Mar. 6 is Overdose Awareness Day, when those who have lost loved ones to overdose and other substance-related harms display black balloons to raise awareness of the issue. Overdose Awareness Manitoba has been hosting public memorials in the lead-up to the event and has resources for those observing the day.
Winnipeg stands with Ukraine
In response to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, thousands of Winnipeggers have gathered in demonstrations in support of the people of Ukraine over the past few days, including in a large rally on Feb. 26 that the premier and many MLAs attended. There are ongoing projects throughout Winnipeg to coordinate donations to Ukraine.
On Mar. 7, from 7 to 8 p.m., Healthcare for All MB is hosting Living Without Public Healthcare, a discussion on the the experiences of international students, migrant workers and undocumented residents who have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic without access to public healthcare. Registration for this Zoom event is available on the Healthcare for All MB Facebook page.
In response to the provincial government’s decision to end the mask mandate on Mar. 15, the City of Winnipeg has concluded it is not viable to continue to enforce a mask mandate in City facilities, including city buses. The mask mandate will stay in force for city employees, but the requirement for unvaccinated employees to regularly test for COVID-19 will also be lifted.
Public works pandemonium
A recently released investigation by Christian Sweryda, a law student, and Ryan Thorpe of The Winnipeg Free Press has revealed massive systemic mismanagement in the public works department of the City of Winnipeg. The corresponding article in The Free Press has prompted Couns. Matt Allard and Scott Gillingham to call for a formal review of the department’s spending, by audit and by public hearing, respectively.
Council split on drug decriminalization
City council was tied in a vote to request the federal government decriminalize small amounts of illegal drugs within the city, legislation which would have allowed those carrying illegal drugs to be referred to addictions support programs rather than criminally charged. Mayor Brian Bowman suggested additional collaboration between the municipal, provincial and federal governments would be needed for such legislation to be enacted.
Published in Volume 76, Number 19 of The Uniter (March 2, 2022)