St. Norbert

Questions Asked of Candidates

1. How have disability issues affected you and your family?
2. What do you see as being the greatest accessibility challenges within your constituency and what will you do to address these challenges?

Candidate Responses

Manitoba Liberal Party Candidate - James Bloomfield

1. My paternal Uncle has an intellectual disability and I have many childhood memories of issues my family has had to cope with over the years. When I was 20, both my Uncle and my Grandmother moved into my family home, where my parents provided care for both of them until my Grandmother passed away in 2000. They continued to care for my Uncle until 2012 when he moved into foster care. During this time, as my Uncle’s health and mental health deteriorated, I saw first hand the difficulty my parents were going through, including taking time off work to attend appointments, etc.; struggling to cope with his changing moods and behaviours; and coming to terms that they needed to find an alternative care arrangement for him in order to protect their own well-being. 

Although not living at home, by then, I knew the toll is was taking on my parents and then on my Uncle when he knew that he couldn’t come home. He is stable now, but we have lost some of our closeness to him, which my father particularly, has many regrets. I have also witnessed first hand my mother’s mobility deteriorating due to waiting for knee replacement surgery and trying to help her through coping with not having the same level of independence.

2. One issue that has frequently arisen at the doors has been middle-aged individuals who are still working and perhaps still having children living at home, now caring for elderly parents, either to maintain the parent in their own home or to have them living with them. Although I had a good experience as a young person having my Grandmother and Uncle live with us, I also knew that it was pretty difficult for my parents still caring for and worrying about my brother and sister, but now caring full time for my Grandmother and Uncle. They had a few resources to assist them, although receiving some respite for my Uncle in later years, 4-6 hours a week, was simply not enough to give them a break. We need to consider working collaboratively with “family caregivers” to ensure that not only do they have enough resources and assistance, but that they have the RIGHT kind of resources and assistance.

I fully support the Manitoba Liberal Party removing the cap on hip and knee replacement surgery. There are many individuals living in our community who I know first hand, in addition to my mother, who have been waiting an incredible length of time for this “live-changing” surgery. I also support advocating for changes to the home care system to ensure that all citizens, including persons with disabilities, have full, timely and appropriate access to home care services. This too is a significant problem in our constituency, particularly because we have many seniors in our area who want to stay living in their own homes as long as possible.

New Democratic Party Candidate - Dave Gaudreau

1. When I was 36 I applied to the Winnipeg Police Service to be an officer. I made it to the final stages when I found out I was experiencing significant hearing loss, such that I have to wear hearing aids in louder environments. This hearing loss disqualified me from serving on the police force and closed the door on that career option. I have always wanted to serve my community, so I decided to run for political office. 

I've also seen my dad struggle as his hips on each side declined. He and my step-mother could no longer remain in their home because of his decreased mobility. Since his hip replacement, he has thankfully regained full mobility, but I saw first-hand how this affected his day-to-day. These experiences helped me better understand the issues faced by people living with disabilities.

2. We've made great progress through progressive legislation making public places more accessible, but I recognize that we still have more work to do. There are still some buildings in the area that could be made more accessible, and I'm ready to work with local owners and property managers to make that happen in a collaborative way.

I also remember when residents of Place La Charrette told me about their difficulty getting to the store and performing other daily errands in the winter due to lack of sidewalk snow removal. That's why I worked with city 311 to get more regular snow removal and help address that barrier.

Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba Candidate - Jon Reyes

Answer 1: My wife has a cousin that has autistic like symptoms and she is not mentally or physically able taking care of herself and requires constant care and supervision. You need a professional to take care of her. We have seen how strenuous mentally and physically it has been on her uncle and aunt's marriage and also the relationship with her sibling.

Answer 2: 

  1. Transportation - A review of the current public transportation working collaboratively with the municipalities involved.
  2. Wait Times For Disability Services - The plan is to focus on a client-first approach to smarter and more coordinated care with measurable performance standards, accountability and continuous improvement measures. We have to ensure there is a sustained commitment by government to make choices abut where they prioritize services. 
  3. Fair Wages for Serving to Manitobans with Disabilities - To address this challenge, "Fair and equitable pay for work performed by those providing services to Manitobans with intellectual disabilities is an issue. Our party will conduct a value for money review of the current government's spending combined with the reduction of the sales tax will help keep more money in the pockets of those who provide care to Manitobans with intellectual disabilities. The result being more resources dedicated to frontline services and workers who provide them.

Not Contacted Due to Lack of Candidate-Specific Email Address

Independent Candidate - Narinder Kaur Johar