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James Teitsma for Radisson
James Teitsma for RadissonTuesday, October 16th, 2018 at 10:25pm
Last year, distracted driving caused over 15,000 collisions in Manitoba.
30 people were killed in those collisions.
We can do better.
LIKE and SHARE to spread the word.
James Teitsma for Radisson
James Teitsma for Radisson
James Teitsma for RadissonWednesday, October 10th, 2018 at 6:11am
We are just one week away from the legalization of cannabis in Canada.

Our Manitoba government is as ready as it can be under the circumstances.

Parents, families, schools, police, social service agencies, community groups and other levels of governments need to be ready too.

Check out my latest constituency report for more.


If people know something is bad for them, they won’t do it, right? At least that’s how we think it should go. But it often doesn’t.

One needs to look no further than how many of our young people get hooked on cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. As I stay connected with my Radisson constituents, this issue and the effects of these substances have become a recurring topic.

More than 20 years ago, Iceland faced similar problems with alcohol, tobacco and drugs. But today, it’s much different there. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds in that small country who had been drunk in any given month was reduced from 42 per cent in 1998 to five per cent in 2016. And the percentage that used cannabis went way down from 17 per cent to seven per cent. Meanwhile, those smoking cigarettes daily decreased from 23 per cent to three per cent.

Iceland accomplished this by gathering data and observing that some schools had much higher rates of harmful behaviours than others. They also noticed significant differences between the lives of kids who took up smoking, drinking and other drugs, and those of youth who did not.

In response, parents were encouraged to spend more time with their children, and schools worked with parents to ensure kids felt cared for and had good mental health. More opportunities were developed for youth to participate in sports, while laws were passed to prohibit youth from buying cigarettes and alcohol. In these ways, parents, schools and government in Iceland made a major and positive impact.

Our Manitoba government is also following the advice of experts and the analysis of evidence, and our primary concern for the upcoming federal legalization of cannabis is health and safety.

When the recreational use of cannabis becomes legal in October, we will protect our youth and keep the price of legal cannabis low to keep organized crime out of the market. We have set the minimum age of 19 for possession and use to help shut cannabis out of schools. As well, a social responsibility fee paid by retailers will ensure they share the costs of public education, safety, health and addictions treatment that our Manitoba government will provide.

For addictions treatment, we recently opened the first Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine (RAAM) clinic in our province. I was at this month’s official opening of the RAAM clinic, one of five across the province that will offer front-line help for Manitobans suffering from substance-use addictions. These clinics will allow those in need to get treatment sooner and with ongoing support, and will give them help that can save their lives.
James Teitsma for Radisson
James Teitsma for RadissonTuesday, October 9th, 2018 at 12:36pm
Check out my latest article in the Transcona Views
When I was first deciding if I should enter politics, one of the things that held me back was the low opinion many have about politicians. Every year, polling firm Insights West surveys Canadians about which professions they respect most. Firefighters, nurses and farmers usually make up the top three. Politicians come in dead last. Every. Single. Year.

Later, when I announced my plan to run for office, a common reaction I heard was “But people LIKE you now. Why would you throw that away?” I must admit, that made me pause.

Nevertheless, I remained determined to move forward to a life of public service. But I also committed myself to bucking the stereotype.

For me, that means conducting myself with integrity, telling the truth and keeping my promises. It means being accountable, making myself available and staying active in my community.

It means being determined to make change happen while remaining realistic about what can be accomplished.

As a backbench MLA, I recognize I have limited direct influence. I can introduce private members’ bills, but only if they don’t cost or save the government any money. The bills I can introduce typically only pass if all parties in the Legislature agree with them. Sometimes even that is not enough as partisan politics can sometimes produce bizarre results. It reminds me of the time the NDP raised the ire of parents of children with cancer by delaying passage of the bill recognizing September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

It’s not all bad though. There are many positive influences I can have even if I don’t have my hands on the steering wheel of government. I can serve my constituents diligently and advocate on their behalf with government departments, the health care system or crown corporations like Manitoba Hydro or MPI. I can advocate for my community and promote and celebrate it. I can develop and share ideas with my caucus colleagues, cabinet ministers and the Premier. I can work with other MLAs on committees to improve legislation, save tax dollars and improve government services. I try to do all those things.

In the end, perhaps the best way to measure a politician is to look at how they treat those closest to them. Do they still make time for old friends? Do they stay faithful to their marriage partner? Do they spend enough time with their family? A seasoned politician once told me about when he realized he was spending too much time away from his family. It wasn’t when his children cried because he was leaving. It was when he left home and they couldn’t be bothered to cry at all.

So, this Thanksgiving I’m thankful for my loving wife and our six children. I’m thankful for friends that talk straight with me. And I’m thankful the opportunity I’ve been given to serve my community, even if I’m disrespected by some while doing it.

James Teitsma, MLA for Radisson
James Teitsma for Radisson
James Teitsma for RadissonFriday, October 5th, 2018 at 11:32am
We say “yes” to a cleaner, greener future for Manitoba.
We say “yes” to a Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan.
Without a carbon tax.

Our plan continues investments in renewable energy, while encouraging Manitobans to reduce their energy consumption. It will assist local communities in their efforts to protect our watersheds. It will clean up contaminated sites, increase recycling, and build new schools to a higher standard of energy efficiency and environmental design. It will establish a $100 million Conservation Trust to preserve and protect our grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, waterways and wildlife habitat.
James Teitsma for Radisson
James Teitsma for RadissonThursday, October 4th, 2018 at 4:35pm
Today I asked the government question on the second day of our fall sitting.
Our PC government was elected on a promise to fix the finances, repair the services and rebuild our economy.

This coming Thanksgiving weekend, Manitobans will have over $1.7 billion reasons to be thankful for that.

That’s because if the NDP had their way, our deficit this year would be $1.7 billion dollars. And that’s without accounting for the cost of all those NDP election promises. Not that anyone should be believing those.

So with only two years in government, we have shown more progress in reducing the deficit than 17 years of NDP government.

So my question for the Minister of Finance is: can he please inform the House about the important work we are doing to reduce Manitoba’s provincial deficit?
Careful observers of my QP appearances will notice that the seating arrangement in the Legislature has been adjusted thanks to the St. Boniface by-election. I'm now seated on the far left, behind the Premier and Minister Kelvin Goertzen.
James Teitsma for Radisson
James Teitsma asks Minister Fielding about deficit reduction
Radisson MLA James Teitsma asks Finance Minister Scott Fielding about the importance of deficit reduction and our government's progress in cleaning up the fi...
James Teitsma for Radisson
James Teitsma for RadissonWednesday, October 3rd, 2018 at 3:49pm
Today ManitobaPremier Brian Pallister announced that we are saying NO to the Trudeau carbon tax.

Manitoba is arguably the greenest province in Canada with ample green hydroelectric power while phasing out coal-generated power.

Manitobans have invested billions in green power, clean air and wetland preservation. We deserve credit for these actions but the Trudeau government isn’t giving it.

Trudeau doesn’t respect what Manitoba brings to the table. They refused to accept our plan to have a flat and low price on carbon and insisted they would double it!

That’s why we’re saying YES to green energy and good environmental stewardship but NO to Trudeau and his carbon tax.

What do you think?


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