November 19, 2020
Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg MB – Today NDP Leader Wab Kinew introduced Bill 216, The Public Health Amendment Act (2). This bill amends The Public Health Act to stop the Pallister government from interfering in public health orders that are meant to keep Manitobns safe.
“It’s clear that the best strategy for fighting the COVID pandemic needs to be led by medical experts not politicians,” said Kinew. “With lives and livelihoods on the line, Manitobans need to know that our response to the pandemic is being driven by science not ideology. That’s why we’ve introduced Bill 216 today to ensure that our public health officers have the freedom and the authority to solidify their expert advice into law without political interference.”
The last month of the pandemic has been the deadliest in Manitoba and the most confusing. In the last 30 days Manitobans have received contradictory information from the government. This includes the flip flop on household-only restrictions, the last-minute change to requirements for beverage rooms, the exemption for teachers from self-isolating if a member of their household is ill, and the rules regarding the sale of essential goods that allows big box stores to stay open while our small local businesses have had to close. This is unacceptable. With our healthcare system at a breaking point, Manitobans need the interference to stop.
Manitobans are willing to make great sacrifices to keep themselves and their communities safe, but they can’t do the right thing when the government sows confusion and chaos by overriding the expert advice of public health authorities.
“This bill ensures that our public health officers are able to do their job effectively – keeping Manitobans safe and saving lives,” said Kinew. “Instead of interfering in the work of our trusted public health officials, the Conservative government needs to get out of the way and start doing their job – ensuring Manitobans can follow the orders by supporting small businesses and families.”