Nahanni Fontaine

Nahanni Fontaine

St. Johns constituency report

Nahanni Fontaine is the NDP MLA for St. Johns.

Recent articles of Nahanni Fontaine

Reproductive health care must be supported

Nahanni Fontaine 2 minute read Preview

Reproductive health care must be supported

Nahanni Fontaine 2 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court recently turned the clock back 50 years by overturning Roe v. Wade, a 1973 legal ruling which said that the U.S. Constitution essentially guaranteed citizens’ rights to choose to have abortions.

This is exactly what myself and other pro-choice advocates had been warning people about for years. Critics wrote us off, saying it would never happen. Others have said there is no threat to abortion rights here in Manitoba. The reversal of Roe v. Wade makes it clear the threat to our bodies is ever-present.

This threat does exist in Manitoba as well, as many Progressive Conservative MLAs are anti-choice. The former interim premier and current cabinet minister Kelvin Goertzen (MLA for Steinbach) openly spoke at an anti-abortion rally while he was the acting health minister in 2018. James Teitsma (Radisson) was a director with the Association for Reformed Political Action, a group which actively fights against abortion and same-sex marriage. In 2019, Teitsma spoke at the Winnipeg March for Life, an anti-choice event. Ralph Eichler (Lakeside) spoke against abortions funded by taxpayers and has stated he is anti-choice.

In total, 27 out of 36 Conservative MLAs – or 75 per cent – hold anti-choice views, according to the anti-choice Campaign Life Coalition. This means that 75 per cent of the governing PC caucus does not want women, girls and gender-diverse folks to have the right to make decisions about their own reproductive health. In fact, the PCs don’t seem to agree reproductive health is even health care, which was made clear when they switched ministerial responsibility for reproductive health from the department of health to status of women.

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court recently turned the clock back 50 years by overturning Roe v. Wade, a 1973 legal ruling which said that the U.S. Constitution essentially guaranteed citizens’ rights to choose to have abortions.

This is exactly what myself and other pro-choice advocates had been warning people about for years. Critics wrote us off, saying it would never happen. Others have said there is no threat to abortion rights here in Manitoba. The reversal of Roe v. Wade makes it clear the threat to our bodies is ever-present.

This threat does exist in Manitoba as well, as many Progressive Conservative MLAs are anti-choice. The former interim premier and current cabinet minister Kelvin Goertzen (MLA for Steinbach) openly spoke at an anti-abortion rally while he was the acting health minister in 2018. James Teitsma (Radisson) was a director with the Association for Reformed Political Action, a group which actively fights against abortion and same-sex marriage. In 2019, Teitsma spoke at the Winnipeg March for Life, an anti-choice event. Ralph Eichler (Lakeside) spoke against abortions funded by taxpayers and has stated he is anti-choice.

In total, 27 out of 36 Conservative MLAs – or 75 per cent – hold anti-choice views, according to the anti-choice Campaign Life Coalition. This means that 75 per cent of the governing PC caucus does not want women, girls and gender-diverse folks to have the right to make decisions about their own reproductive health. In fact, the PCs don’t seem to agree reproductive health is even health care, which was made clear when they switched ministerial responsibility for reproductive health from the department of health to status of women.

Keep West Kildonan Library where it is

Nahanni Fontaine 2 minute read Preview

Keep West Kildonan Library where it is

Nahanni Fontaine 2 minute read Wednesday, May. 25, 2022

St. Johns’ families, students and citizens have spent the last 55 years at the West Kildonan Library. It’s where S constituents go to teach their kids to read, take out books, print off their resumes for their first job applications and practise English after arriving to Winnipeg.

But right now it’s under attack. After years of failing to increase operating budget funding to match inflation, the City of Winnipeg is considering cutting costs by closing down the West Kildonan Library in its current location, moving it out of the heart of St. Johns and into a windowless room in a shopping centre kilometres away.

It’s obvious to everyone in the community this is a bad idea for St. Johns residents. It’s going to be harder for most to make the journey, and sitting in a windowless room next to the hustle and bustle of a mall isn’t conducive to reading or learning.

Thankfully, St. Johns residents are fighting back. The Garden City and Seven Oaks residents’ associations have been active in raising their concerns about the proposed move. Last week, dozens of students and community members gathered at the library to make their concerns known. Among them were students from Belmont School in St. Johns, like 10-year-old Ryanne, who said that if the library was moved to the mall, “it wouldn’t be accessible to everyone, and of course the knowledge that the library gives us has to be shared with all of us… even students and seniors.”

Wednesday, May. 25, 2022

Students from Belmont School joined area other area residents to protest the proposed move of the West Kildonan Library.

