PC cuts continue to hurt Transcona residents
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This article was published 13/11/2021 (323 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has arrived. As our hospitals begin to see a rise in admissions, leading to transfers of patients to other facilities farther away from home, residents of Transcona are reminded how awful a mistake it was for the Progressive Conservative government to systematically dismantle health-care infrastructure in northeast Winnipeg.
Instead of ensuring that Manitobans were seen quickly when they needed urgent medical attention, the PCs closed the emergency room at Concordia Hospital. Instead of helping cancer patients, they closed the local CancerCare centre, forcing chemotherapy patients to take a bus across town during a pandemic. And the government did nothing as three Dynacare labs closed in Transcona, forcing seniors and those with mobility issues into supersites further away.
But it’s not just patients who are suffering — the PCs are also cutting public education funding, leaving our students without the resources they need to get through the pandemic. At the post-secondary level, students are currently unable to attend classes at the University of Manitoba because the PC government won’t let the U of M administration engage in free and fair negotiations with staff.
Manitobans wants a government that works for everyone, but it has become clear that the PCs have done the opposite. So far, the new PC premier, Heather Stefanson, has stuck to the playbook of her mentor, Brian Pallister.
She was the health minister during the third wave of the pandemic, when the government failed to protect Manitobans so badly that we needed to transfer some of our sickest patients outside the province. When asked if she could have done more to protect Manitobans from Covid-19, her response was “coulda, shoulda, woulda.”
Stefanson learned from Pallister, she was his deputy premier from day one, so it should come as no surprise that she is quick with an excuse but slow to admit a mistake.
If Stefanson wants to show that she’s different from Pallister, she can start by reinvesting in public services in Transcona and northeast Winnipeg. She can ensure the health-care services people need are close to home. And she can stop her government’s interference in U of M negotiations and let it negotiate fairly with faculty to reach a fair deal so that students can get back into the classroom, where they belong.
If you have been affected by the cuts and closures in northeast Winnipeg, I want to hear from you. Call my office at 204-594-2025 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcona constituency report
Nello Altomare is the NDP MLA for Transcona.