As your MLA, I empathize with the difficulties people in northern Manitoba face as a result of government cuts to healthcare and infrastructure. Up until now, there has been no action taken by this government, nor apologies made, for the abrupt shutdown and slowdown of healthcare facilities in Flin Flon, Lynn Lake, Snow Lake and Leaf Rapids. As a result of this shortage in medical facilities and staff, patients from the north are often medivaced to Winnipeg to receive treatment. I have heard from constituents who tell me that, after receiving treatment in Winnipeg, they have had to find their own way home.
I have also heard from constituents who continue to bear the burden of transporting themselves for miles to access health care, because ambulance services are short-staffed. Sick people needing ambulance services are expected to find their way to medical facilities on roads that are not safe to drive on.
Again, I am hearing from many constituents about the state of our roads. Highway 391 north of Thompson to Lynn Lake is in drastic need of repairs. Highway 395 to the Lalor mine site is dangerous on a good day, with numerous accidents reported in the last little while. Many times, your NDP MLAs have raised the issue of proper snow clearing of our roads and highways, as the conditions on our roads in winter are not acceptable. This Progressive Conservative (PC) government continues to make more and more road maintenance cuts that are detrimental to the people of northern Manitoba.
They sold off nearly 300 pieces of equipment that could have been used to repair our roads and clear snow. We recently learned that 47 per cent of northern highway maintenance positions are vacant due to PC cuts - that is almost half of the workforce needed to ensure that our northern highways are maintained and cleared. There are currently 127 positions unfilled. That’s far too many jobs that should be filled and put to work fixing our roads.
I am also hearing a lot from constituents about the cost of living. That’s why we proposed a freeze on Manitoba Hydro rates, to give Manitobans a break during times of quickly rising costs. Both the Manitoba Liberals and PCs voted against our proposal. The PC government’s cuts certainly hurt northern Manitoba. We all know that we can’t cut our way to growth in the north. The government should commit to funding healthcare and infrastructure that is accessible to all members of the community.
This is why I support NDP’s commitment to invest in healthcare and fix the damages this PC government has caused.
If you would like to contact me regarding government cuts or any concern in your community, please feel free to get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 204-687-3246