Government has no answers

Nahanni Fontaine 3 minute read Preview

Government has no answers

Nahanni Fontaine 3 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2022

The Manitoba Legislature returned last month for the first time since last year, and the provincial NDP came ready to engage with the Progressive Conservative government to pass positive legislation to help Manitobans.

For example, I was proud to support my colleague Uzoma Asagwara as they introduced legislation to make menstrual products free for students in public schools, and Amanda Lathlin as she introduced an amendment to allow Manitobans to take up to three days’ paid leave if they or their partners suffer miscarriages. My friend Bernadette Smith also introduced important legislation to require the government to publicly announce the number of overdose deaths in Manitoba each month, along with the types of drugs that contributed to these deaths.

Sadly, instead of engaging with the NDP to pass these pieces of legislation and address other issues facing Manitobans, the PCs demonstrated time and time again that they were unconcerned by the pain and suffering that so many of us have faced and continue to face during this pandemic. The clearest example of this came a couple weeks ago, when our leader, Wab Kinew, asked Premier Heather Stefanson a question about Krystal Mousseau, an Indigenous mother who died while being airlifted out of our province during the third wave. Instead of showing respect to Mousseau by responding to the question, Stefanson chose instead to talk about her “proud mother moment” watching her son play hockey the night before.

As shameful as her response was, it is also revealing because it showed that this PC government has no real answers to what has gone wrong during the pandemic so far or how to move forward.

Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2022

The Manitoba Legislature returned last month for the first time since last year, and the provincial NDP came ready to engage with the Progressive Conservative government to pass positive legislation to help Manitobans.

For example, I was proud to support my colleague Uzoma Asagwara as they introduced legislation to make menstrual products free for students in public schools, and Amanda Lathlin as she introduced an amendment to allow Manitobans to take up to three days’ paid leave if they or their partners suffer miscarriages. My friend Bernadette Smith also introduced important legislation to require the government to publicly announce the number of overdose deaths in Manitoba each month, along with the types of drugs that contributed to these deaths.

Sadly, instead of engaging with the NDP to pass these pieces of legislation and address other issues facing Manitobans, the PCs demonstrated time and time again that they were unconcerned by the pain and suffering that so many of us have faced and continue to face during this pandemic. The clearest example of this came a couple weeks ago, when our leader, Wab Kinew, asked Premier Heather Stefanson a question about Krystal Mousseau, an Indigenous mother who died while being airlifted out of our province during the third wave. Instead of showing respect to Mousseau by responding to the question, Stefanson chose instead to talk about her “proud mother moment” watching her son play hockey the night before.

As shameful as her response was, it is also revealing because it showed that this PC government has no real answers to what has gone wrong during the pandemic so far or how to move forward.

More of the same from Stefanson government

Nahanni Fontaine 3 minute read Preview

More of the same from Stefanson government

Nahanni Fontaine 3 minute read Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021

Last month, we held an abbreviated session in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. This session, however, was a historic sitting as the first woman premier in Manitoba’s history — Heather Stefanson — was sworn in to office.

Once again, congratulations to the new premier.

Sadly, we quickly saw just how similar Premier Stefanson is to the former premier, her mentor Brian Pallister. Throughout the session, I watched the new premier dodge question after question about what her government plans to do to mitigate the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I watched as Premier Stefanson steadfastly refused to implement a vaccine mandate for personal care home staff, thus putting our seniors and elders at risk.

But the clearest example of how the Stefanson government is little more than a repeat of Pallister’s came on the first day of the session in her government’s first speech from the throne. Unfortunately,the throne speech failed to address many of the urgent and critical issues faced by Manitoba families, such as the rising cost of living and health-care cuts, including cuts made while Premier Stefanson was health minister.

Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021

Last month, we held an abbreviated session in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. This session, however, was a historic sitting as the first woman premier in Manitoba’s history — Heather Stefanson — was sworn in to office.

Once again, congratulations to the new premier.

Sadly, we quickly saw just how similar Premier Stefanson is to the former premier, her mentor Brian Pallister. Throughout the session, I watched the new premier dodge question after question about what her government plans to do to mitigate the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I watched as Premier Stefanson steadfastly refused to implement a vaccine mandate for personal care home staff, thus putting our seniors and elders at risk.

But the clearest example of how the Stefanson government is little more than a repeat of Pallister’s came on the first day of the session in her government’s first speech from the throne. Unfortunately,the throne speech failed to address many of the urgent and critical issues faced by Manitoba families, such as the rising cost of living and health-care cuts, including cuts made while Premier Stefanson was health minister.

