Green Party of Manitoba leader James Beddome’s Statment

James Beddome

The Green Party of Manitoba has ideas that would benefit senior citizens.

When you are considering voting for the Green Party of Manitoba you may be thinking you know that we would be strong on environmental protection but you may be wondering how we would manage other issues like healthcare, crime, and the economy.

If elected we would work towards the creation of a universal basic income for all Manitobans.  This would be a way to ensure that seniors who are living on a fixed income do not get left behind.

Socioeconomic status is one of the lead determinants of health. An examination of the Mincome experiment, a pilot basic income project carried out in Manitoba in the 1970’s, shows that the implementation of a basic income resulted in an 8.5% reduction in healthcare costs – if applied across Canada it could save $4 billion in healthcare costs, to say nothing else of the other related benefits of poverty reduction.

Greens believe strongly in a high quality public health care system;

  • We would ensure that we protected our public healthcare system, by ensuring that we increased the number of medical practitioners through time-based financial incentives and extending accreditation to foreign trained professionals.
  • We would improve care outside of Winnipeg by increasing financial incentives for general practitioners and specialists who travel to rural Manitoba.
  • We would extend healthcare coverage for accredited alternative medical professionals.
  • We would create clinics staffed by public health nurses to carry-out routine procedures to alleviate demand on other parts of the healthcare system.
  • We would expand home care and ancillary services to free up hospital beds and more importantly allow people to live in their homes longer, helping with snow removal and other basic mobility issues such as providing free transit.

We also believe that investments in preventative healthcare are vital.  Rather than simply treating illnesses, in the long-term we need to invest to ensure  Manitobans are less likely to become ill.  We need to ensure that all Manitobans are free from toxic substances that are put out into our environment, and that all Manitobans have access to healthy, sustainably produced, and safe food.  To set the proper example we would make sure hospitals serve healthy food, eliminating deep-fried foods, potato chip and soda vending machines in hospitals within a year of taking office.

In regards to crime, we feel that it is important to make provincial funding for municipal police officers conditional on embedding the officers into particular communities – it needs to be more than just the  sheer number of officers.  We need to make sure that the officers become a visible and regular feature of daily life in their communities. If officers become well known within their community they gain the trust of the community, gain valuable  intelligence, and are therefore are better able to carry out their duties with higher efficacy.

We also feel that we need to focus on the preventative approach by ensuring that young children have access to after-school programs and other extracurricular activity to ensure that they do not fall prey to criminal activities and gang influence.

If elected we would provide funding to municipalities to make urban public transportation free. That would include handi-transit. We think all citizens should have access to their cities- fare-free thereby better enabling mobility of all citizens including of course senior citizens.  Investing in public transportation is a smart investment, that will create a $70 million infusion into the local Manitoba economy.  Most of the costs could be covered by reallocating existing funding and tax credits that is already geared to public transportation. We estimate that this could take 30,000 cars off the road, thereby reducing traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and traffic collisions and injuries.  The long-term savings to our road budget, and to MPI would be immense.

These are just some of the smart innovative solutions that Greens will bring to the Legislature, and it is why we ask that you vote Green on October 4th, 2011.