impacts of COVID-19 and the restrictions that came with it are too broad to do justice to in this brief article. Looking back, it is hard to find positives, even with the benefit of hindsight. But there were some good things. 

One highlight was the ability to cut through bureaucratic processes and accomplish important tasks quickly. As an example, during the early days of the pandemic, the City of Winnipeg IT department rolled out Microsoft Teams to all councillors and civil servants in a matter of days. Normally, this would have taken more than a year to accomplish. The HelpNextDoorMB.ca app was designed, developed and deployed in just over a week. Efforts to build a new uncertified health-care aide program at Red River College followed by the recruitment, training and hiring of dozens of new staff all happened in under a month. 

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020

The year 2020 started so well. We planned to celebrate Manitoba’s 150th birthday and the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Legislature. Beautiful lights illuminated the Legislative grounds. Manitoba was on the verge of posting its first budgetary surplus in over 10 years. Those were the days...Then things went sideways. The impacts of COVID-19 and the restrictions that came with it are too broad to do justice to in this brief article. Looking back, it is hard to find positives, even with the benefit of hindsight. But there were some good things. One highlight was the ability to cut through bureaucratic processes and accomplish important tasks quickly. As an example, during the early days of the pandemic, the City of Winnipeg IT department rolled out Microsoft Teams to all councillors and civil servants in a matter of days. Normally, this would have taken more than a year to accomplish. The HelpNextDoorMB.ca app was designed, developed and deployed in just over a week. Efforts to build a new uncertified health-care aide program at Red River College followed by the recruitment, training and hiring of dozens of new staff all happened in under a month. I saw this sense of urgency at work firsthand when I joined the testing task force. This team was set up in late September, when wait times were measured in hours, lineups at test sites were measured in city blocks, and the turnaround time for COVID-19 test results had risen from 48 hours to over six days. The second wave had hit us harder and earlier than expected. Nevertheless, in just a few weeks, this team managed to deploy a new, appointment-based system, open additional test sites, and change the organization and flow in test sites and labs. Today, test turnaround time is below 30 hours and lineups at test sites are virtually non-existent.The government’s actions in response to the urgency of the pandemic is like the Agile method of software development. When I first studied computer science in the 1990s, the older Waterfall method was common. Requirements, specifications and designs could take months or years to document before any code was even written. Government tends to work like this. In contrast, the Agile method has you coding from the get-go and involves the entire team along the way. Agile development produces better software, more quickly and at a lower cost. It was good to see government act in a similar way in response to these trying times.By learning from these experiences, we are both better prepared for a future pandemic and better equipped to serve Manitobans in all sorts of challenges. If you have ideas please send an email tow office@jamesteitsma.ca

The year 2020 started so well. We planned to celebrate Manitoba’s 150th birthday and the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Legislature. Beautiful lights illuminated the Legislative grounds. Manitoba was on the verge of posting its first budgetary surplus in over 10 years. Those were the days...

Then things went sideways. The impacts of COVID-19 and the restrictions that came with it are too broad to do justice to in this brief article. Looking back, it is hard to find positives, even with the benefit of hindsight. But there were some good things. 

One highlight was the ability to cut through bureaucratic processes and accomplish important tasks quickly. As an example, during the early days of the pandemic, the City of Winnipeg IT department rolled out Microsoft Teams to all councillors and civil servants in a matter of days. Normally, this would have taken more than a year to accomplish. The HelpNextDoorMB.ca app was designed, developed and deployed in just over a week. Efforts to build a new uncertified health-care aide program at Red River College followed by the recruitment, training and hiring of dozens of new staff all happened in under a month. 

Strive to be the best you can be

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Preview

Strive to be the best you can be

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020

One of the privileges I have as member of the Legislative Assembly for Radisson is the opportunity to address the Legislature for two minutes on almost any topic a few times each year. This was my most recent statement:There can be no doubt that the last few months have been especially difficult. Greater restrictions. Increased hospitalizations. More deaths. We are tired. We are stressed. Often, we are lonely.I don’t know about you, but for me, when I’m tired and stressed I tend to get a bit cranky.But we don’t have to stay that way. We can decide to do better. We can resolve to be our very best.If there ever was a time to put the interests of others ahead of our own, it is now. If there ever was a time to be patient and kind, it is now. If there ever was a time to Facetime a friend, to phone a senior, to talk — distantly — with your neighbours, it is now.For those of you who are people of faith like me, I ask that you always remember who really is in control. And I ask you to pray. Pray for your faith community. Pray for your government representatives. Pray for your province. Pray that God will be merciful to us all. Pray on behalf of all Manitobans that this pandemic may be stopped. Let’s focus on what we can control instead of worrying about what we can’t.No one is ever perfect in this life. Nevertheless, we can each strive to be our best. Our doctors, nurses and other health care workers are doing the best they can. Our teachers are doing the best they can. Your government is doing the best it can. Even though we are all tired. Even though we are all stressed. What I am asking today from each and every Manitoban is for you to be the best that you can. I have faith that we will get through this pandemic. I have hope that we will come out of it stronger than most. But my focus for these next weeks, and what I hope is yours as well, is to show love.Thank you to those who have reached out to support our teachers, health care workers, and even government representatives like me with words of encouragement in these trying times. It is greatly appreciated. If you would like to contact my office with any questions, please call 204-691-7976 or email office@jamesteitsma.ca

