AGM 2018: Recap of Day 1

Publish date: Tuesday, May 01, 2018


Over 500 delegates from across Manitoba helped kick off the 43rd MNU Annual General Meeting today. Opening remarks were provided by the Mayor of Winnipeg, Brian Bowman, who thanked nurses for their commitment to delivering safe patient care.

President Mowat delivered a powerful speech to delegates recapping the past year of turmoil in Manitoba’s health care system, urging them to take action against cuts and changes that are putting patient care at risk.


“I know this is not an easy time to be a nurse in Manitoba. But all of us have a choice: We can be bystanders or activists,” said Mowat. “Now, more than ever before, nurses need to work together and speak out!”

Mowat went on to address security and violence in concerns in health care facilities across the province. Although Mowat helped make Manitoba the first province to enact abuse-free regulations for nurses by the protection and enforcement of provincial law in 2011, she noted there is still much work to do to eliminate workplace violence against nurses and other health care workers.

“Too many nurses have become accustomed to it. They’re told it's part of the job,” added Mowat. “If I have one final point to make as your President, let me say this again: Violence is absolutely NOT part of your job.”

After 10 years of service, Mowat reminded delegates she is retiring on June 30th as her final term as President expires. Mowat concluded her remarks by thanking delegates and members for their support and trust over the course of her career. Prior to serving as President, Mowat was a nurse at the Health Sciences Centre for 35 years, and was elected to the MNU Board in 1999 and as Vice-President in 2003.

Following lunch, Keynote Speaker Dr. Leeno Karumanchery took the stage to deliver a keynote address to delegates about the importance of developing connections with union members and other groups during times of change. Dr. Karumanchery has worked with unions that have confronted challenges similar to those taking place in Manitoba. He outlined techniques for responding to challenges that members can use to build resiliency and capacity for activism.

To conclude, all four candidates for MNU President delivered speeches to delegates, outlining their visions for the union and health care in Manitoba. The candidates are Darlene Jackson, Donna McKenzie, Marguerite Smith, and Kellee Stewart-Schuff.

Results of the vote will be announced before adjournment tomorrow (May 2). Beforehand, delegates will take part in a Rally for Safe Patient Care at 12:30 p.m. on the front steps of the Manitoba Legislature.


Voting Delegates 276
Non-Voting Delegates  196
Guests 10
Staff 29


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