Investigation needed into COVID-19 response

Nahanni Fontaine 2 minute read Preview

Investigation needed into COVID-19 response

Nahanni Fontaine 2 minute read Friday, Nov. 26, 2021

As we near the two-year anniversary of the beginning of the arrival of COVID-19, we need to begin to look back at how the provincial government responded to the pandemic.

Which public health orders worked? Which ones didn’t? Were Manitoban personal care homes adequately regulated? How did our healthcare system get to the point where we had to send patients out of province?

To answer these questions, we need a serious investigation. That’s why the Manitoba NDP and I are calling for an independent public inquiry into the Progressive Conservative government’s pandemic response. We need to give independent experts, including doctors, nurses, long-term care researchers and epidemiologists full access to all the information they need to make a report about what went wrong so that we can better prepare for future crises.

In particular, the NDP is calling for the public inquiry to shed light on the social determinants of health. We know that BIPOC communities were disproportionately affected by the pandemic, in part because they were more likely to live in multi-generational or crowded housing. But we need to get even more specific answers about why these communities were disproportionately affected, and what the government can do to better tailor is policies to the needs of racialized communities.

Friday, Nov. 26, 2021

As we near the two-year anniversary of the beginning of the arrival of COVID-19, we need to begin to look back at how the provincial government responded to the pandemic.

Which public health orders worked? Which ones didn’t? Were Manitoban personal care homes adequately regulated? How did our healthcare system get to the point where we had to send patients out of province?

To answer these questions, we need a serious investigation. That’s why the Manitoba NDP and I are calling for an independent public inquiry into the Progressive Conservative government’s pandemic response. We need to give independent experts, including doctors, nurses, long-term care researchers and epidemiologists full access to all the information they need to make a report about what went wrong so that we can better prepare for future crises.

In particular, the NDP is calling for the public inquiry to shed light on the social determinants of health. We know that BIPOC communities were disproportionately affected by the pandemic, in part because they were more likely to live in multi-generational or crowded housing. But we need to get even more specific answers about why these communities were disproportionately affected, and what the government can do to better tailor is policies to the needs of racialized communities.

Session reveals PCs not working for Manitobans

Nahanni Fontaine 2 minute read Preview

Session reveals PCs not working for Manitobans

Nahanni Fontaine 2 minute read Friday, Nov. 5, 2021

A few weeks ago in the  legislature, I re-introduced a bill to create a buffer zone around abortion clinics so that patients would not face harassment from anti-choice protesters.

But when my bill came to a vote, I looked across the aisle at empty chairs. A number of Progressive Conservative MLAs, including then-leadership candidate and now-premier Heather Stefanson, couldn’t even be bothered to show up.

The absence of these PC MLAs was confusing because afterwards a number of them made statements supporting the aims of my bill, even though their party voted against it. The situation highlighted a growing reality about this PC government — they won’t listen Manitobans or work to improve their quality of life.

During our two-week session, we voted against Brian Pallister’s budget, which the PC government still supported, including Heather Stefanson, because it cut funding for health care and other government services.

Friday, Nov. 5, 2021

A few weeks ago in the  legislature, I re-introduced a bill to create a buffer zone around abortion clinics so that patients would not face harassment from anti-choice protesters.

But when my bill came to a vote, I looked across the aisle at empty chairs. A number of Progressive Conservative MLAs, including then-leadership candidate and now-premier Heather Stefanson, couldn’t even be bothered to show up.

The absence of these PC MLAs was confusing because afterwards a number of them made statements supporting the aims of my bill, even though their party voted against it. The situation highlighted a growing reality about this PC government — they won’t listen Manitobans or work to improve their quality of life.

During our two-week session, we voted against Brian Pallister’s budget, which the PC government still supported, including Heather Stefanson, because it cut funding for health care and other government services.

Fighting for reproductive rights

Nahanni Fontaine 3 minute read Preview

Fighting for reproductive rights

Nahanni Fontaine 3 minute read Friday, Oct. 1, 2021

The fight for reproductive rights is never over. We recently saw lawmakers in Texas attempt to ban abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, for women and girls after just six weeks from conception — before many women even know they are pregnant. In Manitoba, women and gender-diverse persons seeking reproductive healthcare are often subject to verbal abuse outside abortion clinics by non-peaceful protesters.

I’ve always championed reproductive rights as the MLA for St. Johns. In 2018, I first introduced a bill to create a safety perimeter around any clinics, hospitals, or health-care facilities offering abortion services so that protesters would not be allowed within 150 metres of these clinics.This would protect both patients and health-care providers against harassment, intimidation, and persuasion on abortion. But the Progressive Conservative government refused to support my bill. This year, I brought forward my bill again and strengthened it by adding safety parameters around schools to keep kids safe. I hope that the government chooses to support my bill this time to protect women and gender diverse-persons.

