Death records for residential-school children
The Province has agreed to share the death records of Indigenous children who went to residential schools with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. These records will be used to identify and commemorate loved ones, provide burial locations, enable research and provide causes and rates of death. This agreement fulfills one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls for action.
True North proposal for Portage Place
On March 13, the city’s executive policy committee voted to allow The Forks North Portage Partnership to grant True North the option of purchasing Portage Place mall. True North owns the Winnipeg Jets and is proposing to use the space for housing, services and programs that suit the area’s social and economic needs. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says True North’s proposal lacks Indigenous leadership and is calling on governments to decline the offer. The vote will go before city council on March 23.
Renaming three Winnipeg streets
The City’s Indigenous-relations division has been appointed to help rename three Winnipeg streets: Bishop Grandin Boulevard, Bishop Grandin Trail and Grandin Street. Following a meeting with Elders, knowledge-keepers and residential-school survivors, they have proposed the boulevard be changed to Abinojii Mikanah (A-bin-oh-gee Meekin-ah), the trail be changed to Awasisak Mēskanow (Aa-wa-sis-uk Me-ska-noh) and the street be changed to Taapweewin Way (Tap-waywin). Bishop Grandin was a key supporter of the residential-school system.
HSC to open minor-treatment clinic
A new minor-treatment clinic is expected to open this summer at the Health Sciences Centre. After being triaged and assessed at the ER, patients will be referred to the clinic and treated for injuries or illness, including stitches or conditions requiring antibiotics. HSC hopes to reduce the number of people choosing to leave without having been seen in the ER due to lengthy wait times. The clinic will open on the first floor of HSC, across from the 700 William Ave. entrance. It will be open for 12 hours per day and be staffed by one doctor and one nurse.
Introduction of Addiction Services Act
On March 14, the Manitoba legislature introduced Bill 33, the Addiction Services Act, that would regulate drug-treatment facilities and safe-consumption sites. The bill would require organizations to apply for a federal exemption from Health Canada and a license from the province. They would also be required to take staff training, record incident reports, provide records to the province on request and allow them to have a say in management and operation. Organizations already focusing on harm reduction would have up to six months to apply for government approval.
Release of 2022 fatal overdose data
Moms Stop the Harm, an organization of families affected by substance use-related deaths and harms, released their 2022 fatal overdose statistics after the provincial government refused to earlier this week. They say at least 377 people died from overdoses between January and November. No data is available yet for December. Sunshine House, a drop-in and resource centre, had more than 4,500 people access their mobile overdose-prevention site from November to February 2023. Manitoba is the only province west of Atlantic Canada without access to supervised harm-reduction consumption sites.
Published in Volume 77, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 16, 2023)