One of the privileges I have as member of the Legislative Assembly for Radisson is the opportunity to address the Legislature for two minutes on almost any topic a few times each year.

This was my most recent statement:

There can be no doubt that the last few months have been especially difficult. Greater restrictions. Increased hospitalizations. More deaths. 

Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020

One of the privileges I have as member of the Legislative Assembly for Radisson is the opportunity to address the Legislature for two minutes on almost any topic a few times each year. This was my most recent statement:There can be no doubt that the last few months have been especially difficult. Greater restrictions. Increased hospitalizations. More deaths. We are tired. We are stressed. Often, we are lonely.I don’t know about you, but for me, when I’m tired and stressed I tend to get a bit cranky.But we don’t have to stay that way. We can decide to do better. We can resolve to be our very best.If there ever was a time to put the interests of others ahead of our own, it is now. If there ever was a time to be patient and kind, it is now. If there ever was a time to Facetime a friend, to phone a senior, to talk — distantly — with your neighbours, it is now.For those of you who are people of faith like me, I ask that you always remember who really is in control. And I ask you to pray. Pray for your faith community. Pray for your government representatives. Pray for your province. Pray that God will be merciful to us all. Pray on behalf of all Manitobans that this pandemic may be stopped. Let’s focus on what we can control instead of worrying about what we can’t.No one is ever perfect in this life. Nevertheless, we can each strive to be our best. Our doctors, nurses and other health care workers are doing the best they can. Our teachers are doing the best they can. Your government is doing the best it can. Even though we are all tired. Even though we are all stressed. What I am asking today from each and every Manitoban is for you to be the best that you can. I have faith that we will get through this pandemic. I have hope that we will come out of it stronger than most. But my focus for these next weeks, and what I hope is yours as well, is to show love.Thank you to those who have reached out to support our teachers, health care workers, and even government representatives like me with words of encouragement in these trying times. It is greatly appreciated. If you would like to contact my office with any questions, please call 204-691-7976 or email office@jamesteitsma.ca

One of the privileges I have as member of the Legislative Assembly for Radisson is the opportunity to address the Legislature for two minutes on almost any topic a few times each year.

This was my most recent statement:

There can be no doubt that the last few months have been especially difficult. Greater restrictions. Increased hospitalizations. More deaths. 

Transcona needs a Dynacare supersite

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Preview

Transcona needs a Dynacare supersite

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Friday, Oct. 9, 2020

Nobody likes waiting — especially for health care. Everyone wants better health care, sooner. And soon Transcona will have a Dynacare supersite that will increase tests being performed, reduce wait times and feature more employees. Transcona has had several small Dynacare lab sites for years, often with only one or two staff. Small locations create challenges for both staff and patients. If a staff member is sick and no replacement is available, the lab may need to close or operate at a significantly reduced capacity. A delay or complication while performing a test for one patient can ripple down the line into delays for all subsequent patients that day. Staff members often don’t have access to workplace amenities that most would take for granted, such as places to eat their lunches. COVID-19 has made this tenuous situation worse. Many Transcona lab sites have not been able to open under public health restrictions. Patients could not wait in waiting rooms, resulting in long outdoor lineups, with patients, often seniors, exposed to summer heat, autumn winds and rain. Dynacare supersites address the issues that affect smaller sites. They often have eight to 10 blood sampling stations, offer scheduled appointments and have online check-in. They also have spacious waiting rooms and have been able to significantly reduce wait times. They feature accessible washrooms and appropriate modem facilities for staff. Because there are so many staff at each location, one sick staff member or a complicated patient has less of an effect on lab capacity.I always advocate for improved services for my constituency and all of northeast Winnipeg. When I heard about the long outdoor wait times and limited available lab locations, I immediately contacted the health minister to express my concerns and pass along my constituents’ experiences. He needed to know just how important this issue was for northeast Winnipeg residents. I am pleased to report that all this advocacy has paid off. A new Dynacare supersite is coming soon to Transcona, in the Kildonan Place area. For updates, follow my Facebook page at facebook.com/TeitsmaForRadisson where you’ll get the latest information on the opening date, location and hours of operation. I am looking forward to the opening of a Dynacare supersite. I believe it will provide better care sooner for my constituents and for all of northeast Winnipeg.