Last weekend, inspired in part by my outrage at the new Texan abortion laws, I continued my advocacy for women and gender-diverse persons by organizing a rally for reproductive rights at the Manitoba Legislature. I wanted to show my solidarity with all those who are unable to access the health care that they need, and remind our own government that we will never tolerate similar anti-abortion legislation here. The event featured a strong turnout of Manitobans from all over the province, and left me reinvigorated to continue my advocacy on behalf of your reproductive rights. Thank you to all who attended.

In addition to organizing this rally, the Manitoba NDP and I have been hard at work fighting against the government’s harmful agenda. Earlier this year, we used our power as official Opposition to delay five government bills that Manitobans told us would be especially harmful to them and their families — and, thanks to efforts from all Manitobans, the government announced that it would no longer move forward with these bills, at least for now.

Friday, Oct. 1, 2021

The fight for reproductive rights is never over. We recently saw lawmakers in Texas attempt to ban abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, for women and girls after just six weeks from conception — before many women even know they are pregnant. In Manitoba, women and gender-diverse persons seeking reproductive healthcare are often subject to verbal abuse outside abortion clinics by non-peaceful protesters.

I’ve always championed reproductive rights as the MLA for St. Johns. In 2018, I first introduced a bill to create a safety perimeter around any clinics, hospitals, or health-care facilities offering abortion services so that protesters would not be allowed within 150 metres of these clinics.This would protect both patients and health-care providers against harassment, intimidation, and persuasion on abortion. But the Progressive Conservative government refused to support my bill. This year, I brought forward my bill again and strengthened it by adding safety parameters around schools to keep kids safe. I hope that the government chooses to support my bill this time to protect women and gender diverse-persons.

Last weekend, inspired in part by my outrage at the new Texan abortion laws, I continued my advocacy for women and gender-diverse persons by organizing a rally for reproductive rights at the Manitoba Legislature. I wanted to show my solidarity with all those who are unable to access the health care that they need, and remind our own government that we will never tolerate similar anti-abortion legislation here. The event featured a strong turnout of Manitobans from all over the province, and left me reinvigorated to continue my advocacy on behalf of your reproductive rights. Thank you to all who attended.

In addition to organizing this rally, the Manitoba NDP and I have been hard at work fighting against the government’s harmful agenda. Earlier this year, we used our power as official Opposition to delay five government bills that Manitobans told us would be especially harmful to them and their families — and, thanks to efforts from all Manitobans, the government announced that it would no longer move forward with these bills, at least for now.

Government has the wrong priorities

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Preview

Government has the wrong priorities

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021

As summer is in full swing, I hope everyone in St. Johns is making the most of the warm weather and less stringent health orders by visiting safely with family and friends. While there’s still lots of summer left to enjoy, there are a few issues coming up this fall that all Manitobans should be aware of.

The NDP caucus used its ability as official Opposition to delay five government bills until the fall, so that Manitobans could have their say.

One of these was Bill 57 — The Protection of Critical Infrastructure Act, which gives the Progressive Conservatives power to levy significant fines against Manitobans who choose to peacefully protest in areas deemed “critical infrastructure.” The bill defines these spaces vaguely and includes grocery stores, personal-care homes, banks, and even the legislature.

This is a blatant attack on democracy and an attempt to suppress dissent from Indigenous peoples, environmental groups, unions, and all concerned citizens. Manitobans have the right to protest peacefully without fear of punishment.

Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021

As summer is in full swing, I hope everyone in St. Johns is making the most of the warm weather and less stringent health orders by visiting safely with family and friends. While there’s still lots of summer left to enjoy, there are a few issues coming up this fall that all Manitobans should be aware of.

The NDP caucus used its ability as official Opposition to delay five government bills until the fall, so that Manitobans could have their say.

One of these was Bill 57 — The Protection of Critical Infrastructure Act, which gives the Progressive Conservatives power to levy significant fines against Manitobans who choose to peacefully protest in areas deemed “critical infrastructure.” The bill defines these spaces vaguely and includes grocery stores, personal-care homes, banks, and even the legislature.

This is a blatant attack on democracy and an attempt to suppress dissent from Indigenous peoples, environmental groups, unions, and all concerned citizens. Manitobans have the right to protest peacefully without fear of punishment.

St. Johns will feel the impact of Hydro rate increases

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Preview

St. Johns will feel the impact of Hydro rate increases

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Thursday, Jul. 15, 2021

We had a Manitoba Hydro committee meeting at the legislature at the end of June, at which we got the opportunity to ask the chief executive officer of Manitoba Hydro questions.

