There are more nurses working today in Manitoba than there were one year ago, despite information spread in the media last week by the Manitoba Nurses Union suggesting otherwise. It’s difficult to say if the Manitoba Nurses Union was deliberate in misleading the public or if they simply jumped on numbers too quickly. Data collected by the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) could have been misunderstood. According to CIHI data, 535 nurses did not indicate where they were working within the province. However, these nurses are working for employers other than regional health authorities, including nursing agencies, private doctors’ offices, and surgery clinics. CIHI also reported there was a net gain of 144 regulated nurses in Manitoba.
This week on July 1, Northerners celebrated the 152nd anniversary of Canada gaining her independence from British rule at Canada Day celebrations hosted by the City of Thompson. It was nice to see everyone at the opening ceremony enjoying the food and entertainment including bannock creations, Asian cuisine, cotton candy, and the Asham Stompers performing the Red River jig. With thousands of years of Indigenous culture, centuries of the Red River Métis, and settlers from Europe and around the world including 82 new Canadians from 16 different countries sworn in this week in Thompson, Canada Day is a celebration of our history, diversity, and similarities. Thanks to the City of Thompson recreation department employees for all their hard work to ensure this year’s celebration was memorable.
As a special gift to Manitobans, effective Canada Day, July 1, our PC government has reduced the provincial sales tax from eight per cent to seven per cent, six years to the day after the previous NDP government promised not to raise the PST, but raised it anyway. We believe Manitobans deserve a break and our one percentage point PST reduction will save over $500 a year for the average family of four. At the same time we have reduced ambulance fees by half, we are reducing the deficit, and we are on track to balance in our second term. We are getting the job done and keeping our promises.