Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Government Updates

February 3, 2014 PREMIER SELINGER ANNOUNCES NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO FOR MANITOBA PUBLIC INSURANCE Dan Guimond will become the new president and chief executive officer of Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), Premier Greg Selinger announced today. “Dan brings a wealth of auto insurance experience to this position, with nearly three decades of service with MPI,” said Premier Selinger. “He understands that all Manitobans own our public utilities and should benefit from them through low rates and excellent service.” Most recently, Guimond was vice-president, strategy and innovation, and chief information officer with Manitoba Public Insurance. In this role, he was responsible for the management and administration of the corporation’s automobile insurance product and services. “Manitoba’s public auto insurer continues to be the model of success in the auto insurance industry and an important part of Manitoba’s affordability advantage,” said the premier. “An independent analysis by Deloitte has confirmed that Manitobans pay the lowest average auto insurance cost in Canada, while providing a second-to-none injury benefits plan for those Manitobans injured as result of a vehicle collision.” Premier Selinger and Justice Minister Andrew Swan, minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance, also thanked outgoing Manitoba Public Insurance president and CEO Marilyn McLaren for her three decades of service with MPI, the last nine years as president and chief executive officer. In that time, Manitobans have enjoyed a cumulative overall rate decrease of 14.9 per cent. “Marilyn has been a strong leader at MPI on behalf of ratepayers,” said Minister Swan. “I want to extend my thanks, especially for her work in partnership with Manitoba Justice and the Winnipeg Police Service that has reduced auto theft by over 85 per cent since 2004.” Guimond joined Manitoba Public Insurance in 1990 and has held progressively responsible positions during his career. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Manitoba, as well as an associate customer service designation from the Life Office Management Institute. In addition, he is a fellow of the Life Management Institute and completed the Queen’s University School of Business public executive program in 2004. “Throughout his career, Dan has been driven by a desire to provide Manitobans with superior and innovative insurance products and services,” said Jake Janzen, board chair, Manitoba Public Insurance. “Under Dan’s leadership, MPI will continue to best serve the insurance and licensing needs of Manitobans.” Guimond will begin his new role on Monday, Feb. 24. ***** February 4, 2014 EDUCATION AND ADVANCED LEARNING MINISTER RECOGNIZES I LOVE TO READ MONTH – – – Province Increases Funding for Early Literacy Intervention: Allum Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum stressed the importance of reading today in recognition of February as I Love to Read Month. “We all know that reading is an essential skill that is the foundation for lifelong learning,” said Minister Allum. “But reading also develops a child’s imagination and through reading children learn about people, places and ideas beyond their own experiences. The benefits go far beyond the classroom.” The minister added that funding for early literacy intervention will increase in the coming year by more than $240,500 to help give more children the help they need to develop this essential skill, adding the government is investing $7.8 million annually to help more than 2,000 students in Grade 1 with one‑on-one supports to help them succeed in reading at an early age. One of the programs that will benefit from this funding is Reading Recovery, which gives students valuable one-on-one instruction to help students accelerate their learning and reading capabilities, he said. I Love to Read is an annual month-long celebration to encourage reading, writing and sharing in the joy of literacy. This year’s theme, Invent Your Future, encourages children to stretch their creative minds and think like inventors, scientists and mathematicians. Manitoba Teachers’ Society President Paul Olson concurred and said, “Literacy is the academic foundation not only for further study or for employment, but for engaged citizenship. As teachers, we work hard to bring our students rich and diverse reading experiences to make them literate with a wide range of forms and styles of reading. We do this all year round but I Love to Read Month really celebrates and highlights that work.” The minister noted parents, guardians and family members play a major role in helping young children learn to appreciate the power of pictures and stories. “Reading to your child every day increases literacy skills and is one of the most important things you can do to prepare him or her for learning to read,” Minister Allum said. “I encourage families to share the excitement of reading together, as parents, grandparents and other family members are a key to success in helping kids learn to love reading." - 30 - ******** February 3, 2014 PROVINCE ANNOUNCES ACCESS TO IMPROVED CANCER SCREENING – – – New Colon Cancer, Lynch Syndrome Testing Available to Patients: Minister Selby New testing procedures to help identify patients at a greater risk for inherited colon and other types of cancers are now in place including testing for Lynch syndrome, a disorder that significantly increases the risk of developing cancer, Health Minister Erin Selby announced today. “Identifying the risks for cancer is critical to providing the most appropriate care possible to the patient and at-risk relatives, and we’re pleased to offer this screening in our province,” Minister Selby. “This testing will give patients, their families and their physicians the information they need to make informed decisions about treatment options, risk factors and a lifetime care plan.” All colorectal cancer surgery patients aged 70 years and under will receive testing for Lynch syndrome. As a result of this testing, patients will have access to increased cancer surveillance which could lead to earlier detection and improved cancer survival rates. Immediate family members of affected patients will also benefit from this new testing, as it will help to identify their risk of developing cancers and allow them to consider early detection and prevention measures, the minister said. Manitoba’s cancer strategy highlights the importance of genetic testing in early diagnosis as this type of screening can help oncologists tailor treatment for patients to provide the most effective form of chemotherapy, she added. “No one wants to find out they have cancer or that an inherited genetic mutation caused it. Worse still is seeing the cancer connection in your family but not knowing what it is,” said Megan Tucker, who is living with Lynch syndrome. “To be able to do the test right here in Manitoba is a wonderful step. Testing followed by routine screening for the cancers allows me to be active in monitoring and managing my cancer risk and increases the overall chances of extending my life.” Diagnostic Services Manitoba (DSM), the organization responsible for Manitoba’s public laboratory and rural diagnostic imaging services, is now offering these new tests. Genetic testing for breast cancer is also available and further expansion of genetic screening for other forms of cancer, such as melanomas and lung cancer, is being explored, Minister Selby said. “We have a commitment to provide the results that matter to our patients, and the topic of inherited colon cancer and Lynch syndrome testing has been an emerging issue for the past several years,” said Jim Slater, chief executive officer of Diagnostic Services Manitoba. “We understand how the local availability of this important genetic testing will help to save lives through earlier diagnosis, monitoring and treatment, and we are pleased to offer this testing right here in Manitoba in partnership with CancerCare Manitoba and the province.” Patients who have inherited the Lynch syndrome gene have up to a 60 per cent risk of developing colorectal cancer at some point over the course of their life. Women with Lynch syndrome have up to a 60 per cent risk of developing endometrial cancer over the course of their life. “With financial support from the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, this unique joint effort enables genetic testing that can be life-saving,” said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and chief executive officer of CancerCare Manitoba. “Detection of colon cancer at its earliest stage means a 90 per cent survival rate and Lynch syndrome testing is one more tool in our arsenal against this deadly form of cancer.” The minister noted this investment builds on the province’s commitment to shorten the cancer patient journey. The $40-million IN SIXTY initiative strives to expedite cancer testing and treatment for patients when cancer is first suspected to help get patients the most appropriate care as quickly as possible. The province also now provides costly cancer medication free to patients to help alleviate the burden of this disease on families. - 30 - - 30 -

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