We learned then that Manitoba Hydro expected to increase rates by 3.5 per cent in October of this year.

A couple of weeks later, the government has changed its mind and not for the better.

Manitobans learned on July 8 that they will actually be facing 2.5 per cent rate increases for the next three years — with no independent oversight.

Thursday, Jul. 15, 2021

We had a Manitoba Hydro committee meeting at the legislature at the end of June, at which we got the opportunity to ask the chief executive officer of Manitoba Hydro questions.

We learned then that Manitoba Hydro expected to increase rates by 3.5 per cent in October of this year.

A couple of weeks later, the government has changed its mind and not for the better.

Manitobans learned on July 8 that they will actually be facing 2.5 per cent rate increases for the next three years — with no independent oversight.

Congratulations to 2021 graduates in St. Johns

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Preview

Congratulations to 2021 graduates in St. Johns

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Friday, Jun. 18, 2021

As the end of June draws near, I congratulate all graduates in St. Johns and across Manitoba on your hard-earned achievements!

As you have pursued your education throughout this pandemic, you have experienced challenges not faced in many generations. You’ve dealt with rapidly changing circumstances and have pivoted quickly from in-person to remote learning and back again, and sometimes a hybrid of the two.

You’ve had to miss school sports and parties, or fieldwork and networking opportunities to help start your new careers. And now, at a time when you should be out celebrating your accomplishments with your friends and family, you’ve been asked to sacrifice this rite of passage to stay home to protect the health of our province.

While in-person convocations or graduation powwows may not be able to happen this year, I have been so impressed by the ingenuity of our graduates, along with their schools and loved ones, to come up with creative ways to celebrate.

Friday, Jun. 18, 2021

As the end of June draws near, I congratulate all graduates in St. Johns and across Manitoba on your hard-earned achievements!

As you have pursued your education throughout this pandemic, you have experienced challenges not faced in many generations. You’ve dealt with rapidly changing circumstances and have pivoted quickly from in-person to remote learning and back again, and sometimes a hybrid of the two.

You’ve had to miss school sports and parties, or fieldwork and networking opportunities to help start your new careers. And now, at a time when you should be out celebrating your accomplishments with your friends and family, you’ve been asked to sacrifice this rite of passage to stay home to protect the health of our province.

While in-person convocations or graduation powwows may not be able to happen this year, I have been so impressed by the ingenuity of our graduates, along with their schools and loved ones, to come up with creative ways to celebrate.

Bill 71 is bad for St. Johns renters

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Preview

Bill 71 is bad for St. Johns renters

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Tuesday, May. 25, 2021

This pandemic has been challenging for all of us. Low-income families in St. Johns have been hit hard, working front-line jobs and putting themselves at risk to afford rent and groceries.

Now the PCs want to leave them even further behind.

The PCs recently passed Bill 71, The Education Property Tax Reduction Act. This legislation puts big cheques into the pockets of the most well-off Manitobans while slashing benefits for renters. It will decrease the $700 tax credit that all renters in Manitoba currently receive by 25 per cent this year, an immediate loss of $175, while eventually phasing the tax credit out altogether. What’s more, these renters’ landlords will receive cheques in the mail for 10 per cent of their education property taxes on every property they own this year — potentially thousands of dollars.

This means that big, out-of-province corporations will be getting cheques for tens of thousands, and the wealthiest Manitobans who own the most property will reap the biggest benefits. Meanwhile, working people who rent here in St. Johns and rely on this tax credit to cover expenses will see benefits clawed back.

Tuesday, May. 25, 2021

This pandemic has been challenging for all of us. Low-income families in St. Johns have been hit hard, working front-line jobs and putting themselves at risk to afford rent and groceries.

Now the PCs want to leave them even further behind.

The PCs recently passed Bill 71, The Education Property Tax Reduction Act. This legislation puts big cheques into the pockets of the most well-off Manitobans while slashing benefits for renters. It will decrease the $700 tax credit that all renters in Manitoba currently receive by 25 per cent this year, an immediate loss of $175, while eventually phasing the tax credit out altogether. What’s more, these renters’ landlords will receive cheques in the mail for 10 per cent of their education property taxes on every property they own this year — potentially thousands of dollars.

This means that big, out-of-province corporations will be getting cheques for tens of thousands, and the wealthiest Manitobans who own the most property will reap the biggest benefits. Meanwhile, working people who rent here in St. Johns and rely on this tax credit to cover expenses will see benefits clawed back.

