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Steinbach's MLA continues to pressure the Selinger Government for additional personal care home beds. Earlier this week we brought you the story of Bill Lepp of Steinbach who is having to travel to Vita each day to visit his wife who's in a PCH there. Kelvin Goertzen (right inset) says it's a very touching story but not a unique one.
Goertzen has received from Lepp thousands of signatures as part of petitions begging the Selinger Government for more beds. Each day before Question Period, Goertzen stands up and reads the names of fifteen people from these petitions. "'I've been reading those petitions since the House opened for this spring session and will continue to do that till the end of this session and into the fall of next year and hopefully as long as it takes," notes Goertzen.
The Steinbach MLA admits often when he stands up during Question Period, NDP MLA's will roll their eyes and mutter "here goes Goertzen again." But he's noticed they don't do that for this particular case. Goertzen says for him to be the squeaky wheel is one thing but when you've got the backing of thousands of signatures, it adds quite a punch. "My hope is that over the long run the message sinks in when they hear each and every day these petitions coming forward," adds Goertzen.
Goertzen says nobody likes to guess how long the current wait time is for a PCH bed and he fully understands why. "When somebody's trying to get in, that means that somebody has to leave the personal care home," he says. And in most cases that means trying to predict when somebody might die. Rather he says health officials prefer to speak in terms of how many seniors are on the waiting list. "Typically there are several dozen who are on a list for personal care homes in the community," he says.
Goertzen says it's no secret the city of Steinbach has experienced a tremendous population boom in recent years. "The explosion of the growth over the last ten years I don't think would have been predicted twenty years ago," he says. Goertzen notes this growth has been a driving force behind the city's need for more PCH space. But he says it's now very important government responds to this growth. "With growth comes an increased tax base and more money for the government," adds Goertzen. "This region is contributing very well to the coffers of Manitoba. So then there's a responsibility to ensure that while you're getting the benefits of the growth of the community that you're also putting back into that community with the infrastructure needs that they have because of that growth."
"I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll have some commitments by the next election," notes Goertzen. But he's quick to add there's a difference between committing and delivering on those promises. Goertzen says it took five years from the time the NDP Government promised an upgrade to Steinbach's Emergency Room to the day construction finally started.
"They have acknowledged that this is a problem," says Goertzen. "They have said that there is a shortage of personal care home beds in this community, the minister of health has said that. So that's often the first step in the journey and so at least that first step has been taken. And now we need the commitment and from the commitment we need to get into the ground."
Steinbach RCMP received complaints of stolen or damaged electoral signs in the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie. The call came in at ap
The provincial Farm Production Advisor in Steinbach says area farmers took advantage of the warm weather last week to get a lot of crop in
Nameless streets in the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie will now have a point of reference. Reeve Claude Lussier explains severa
RCMP say they caught a severely impaired driver in Steinbach in the middle of the afternoon Monday. Police report a 46 year-old male motori
What a beautiful time of year! Take a walk with us and enjoy some fall photos from the flower garden next to the Jake Epp Library, S
It's tax deadline day in Steinbach. Brian Hrehirchuk, the city's Director of Finance, says both municipal and school taxes are due by the
Council for the Rural Municipality of Hanover has been informed of infrastructure upgrades needed in the community of Blumenort. Accordin
Jeff Funk is running for Hanover School Division Trustee in the newly formed Ward 1 of Niverville, Kleefeld, Crystal Springs and New Bothw
The Highway 23 bridge east of Morris is once again closed to traffic due to repair work. The bridge will remain closed until November 30t
Niverville is now the 14th community in Manitoba to receive access to MTS' FiON network. The fibre optic network was launched on Septembe
Backbeat School of Music is making some noise at Steinbach Arts Council. Chief Creative Officer Cindi Rempel Patrick says it's a program
Steinbach RCMP say they caught three impaired motorists during the weekend with a fourth driver still under investigation. Early Saturday m
RCMP are investigating complaints of mischief and theft in New Bothwell Friday night or Saturday morning. The incidents occurred in the Colo
The Mayor of Steinbach says city council is closely monitoring the number of police officers in the city. Chris Goertzen made the comment
‘Vote for change, vote Church for mayor.’ That's the slogan on campaign signs that can be seen around Niverville advocating Kerry Chu
If you've noticed a lot of weeds in Hanover ditches this year, you're not alone. Reeve Stan Toews says there's a lot of weeds and tall gra
The Landmark Foodgrains Bank held it's second and final harvest of the year on Thursday. Nine combines converged on a field just south of
'Ex-Mennonite, Near Mennonite' is the title of a conference next weekend at the University of Winnipeg. Royden Loewen of Steinbach is the
There was a drowning at the St Malo beach Friday evening. Emergency crews responded to a report of the drowning shortly b
The annual Imagine walk and run for mental health was held at Hespeler Park in Niverville on Saturday. The annual event saw 800 runners a
An Entomologist with Manitoba Agriculture says southern Manitobans will probably be swatting mosquitoes for another week or so. John Gavl
National Organic Week comes to an end Sunday. Product Advisor at Good N' Natural Sarah Kork explains organic means the food is produced w
Helen Sparrow is hoping to bring her business experience back to Niverville Council. Sparrow served on council from 2006 to 2009 before r
Summer temperatures and lovely fall foliage made for a picturesque cross country run for grade five to grade nine Hanover students on Frid
Unseasonably hot temperatures of 29 degrees on Friday, drew a crowd of excited children to the new splash park next to the Jake Epp Librar
A hidden love letter was found in a 100 year old house on the corner of First Street and Brandt Street in Steinbach. The house is being t
A horse lover who grew up in Australia is trotting along roadways in southern Manitoba this week. Joe Guy is on a mission to travel twent
Steinbach's Farmers Market held at the Clearspring Centre parking lot every Thursday, bursts with local farmers' offerings. Although tomat
Ken Kwiatkowski feels like he is at a great point in his life to help serve his community. Kwiatkowski is running for Niverville Council,
The Bylaw Officer for the RM of Hanover would like to remind the public that hunting on municipal land is prohibited. Brian Brunelle says
Steinbach MLA Kelvin Goertzen says the new ideas in the expanded Steinbach Regional Secondary School have caught his attention. Goertzen t
There will be an election for mayor in the Town of Ste Anne this year. Richard Pelletier is running against incumbent Bernie Vermette, wh
There was a two-vehicle accident at a Steinbach crosswalk on McKenzie Avenue at Cedar Crescent Thursday afternoon. Steinbach RCMP Const
Mennonite Heritage Village and Steinbach Arts Council are partnering to celebrate Culture Days this weekend. MHV is open on Sunday where
RCMP have charged three Dakota Ojibway Police Service (DOPS) employees from the Roseau River First Nation detachment, one employees’ fam
After living, volunteering and being active in Niverville for the past eight years, Daniel Horne has found another way to serve the commun
Two weeks after the La Broquerie Arena expansion seemed to be dead in the water, the project is now a go. The Rural Municipality of La Br
A woman says it's time to give back to the school division that gave her so much. Vanessa Desorcy says that's why she is running for Hanov
The province has announced funding to replace or repair more than ninety-six kilometres worth of municipal roads in eastern Manitoba. Pre
Steinbach city council has made a change regarding the Board of Revision. The board hears appeals from home and business owners who feel t