The legislature resumed in late September. During this time, your NDP MLAs have raised the issues that matter to people in Northern Manitoba. We want investments in the north. We want safe roads and investment in healthcare.
Our leader Wab Kinew recently raised concerns about the mass sell-off of heavy equipment by Manitoba Infrastructure. Over the last two years, the Progressive Conservatives have sold off nearly 300 pieces of heavy equipment used to repair our roads and clean snow. That should be of concern to anyone who wants to make sure our roads are in good working order and snow is cleared in a timely fashion.
We also recently raised the unacceptable situation with highway maintenance in the northern region. Over the last few years, dozens of positions have been cut. Even after cutting these positions, there is a 47 per cent vacancy rate in northern highway maintenance with 127 positions unfilled. This is completely unacceptable. Nearly half of the positions that are needed to clean snow and repair our roads are missing.
I have heard from many people in the north that snow-covered roads are not getting cleared in time. The PC cuts are a big part of why that is. We need continued investment in highway maintenance and that means keeping equipment in public hands and properly staffing our maintenance yards.
We’re also concerned about healthcare and northern development. We continue to demonstrate just how difficult the situation has become in northern healthcare, which has been so dependent on agencies to address basic health needs. Even with private agencies, so many facilities are closing. We need a sustained plan and investment in northern healthcare. That is why I support NDP’s commitment to stop healthcare cuts and their proposal to develop a human resource plan that can help address the loss of health professionals in Northern Manitoba.
We’re also committed to a plan to grow our province and the north. I was pleased to see Alberta NDP party leader Rachel Notley, who recently came to Manitoba. She pointed out how important it is for governments to address the rising cost of living. In the north, we need government investment and good jobs, and the NDP is committed to making a real difference in people’s lives.
Lastly, I commend all candidates in the just concluded municipal elections throughout the constituency. There are many new people elected that I look forward to meeting and working with for the North. Local democracy is of utmost importance. It is the very foundation for politics at the provincial and federal levels of government.
If you would like to contact me regarding anything of concern to you, please email my office at email@example.com or call 204-687-3246.