Addressing vaccine hesitancy

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Preview

Addressing vaccine hesitancy

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Friday, Apr. 16, 2021

I think it’s fair to say that we are all ready and anxious for this pandemic to be over. In St. Johns and across the province, it’s now been over a year since many family members and friends were able to gather together in person. I know we all deeply miss these connections and the best way to get them back is to vaccinate as many Manitobans as possible.

In record time, the global science community developed not one, but four vaccines  that have been approved in Canada. This is an amazing feat.

Just last week, I received my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine. My shot was administered by Dr. Marcia Anderson, an Indigenous doctor on the front lines and a member of the First Nations pandemic response team. I felt relief knowing I’m doing what I need to do to protect those within my sacred circle.

It’s with this profound sense of gratitude that I encourage all Manitobans to get the vaccine as soon as you are eligible.

Friday, Apr. 16, 2021

Supplied photo
St. Johns MLA Nahanni Fontaine received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine last week from Dr. Marcia Anderson, an Indigenous doctor who is a member of the First Nations pandemic response team.

St. Johns women deserve a strong ‘she-covery’

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Preview

St. Johns women deserve a strong ‘she-covery’

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 24, 2021

I commemorated International Women’s Day, which was celebrated on March 8, by attending a vigil for 29-year-old Jana Williams along with my colleague Uzoma Asagwara, MLA for Union Station.

Jana was pregnant with her third child when she was murdered and her remains were left near the Red River. This heartbreaking loss is all too familiar for Indigenous families — in St. Johns and across the province - as our women, girls, and two-spirit people continue to be under attack.

International Women’s Day isn’t just about niceties or posting to social media, it’s a day to commit to action and actually do something to tackle the myriad of issues women face.

Women’s rights is not just a St. Johns issue. Around the world, women have been bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic and I’ve spoken to many St. Johns women who have been struggling this year in a variety of ways.

Wednesday, Mar. 24, 2021

I commemorated International Women’s Day, which was celebrated on March 8, by attending a vigil for 29-year-old Jana Williams along with my colleague Uzoma Asagwara, MLA for Union Station.

Jana was pregnant with her third child when she was murdered and her remains were left near the Red River. This heartbreaking loss is all too familiar for Indigenous families — in St. Johns and across the province - as our women, girls, and two-spirit people continue to be under attack.

International Women’s Day isn’t just about niceties or posting to social media, it’s a day to commit to action and actually do something to tackle the myriad of issues women face.

Women’s rights is not just a St. Johns issue. Around the world, women have been bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic and I’ve spoken to many St. Johns women who have been struggling this year in a variety of ways.

Thanks to Caring Camp volunteers

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Preview

Thanks to Caring Camp volunteers

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021

February has been the coldest month of our winter so far. So cold that many unsheltered people, in St. Johns and throughout Winnipeg, have been living and sleeping in bus shelters as a last resort. The fact that people have to risk coming into contact with COVID-19 to stay alive is unacceptable — all Manitobans deserve warm, safe, and dignified places to live.

I’m always impressed by how quickly and effectively our community steps up to help those in need. A coalition of Indigenous grassroots organizations and volunteers saw that the unsheltered community in Winnipeg is disproportionately Indigenous and within days responded by setting up two teepees and a tent outside Thunderbird House.

The Community Caring Camp has been successful because of the empathy, love, and hard work of groups like Anishiative, Mama Bear Clan Patrol, and Community 204, who have been running the camp and collecting donations of warm clothing. All pandemic fundamentals are being followed to protect people from COVID-19 and volunteers are present around the clock to keep the fires going and monitor safety.

While we are all grateful for this massive community effort, we know this is a temporary solution.

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021

John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press
Volunteers Ray (left) and E.J. move garbage at the Community Caring Camp at Thunderbird House on Feb. 14.

Vaccine rollout must improve immediately

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Preview

Vaccine rollout must improve immediately

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Friday, Jan. 22, 2021

Calling 2020 a difficult year is an understatement. Many of the same challenges will carry forward into 2021.

The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine gives us a good reason for hope and to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The defining task this year is undoubtedly to ensure all Manitobans, starting with vulnerable groups and front-line workers, get access to the COVID-19 vaccine expeditiously.

St. Johns has multiple personal care homes and numerous front-line workers who urgently need to be protected with the COVID-19 vaccine. For instance, the residents of Luther Home, an 80-bed facility, filled with our grandmas and grandpas, parents and friends need to have access to the vaccine.

Friday, Jan. 22, 2021

Dreamstime.com
St. Johns MLA Nahanni Fontaine says the provincial vaccine rollout must be improved.