Nobody likes waiting — especially for health care. Everyone wants better health care, sooner. 

And soon Transcona will have a Dynacare supersite that will increase tests being performed, reduce wait times and feature more employees. 

Transcona has had several small Dynacare lab sites for years, often with only one or two staff. Small locations create challenges for both staff and patients. If a staff member is sick and no replacement is available, the lab may need to close or operate at a significantly reduced capacity. A delay or complication while performing a test for one patient can ripple down the line into delays for all subsequent patients that day. Staff members often don’t have access to workplace amenities that most would take for granted, such as places to eat their lunches. 

Friday, Oct. 9, 2020

Nobody likes waiting — especially for health care. Everyone wants better health care, sooner. And soon Transcona will have a Dynacare supersite that will increase tests being performed, reduce wait times and feature more employees. Transcona has had several small Dynacare lab sites for years, often with only one or two staff. Small locations create challenges for both staff and patients. If a staff member is sick and no replacement is available, the lab may need to close or operate at a significantly reduced capacity. A delay or complication while performing a test for one patient can ripple down the line into delays for all subsequent patients that day. Staff members often don’t have access to workplace amenities that most would take for granted, such as places to eat their lunches. COVID-19 has made this tenuous situation worse. Many Transcona lab sites have not been able to open under public health restrictions. Patients could not wait in waiting rooms, resulting in long outdoor lineups, with patients, often seniors, exposed to summer heat, autumn winds and rain. Dynacare supersites address the issues that affect smaller sites. They often have eight to 10 blood sampling stations, offer scheduled appointments and have online check-in. They also have spacious waiting rooms and have been able to significantly reduce wait times. They feature accessible washrooms and appropriate modem facilities for staff. Because there are so many staff at each location, one sick staff member or a complicated patient has less of an effect on lab capacity.I always advocate for improved services for my constituency and all of northeast Winnipeg. When I heard about the long outdoor wait times and limited available lab locations, I immediately contacted the health minister to express my concerns and pass along my constituents’ experiences. He needed to know just how important this issue was for northeast Winnipeg residents. I am pleased to report that all this advocacy has paid off. A new Dynacare supersite is coming soon to Transcona, in the Kildonan Place area. For updates, follow my Facebook page at facebook.com/TeitsmaForRadisson where you’ll get the latest information on the opening date, location and hours of operation. I am looking forward to the opening of a Dynacare supersite. I believe it will provide better care sooner for my constituents and for all of northeast Winnipeg.

Nobody likes waiting — especially for health care. Everyone wants better health care, sooner. 

And soon Transcona will have a Dynacare supersite that will increase tests being performed, reduce wait times and feature more employees. 

Transcona has had several small Dynacare lab sites for years, often with only one or two staff. Small locations create challenges for both staff and patients. If a staff member is sick and no replacement is available, the lab may need to close or operate at a significantly reduced capacity. A delay or complication while performing a test for one patient can ripple down the line into delays for all subsequent patients that day. Staff members often don’t have access to workplace amenities that most would take for granted, such as places to eat their lunches. 

Back to school in a pandemic

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Preview

Back to school in a pandemic

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Friday, Sep. 11, 2020

I get to write these columns because I’m an MLA. But today I’m also writing as a husband and a father.My wife Joanne and I have six awesome children. Like so many families, the last six months have been a hectic adventure for us, with the kids around the house a lot of the time. The three oldest all found good summer jobs and were able to stay safe and productive. All three of them will be attending the University of Manitoba this year — two in education and one in nursing.  For the most part, their classes this fall are virtual, so they only need to head out for labs and practicum. Their biggest concern seems to be that our home’s wi-fi is up and running since all three of them could be in Zoom lectures simultaneously! Our youngest is just four years old, so he’s staying home, too. The other two are in Grades 4 and 6, so it’s back to school for them along with masks, rules for distancing, and everything else. Joanne and I are happy they get to go back to school. It is good for them. We know there are risks, but risks are part of everything in life. Manitoba’s chief public health officer, Dr. Roussin, has often said: “we need to learn to live with this virus.”That means taking reasonable precautions such as limiting close contacts, wearing masks in places where physical distancing isn’t possible and practising good hand hygiene. All these precautions limit the spread, flatten the curve and ensure our health system isn’t overwhelmed. But this also means doing most of the things we usually do. Going to school. Going to work. Shopping. Playing. Life needs to continue, even in the face of the pandemic, and it needs to be as normal as possible. As we get going this school year, one group of people I want to thank are school administrators. Our principals and vice-principals have been given an enormous responsibility. Back to school is often a crazy time for them but this year it is something else entirely. On behalf of my family and our whole community, I say “thank-you.” Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your calm. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for wanting what’s best for our children. We are in this pandemic together. I’m convinced we will get through it together, too.

