Rossmere MLA Erna Braun received a major promotion on Oct. 18.
Braun, who was first elected in 2007, was boosted into cabinet as part of a shuffle by Premier Greg Selinger. Braun will serve as minister of labour and immigration, a role she is excited to fill.
Prior to the shuffle, Jennifer Howard (Fort Rouge) held the labour portfolio, and Christine Melnick (Riel) held the immigration portfolio.
Before going into politics, Braun was a teacher and actively involved in the Manitoba Teachers’ Society — a role she said will help inform her in her position.
"For a number of years, I was the chair of the provincial collective-bargaining committee, so it gave me experience with teachers in their bargaining roles across the province," Braun said in a phone interview.
"I also served for 10 years on the Teachers’ Society disability board, so the other day, when we had a meeting with the Workers’ Compensation Board, that’s an area that’s familiar to me."
In her time as an MLA, Braun said she’s noticed families new to Canada coming to live in her constituency.
"From the immigration side of things, we’ve been working with a lot of groups in my own community," Braun said. "We’re a welcoming province, and I’m thrilled so many new Canadians are choosing Manitoba."
Braun said she’s been able to learn a lot about the position in the week she’s been on duty.
"I’m at a point where I’m getting briefings and meetings, and I’m trying to get a sense of what this portfolio actually means," Braun said, adding she’s a "life-long student" and expects to quickly get up to speed.