Government must be transparent about variants


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/03/2021 (809 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The last few weeks have been a time for people around the world to reminisce about how much our lives have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Folks in the Maples have expressed to me that it has been difficult for their kids to not see their friends for organized sports and for families to forego visiting their loved ones. They miss having small celebrations with co-workers and friends.

This has been a year to reflect on what is important in all of our lives, and try to overcome this together as Manitobans.

It has been incredibly frustrating, on top of these challenges, for Manitobans to have the Pallister government in power. Transparency and accountability are not its strongest suits.

Just the other week, after the premier held a press conference, Manitobans were disappointed to find out an hour later that he had failed to tell them about the first two cases of a new coronavirus variant of concern.

We know the government’s response to the pandemic has been bad — and the same goes for variant testing. It took 18 days to notify the public of the first variant of concern and 14 of those days were the government simply sitting on the test. It took until Feb. 7, months after variant cases began emerging, that labs were told to send all positive samples for screening. And they still haven’t said how long it is taking to turn around a variant test.

Now, after retroactively screening tests, it appears that more variant cases have been confirmed.

These variants of concern are more contagious and some are potentially more resistant to antibodies. That’s why Manitobans deserve to know as much as they can about confirmed variant cases so they can do their best to protect themselves and others. Public information can only help public health and help control the spread of COVID-19.

Without adequate information Manitobans are left wondering when variant cases emerged, how long they took to detect, and where the cases emerged from.

Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are all sharing this basic information already — it’s time the premier started doing the same.

Please do not hesitate to contact our constituency office at 103-1730 Leila Ave. Call 204-417-3486 or send an email to

Mintu Sandhu

Mintu Sandhu
The Maples constituency report

Mintu Sandhu is the NDP MLA for The Maples.

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