I get to write these columns because I’m an MLA. But today I’m also writing as a husband and a father.

My wife Joanne and I have six awesome children. Like so many families, the last six months have been a hectic adventure for us, with the kids around the house a lot of the time. 

The three oldest all found good summer jobs and were able to stay safe and productive. All three of them will be attending the University of Manitoba this year — two in education and one in nursing.  For the most part, their classes this fall are virtual, so they only need to head out for labs and practicum. Their biggest concern seems to be that our home’s wi-fi is up and running since all three of them could be in Zoom lectures simultaneously! 

Friday, Sep. 11, 2020

Supplied photo
MLA James Teitsma is pictured with his son Matthew (Grade 6) and daughter Marissa (Grade 4), who are trying out their masks on the first day of school.

Camp Day supports disadvantaged youth

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Preview

Camp Day supports disadvantaged youth

James Teitsma - Radisson MLA Constituency Report 5 minute read Monday, Aug. 17, 2020

Tim Hortons designates one day every year as #CampDay. Although this year was different in a lot of ways, Camp Day still happened on Wed., Aug. 12. Tim Hortons Foundation Camps have helped nearly 300,000 youth from disadvantaged circumstances change their stories for the better. Transcona has a proud tradition of celebrating Camp Day, especially since local hero Greg Veosovich started camping out on the rooftop of the local Tim Hortons in the days leading up to Camp Day. Greg raised tens of thousands of dollars for Camp Day and many other important charitable causes and he still helps his community out whenever he has the chance.Manitoba is home to the newest Tim Horton Camp located on Sylvia Lake in the Whiteshell. This camp features its own yurt village and includes opportunities for youths aged 12 to 16 to experience hiking, canoeing, swimming, archery, rope courses, geocaching, campfires, and gaga ball (I invite you to look it up).Although kids are not able to attend in person this year because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Tim Hortons Foundation is finding ways to work with youth, building up their leadership, resilience, and responsibility.It is becoming increasingly clear that the fight against COVID-19 is more of a marathon than a sprint. Today and every day, it is important to stay focused on the fundamentals. That is how we will minimize the risk of infection. Too often we hear about new cases occurring because people have neglected the fundamentals or failed to follow public health guidance. What we do individually and collectively will decide the impact this virus has on our province. Wash your hands — often. Wash them after coughing or sneezing; when caring for a sick person; before, during and after you prepare food; before eating; after toilet use or when your hands are dirty. Cover your cough or sneeze. Stay two metres or six feet apart. And be sure to stay home if you are feeling sick. On a more local note, I can tell you that after several months of searching and renovating, my new constituency office is open.We are located in the back corner of the Boston Pizza building at the corner of Regent Avenue and Lagimodiere Boulevard. The official address is Unit 220 – 1615 Regent Ave. W.  The office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as well as evenings and Saturdays by appointment. You can call 204-691-7976 or email office@jamesteitsma.ca to make an appointment.COVID-19 has made it hard to pick a date for an open house but we are going to try to have a COVID-careful grand opening, nonetheless. You are invited to pop by, check out the new space (subject to capacity limitations) and enjoy a bite to eat on Wed., Sept. 16, anytime between 3 and 7 p.m. I hope to see you there!

Tim Hortons designates one day every year as #CampDay. 

Although this year was different in a lot of ways, Camp Day still happened on Aug. 12. Tim Hortons Foundation Camps have helped nearly 300,000 youth from disadvantaged circumstances change their stories for the better. 

Transcona has a proud tradition of celebrating Camp Day, especially since local hero Greg Veosovich started camping out on the rooftop of the local Tim Hortons in the days leading up to Camp Day. Greg raised tens of thousands of dollars for Camp Day and many other important charitable causes and he still helps his community out whenever he has the chance.

Monday, Aug. 17, 2020

Supplied photo
MLA James Teitsma appreciates the Tim Horton Foundation's work with underprivileged youth.