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Ernie Nathaniel - Kirkfield Park
1. Why did you decide to run in the Manitoba election?
As my wife had an extended stay in hospital a few years ago for Leukaemia, as well as Guillaine Barre Syndrome (over 400 days), the importance of proper healthcare was really brought home to me. When my 96 year old mother (who taught medical students) couldn’t be taken by ambulance to a hospital 3.5 minutes away (Victoria Hospital), and and instead had to go to Grace Hospital and after 6 hours be seen by the lone ER doctor at 4:30 AM, I felt I had to get involved.
I have always been surrounded by friends who are nurses and doctors. When they told me stories of what was going on … mandated hours (forced extra hours after a 12 hour shift), ER doctors no longer available for strokes resulting from hip and knee surgeries, urgent care facilities that are empty, and intimidation by regional health authorities (told they would lose their jobs if they talked about the situation), this made me feel I had to do something.
When I found out that federal money was available and not being utilized, this was very frustrating to hear. Unless you experience it yourself, we are not aware. We have to help people.
2. Why should a voter consider electing you to represent them?
The policies, the desire to be fiscally responsible and work with the federal government, and the motivation of myself and the Manitoba Liberal party to help people, are the reason to vote Manitoba Liberal.
All of the policies are viewable on the platform page of the website: https://www.manitobaliberals.ca/our-platform
Money from the fed, has been delayed or stalled ($1.9B). This money can help people. For example, $400 million for HomeCare and Mental Health programs been accepted only recently. Transfer funds for healthcare has been increasing since 2016, yet the budgets were frozen. Policies range from doable climate change actions based on the most recent science, to healthcare (end hip and knee rationing, restore physiotherapy, etc), childcare spaces, psychological programs for youth, no privatizations, post secondary education, safe communities, HomeCare and senior housing, increasing the minimum wage to $15 in 2 years, fair income strategy, and infrastructure investment, to name a few.
We show how these can be afforded and how they help growth. We show how programs such as the National Housing Strategy can partner with Manitoba to build senior housing. A 1% decrease in PST, as a trade for 50% loss of emergency rooms doesn’t look like a good deal.
3. What key issue(s) / topic(s) will you stand for in your role as MLA, and why are these important to you?
Healthcare is my main focus and the elimination of unnecessary bureaucracy. The elimination of an ER from Concordia where hip and knee surgery may result in strokes, is dangerous. 16 or 20 hour mandates for nurses is dangerous for patients. Nurses quit (some figures show up to 500) because of this and committing to add 200 nurses, instead of addressing the causes of the departures is a bandaid. We want the hospitals to again have a greater say in what they can do for their local people, as they did before. Reducing 2 levels of bureaucracy (Regional Health Authorities, and the newly added Shared Health), creates only 3 levels instead of 5: Manitoba Health, Hospitals and then the Delivery (or us).
Our tax money to intimidate healthcare professionals should never have been possible. Having insurance and not caring about those who do not, is selfish, and we want a society of people that care for each other. I will be accessible to discuss your concerns. This job should not be about position, ego, advancement, but to be about service to people, speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves. Otherwise, one shouldn’t be doing this job.
4. Do you have any other comments regarding your candidacy?
Life has great ups and downs. I have a great family, two wonderful daughters, but have experienced the possibility of life and death on a daily basis for months with my wife’s hospitalization. My Dad, Dr. Edward Nathaniel, a brilliant researcher and Anatomy Professor, experienced debilitating dementia at the end of his life. My late sister, who had Down’s Syndrome showed me how people care for the truly least of these. My brother, Virgil, went on to get his PhD and teach nursing students. Much to my parents chagrin, no doubt, I didn’t go into medicine, but with a B.A. (Psychology), went into film/video.
When I took my Dad to see a neurologist for his dementia, the doctor, a former student, was so happy to see him. The doctor told me how great my Dad was as a professor. I asked, “What made him so special in your view?” I wanted to know. Was it his intelligence, the way he spoke, the command of the subject, what? After a pause, he replied, “Because he was so kind.” I could not have received a higher compliment of my Dad. I can only hope to be a little like him.
News that mentions Ernie Nathaniel
Showing news articles published after June 1st 2019. Article summaries are selected randomly from the mentioned candidates. Our news gathering process is explained in our FAQ.
September 3, 2019
Winnipeg Free Press - Ernie Nathaniel is not a career politician, something he’s pretty open about. But his personal experience with the health care system made him get political. Nathaniel’s running in the Kirkfield Park constituency, for the Manitoba Liberal Party. Nathaniel said he realized how important health care was when...