Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Bringing community together

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One of my favourite things about being an MLA is getting the chance to meet people. Our community is dynamic and growing, with people of all ages and many different personal histories.

By connecting and sharing our stories, we can learn more about ourselves and our neighbours — their interests, their desires and their needs — and in turn learn more about our community and Manitoba.

That’s why I was so happy to host a community barbecue this past June in East Elmwood at Keenleyside Park, the future site of the East Elmwood Community Club. Despite the threat of a storm, over 200 community members from all walks of life came together to meet their neighbours, share stories and have a bite to eat. The Manitoba Pork Council catered the event and served delicious pork burgers made from local Manitoba pork.

The barbecue was a great opportunity to talk about things happening in our neighbourhoods. Community members had the chance to share many areas of interest — including our schools and our kids.

Some asked about school programming and after-school activities at Hampstead School, including the drop-in Preschool Stay and Play program on Tuesday mornings during the school year and the Lighthouse program offered in the evenings. The Lighthouse program is a community-based crime-prevention program aimed to help youth develop their self-esteem and confidence through positive skill-building activities. Hampstead School also offers English as an Additional Language classes for newcomers.

There were questions and widespread excitement about the design and redevelopment of the East Elmwood Community Centre, which is going to be a huge asset for our community. There were also engaging and respectful conversations on political issues where people were able to share their stories and voice their opinions.

Overall, the community barbecue was a huge success. It was great to be able to meet the community and share ideas and stories while having a burger and refreshment.

Thanks to everyone who came out. I look forward to hearing more from you as summer winds down and we begin to prepare for the new school year — and, of course, to seeing you all again at next year’s barbecue!

If you are interested in learning more about programs offered in our community, feel free to drop by my office at 106-1111 Munroe Ave., call 204-654-1857, or email me anytime at Matt.Wiebe@YourManitoba.ca

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