Staying safe for the holidays

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Preview

Staying safe for the holidays

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

When we look back on the year 2020, we will remember it as a year of sacrifices. Sacrifices we made to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe during an uncertain time. Our St. Johns community has given so much this year and I wish more than anything that we could close out the year together in celebration of all we have accomplished.

Unfortunately, we have to stay apart a little bit longer. We have to get these case numbers down so that when we gather again, no one is missing. I know it is very challenging to be isolated from family and friends at any time of year, especially around the holidays. I know you’re frustrated with the situation we’re in and missing your loved ones, because I am, too.

This year has been hard on all of us and each for our own unique reasons. I am so proud of our St. Johns community for doing what is right and what is necessary to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

All that being said, it’s important that we find new, creative ways to celebrate this year. While we can’t be together in-person with our family and friends, that doesn’t mean we have to feel alone. Technology gives us so many amazing opportunities to connect that previous generations did not have. Many families are looking at doing Zoom holiday dinners this year, or baking together over video chat.

Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

Supplied photo
St. Johns MLA Nahanni Fontaine and her family wish you all the best for the holiday season.

Supporting small business in St. Johns

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Preview

Supporting small business in St. Johns

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Monday, Nov. 30, 2020

I stand in support of all St. Johns small businesses struggling since the advent of COVID-19 and the latest code red restrictions.

I’ve heard from many small business owners in St. Johns who have shared the myriad of obstacles they face, including attempting to access federal and provincial grants. Often small businesses don’t meet any of the criteria to access any financial supports to help get them through this difficult time period. With this month’s new critical-code red restrictions, many businesses are closer than ever to closing their doors.

I’ve spent time visiting St. Johns’ small businesses. I wanted to let owners and employees know I care and that I am here for any support I can offer.

I recently pulled together a list of small businesses in our constituency and shared it to my social media and dropped off physical posters to many St. Johns businesses. If anyone would like a physical copy of the poster, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our constituency office and I will personally drop one off to you.

Monday, Nov. 30, 2020

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St. Johns MLA Nahanni Fontaine is pictured outside Modern Coffee at 191 Inkster Blvd., one of many local small businesses doing its best to survive under code red restrictions.

Consolidation of CancerCare services is a disservice

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Preview

Consolidation of CancerCare services is a disservice

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Friday, Oct. 30, 2020

In 2016, Manitoba Minister of Families Heather Stefanson said the Pallister government would never reduce patient access to cancer treatment in Manitoba.

Four years later, in the midst of a pandemic, Brian Pallister is cutting CancerCare at Seven Oaks Hospital, forcing vulnerable, immunocompromised patients to travel further for the care they need. I have heard from many St. Johns constituents that Pallister’s cut will impact their treatment.

Pallister’s latest round of cuts to CancerCare effectively reduces cancer care centres in Manitoba by one-third.

Manitoba Nurses Union president Darlene Jackson has said cutting CancerCare services will not only impact patients in North Winnipeg but also patients who come to Winnipeg from rural areas. Jackson acknowledges patient stress is heightened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and believes Pallister is rushing through this decision.

Friday, Oct. 30, 2020

In 2016, Manitoba Minister of Families Heather Stefanson said the Pallister government would never reduce patient access to cancer treatment in Manitoba.

Four years later, in the midst of a pandemic, Brian Pallister is cutting CancerCare at Seven Oaks Hospital, forcing vulnerable, immunocompromised patients to travel further for the care they need. I have heard from many St. Johns constituents that Pallister’s cut will impact their treatment.

Pallister’s latest round of cuts to CancerCare effectively reduces cancer care centres in Manitoba by one-third.

Manitoba Nurses Union president Darlene Jackson has said cutting CancerCare services will not only impact patients in North Winnipeg but also patients who come to Winnipeg from rural areas. Jackson acknowledges patient stress is heightened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and believes Pallister is rushing through this decision.

The impacts of COVID-19 on women

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Preview

The impacts of COVID-19 on women

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Monday, Oct. 5, 2020

In most catastrophic events, women are disproportionately impacted.

COVID-19 is no different. Women are at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis in a myriad of different ways and are exponentially physically, socially and economically impacted.

The Public Health Agency of Canada states that more women within the general population have been diagnosed with, and died from, COVID-19.

More than half of all female workers — 56 per cent — work in the caring, clerical, catering, cashiering and cleaning sectors. Women represent over 90 per cent of nurses; 75 per cent of respiratory therapists; and 80 per cent of citizens working in medical labs. More than two-thirds of employees cleaning and disinfecting our hospitals, schools and buildings are women. Put together, women face increased opportunities for possible COVID-19 exposure.

