Around Elmwood

Columbus House Riverbank Project

What the riverbank used to look like….

August 21, 2017

Riverbank erosion now affecting riverbank right up to the sidewalk.

August 21, 2017

View to north. Sidewalk beginning to slope.

April 23, 2018 Fissures & Action Needed

Left to right: Jim, Hon Ron Schuler, Minister of Infrastructure, Councillor Jason Schreyer, Columbus House Tom Ellis and Andrea Helgason.

January 2021 Massive erosion

Councillor Jason Schreyer steps up and provides $200,000 of his Ward Allowance to supplement the balance paid entirely by Columbus House to save the City-owned land.

January 29, 2021 Construction Begins

Jim and Councillor Schreyer at the Construction site. This private $810,000 project to save City-owned land begins. Even though this riverbank is one of the worst cases of riverbank erosion in Winnipeg, eroding valuable City-owned property, the City wasn’t able to provide general funding.

Elmwood Report, March 14, 2021

Jim with Councillor Jason Schreyer and Ron Theriault and son Anthony.

Jim and Councillor Schreyer with Columbus House residents
Andrea Helgason and Wayne Williams at construction site February 21, 2021.
Jim and Councillor Jason Schreyer with residents at the construction site as the mitigation phase nears completion. Left to right: Councillor Schreyer, Jim, Germaine Labossiere, Glen Stewart, Fran Ethier, Robert Stiller, Andrea Helgason, Evelyn & Wayne Williams. March 11, 2021.

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/our-communities/herald/Committee-recommends-stabilization-work-565840122.html

Canstar Herald Article September 11, 2020

An East Kildonan resident is fighting to see ambulance fees reduced or eliminated for Manitobans.

Two years ago, Karmel was walking with a friend through Assiniboine Forest when she had a seizure. An ambulance was called, and Schreyer was taken to Grace Hospital for treatment. When she later received an invoice for $500, she decided she needed to do something about what she feels is an unjust system.

Karmel Schreyer presented Elmwood MLA Jim Maloway with a petition in August which argues that forcing people with “innate physical conditions, such as those who are disabled or pregnant, to pay” fees is discriminatory and calls for them to be discontinued.

“It’s a no brainer,” argues Karmel, a historian and author who had a stroke in 2015, a result of which is she sometimes experiences seizures. “The point is, it’s not a level playing field.”

“I don’t know why I should have to pay for this access to health-care, when other people don’t have to,” the longtime northeast Winnipeg resident said.

For Schreyer, the fact that many groups, including those with ambulance coverage as part of a collective agreement, are exempt from ambulatory fees is unfair. Schreyer gave the Pallister government credit for reducing ambulance fees from $500 to $250, but she does not believe that goes far enough.

“I understand money doesn’t grow on trees,” she said. “But in this case, I think it’s reasonable to expect that in Manitoba we can expect free ambulance service where it is provided now.”

Her petition argues that “it is fair and reasonable that lawmakers provide the public with the same level of ‘universality and accessibility’ to health services they provide themselves.”

“It’s a no brainer,” she repeated.

“Removing the deterrent fees and providing free ambulance services to all Manitobans is an idea whose time has come, and the sooner we get there, the better,” Maloway told The Herald.

Following her stroke, Schreyer said she has had time to reconsider how those who are disabled are treated in our society.

Stay informed

The latest updates on the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.Subscribe to COVID-19 Briefing

“There was a time in history when disabled people were expected to stay in doors,” she said. “But this is 2020. The idea that disabled people may have to pay for their own ambulance fees is basically saying that they should stay in doors.”

To go out or not to go out becomes a question or risk assessment, which Schreyer argues is fundamentally discriminatory.

“It’s unreasonable,” she said.

Schreyer would like to see her petition brought to the provincial legislature, something Maloway said he hopes to be able to do in October. She is also encouraging those in support of reducing or eliminating ambulance fees to sign an online petition, as well.

“I’m proud of the people who have been willing to support the initiative,” she said. “I hope it works.”

For more information, visit change.org/endambulancefeesmb

Sheldon Birnie
The Herald community journalist