Saturday, June 24, 2017

Building on what works

For me an important principle of public policy is to build on what is good or excellent in providing services and in putting patients first.   In the see-saw world of Manitoba politics – with the last few decades of back and forth between the NDP and the Tories, too often governments, like the present Tory government, walk in like a bull in a china shop and breakup and destroy what is excellent.  Sadly, this is what is happening with the Misericordia Urgent Care Centre which is the best performing of all the Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centres in Winnipeg – with the shortest wait times and the best patient satisfaction.  Instead of destroying excellence as the Conservatives are doing, we should recognize that to achieve excellence in health care we need to support and build on what is already excellent. 

Not only is Misericordia Urgent Care Centre a high performing unit, it is synergistically located beside the Buhler Eye Care Centre at Misericordia.   People come from all over Manitoba to the Misericordia because they have eye problems and they know that this is the best place in western Canada.   At the Urgent Care Centre, physicians have developed expertise in dealing with eye issues and they know when a problem is such that it needs immediate referral to the Buhler Eye Care Centre ophthalmologists.   The ophthalmologists respect the expertise at the Urgent Care Centre and they know when they get an emergency referral, it must be seen quickly.   The synergism has created excellence in eye care.  Furthermore, the presence of the Urgent Care Centre means that if there is a general medical issue which develops during eye surgery, the physicians at the Urgent Care Centre are there close by to help.   Another synergy is present.  

The excellence at the Misericordia Urgent Care Centre did not develop by accident.  It was the result of really good planning and execution by people at Misericordia.   We should be building on the excellence that has developed at Misericordia to achieve even greater excellence in health care there rather than breaking up the current excellence which has taken many, many years to build.   Instead of Tory machinations, we should adhere to the principle of building on what is good and excellent to achieve even better.   This is what my campaign for the leadership of the Manitoba Liberals is about – it is about using principles and values to achieve a better health care system.   

There is an additional reason to build on excellence rather than destroying it.  When a government builds on excellence it supports the development of excellent programs which put patients first.  When a government destroys an excellent program it sends a very bad message to people – don’t build excellence because we will just destroy it.  Let us build excellence, and let this be at the very core of our public policy.    Just as there are fundamental particles in physics, and fundamental processes in chemistry and biochemistry, fundamental principles for building strong human societies need also to be recognized.  One of these is to build on what works, to build on what is excellent and more forward to achieve a better society.  We should stand on the shoulders of the giants who have gone before us, not jump off their shoulders forgetting what has gone before.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Our Campaign is Launched - I am running to be the Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party

I announced today that I will be running for the leadership of the Manitoba Liberal Party.   The Convention to elect the new leader is October 21,   

Our daughter Pauline is the MC
Harmony Knott provides opening words and a prayer
Bonnie Bricker speaks of my passion to address mental and brain health issues, and that she believes I should be leader because of my experience, knowledge and compassion. 
I announce I will be running to be Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party.  My speech is below the photos.
Shandi Strong provides concluding remarks. 

My speech at the announcement is below:

Welcome everyone.   Thank you for coming.   And thank you Bonnie  Bricker for your kind words.
We are here to launch our campaign.  I am running to be Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party.
I want to thank my family and the members of my campaign committee.  I want to recognize my wife Naomi, and to thank my daughter Pauline for MCing this event.  

One of the first questions I am asked is why do I want to be leader again? 

Well, I am standing here today, because of you – because you have told me that you want me to run.  You have told me that you want me as a knowledgeable, experienced and trusted alternative to a government which is hacking and slashing vital programs and services important to all Manitobans.
Je suis ici aujourd hui parce que vous m’appuyez – vous me soutenez.  Vous m’avez demandé que je retourne.

I am coming back because you have asked me to.  I am coming back because we need to ensure the health of our people, all Manitobans - Metis, First Nation, Inuit and recent immigrants included.  We must do much better to address brain and mental health in our province.   As a doctor I know health care intimately.  After the last election, we produced a report on brain and mental health in less time that the current government took to hire a consultant to start on their plan.  

I am coming back because to achieve excellence in health care we need to build on the excellence that already exists in Manitoba, like at the Misericordia, not break it up and destroy it.   At a time when we have an urgent need for a dedicated stroke unit, this government is closing emergency rooms.  In their efforts to cut, the Conservatives have forgotten to focus on building.  

I am also coming back because we need to reduce poverty, to end homelessness and to support families in our province.  I am coming back because we need to ensure post-secondary education in Manitoba is accessible and to support our students and recent graduates instead of eliminating the tuition rebate.  As an environmentalist, I am coming back to ensure the health of our rivers and lakes, that all our citizens have clean running water, and that all Manitoba’s communities, including First Nations communities, have good flood protection.  

I am coming back, because we live in one of the most exciting times in history – with enormous possibilities to improve in new ways in the digital world, whether in education, in health care, especially preventing sickness, or in other fields and there is a need to think ahead so that we have the training, the jobs, the research and diverse opportunities here for work and recreation in our own province.  Experienced, knowledgeable forward thinking leadership which is ready to govern is what is needed as an alternative to the Conservatives. That is what I and our team offer.

And I am coming back because now, more than ever, we need to work together to build our Liberal Party and to build our province.   The time is now.  The future, my friends, is ours to earn.   And ours to work with all Manitobans to build.  It has been wonderful in the last year to work with Judy Klassen and Cindy Lamoureux and I look forward to continuing to work with them.  And I am looking forward to working with Dougald Lamont, with our Manitoba Liberal Party Board, with our federal Liberal colleagues and with our members across the province as we build a strong future for our Party and for our province.  There is much work to do.  Thank you all for being a part of this effort.  
Merci, Miigwech, Thank you

How to provide support:   This leadership contest will be decided by a vote of those who are members of the Manitoba Liberal Party.  There is a simple process to become a member. 

Go to the link below, and fill out the form to become a Member. Near the top of page 2 of this form is a line which says  Note: ______.  Fill in this line with the words "In support of Jon Gerrard", and then complete the rest of the form.   The cost is $10 for a regular membership, and $5 if you age 14-25.    The link you need to go to get the membership is

If you have further questions you can reach me and my team at