Monday, Oct. 5, 2020

In most catastrophic events, women are disproportionately impacted.

COVID-19 is no different. Women are at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis in a myriad of different ways and are exponentially physically, socially and economically impacted.

The Public Health Agency of Canada states that more women within the general population have been diagnosed with, and died from, COVID-19.

More than half of all female workers — 56 per cent — work in the caring, clerical, catering, cashiering and cleaning sectors. Women represent over 90 per cent of nurses; 75 per cent of respiratory therapists; and 80 per cent of citizens working in medical labs. More than two-thirds of employees cleaning and disinfecting our hospitals, schools and buildings are women. Put together, women face increased opportunities for possible COVID-19 exposure.

In loving memory of John Loxley

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Preview

In loving memory of John Loxley

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

Our beloved Dr. John Loxley passed away July 28, 2020.

For those Manitobans who may not have had the pleasure of meeting him, John Loxley was a kind, compassionate, caring, loving, phenomenal and yet humble human being.

John was a professor of economics at the University of Manitoba who specialized in economic social justice, alternative budgeting and international development.

Throughout his illustrious career, John advised the Manitoba government, as well as the governments of Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa.

Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

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John Loxley, professor, economist, activist and community organizer, died on July 28, 2020.

‘Well done’ to all St. Johns graduates

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Preview

‘Well done’ to all St. Johns graduates

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Monday, Jul. 13, 2020

Congratulations to all of the graduates in the St. Johns constituency.

Whether your family is celebrating a kindergarten, middle school, high school, post-secondary or other school graduation, you should all be so proud.

It takes dedication, commitment, adaptation and resilience to complete your education, particularly during a global pandemic.

I commend all the high school graduates, who all of a sudden had to become their own teachers while trying to complete some of their most challenging courses and make plans for their futures. This is not an easy time to go through such a major life transition.

Monday, Jul. 13, 2020

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St. Johns MLA (and proud mother) Nahanni Fontaine, posed for a graduation photo with her youngest son, Niniichaanis.

We must all stand as allies with the BLM movement

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Preview

We must all stand as allies with the BLM movement

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Monday, Jun. 15, 2020

The Black Lives Matter movement was founded in 2013, following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

BLM demands governments of all stripes examine the way in which Black, Indigenous and brown communities are policed.

The recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and the public lynching of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis has highlighted again, that for Black, Indigenous and brown people, encounters with police can often have deadly outcomes.

People around the world are supporting and standing with BLM, as evinced in the thousands of rallies, protests and peaceful gatherings.

Monday, Jun. 15, 2020

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Between 15,000 and 20,000 people gathered at the Manitoba Legislature on June 5 to attend a march organized by Justice 4 Black Lives Winnipeg.

St. Johns residents are caring, resilient

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Preview

St. Johns residents are caring, resilient

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 2 minute read Tuesday, May. 19, 2020

Over the last eight weeks, St. Johns constituents have time and time again demonstrated their kindness, care and love toward one another as we navigate and adapt to COVID-19.

Pastor Tom Campbell, from Zion Apostles Church, initiated the Boxes of Hope program offering basic food items, spiritual care and encouragement to St. Johns citizens who may feel they need to connect for additional supports.

Tracy Ball, a longtime proud and amazing St. Johns constituent and executive director of Sinclair Park Community Centre, reached out to me several weeks back to share concern for one of our families with five small children struggling with food security.

I put a call out to the community for donations and immediately donations came in from not only St. Johns folks but also across Manitoba and Canada.

Tuesday, May. 19, 2020

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Pastor Tom Campbell, from Zion Apostles Church, has started a program called Boxes of Hope, which offers basic food items, spiritual care and encouragement to St. Johns residents.

Those helping others deserve our praise

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Preview

Those helping others deserve our praise

Nahanni Fontaine - MLA for St. Johns 3 minute read Monday, Apr. 13, 2020

The global spread of COVID-19, and this new normal, has shown our willingness to help one another when we need it most.

The constituency of St. Johns is no different.

St. John’s High School’s food bank program has been in operation for about two-and-a-half years, allowing students in need to pick up food hampers for their families. With school closed, outreach workers have transformed the program by delivering food and homework packets to families who may otherwise face food insecurity during the pandemic.

I want to give a huge shout out and meegwetch to SJHS outreach workers Tom Rossi, Chantille Tonne and the Walter & Maria Schroeder Foundation, alongside the entire team. Their selfless work and ongoing support is helping over 150 families meet their basic needs in these uncertain and financially difficult times.

Monday, Apr. 13, 2020

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St. Johns MLA Nahanni Fontaine offers a heartfelt message of thanks to all those working to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic.