Fall in St. Vital for many of us is dominated by back-to-school activities. I have been pleased to work together with local school trustees on several initiatives to improve services for St. Vital students.
Earlier this year, I provided funding to the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) to assist in constructing new play structures with improved disability access at Windsor and Victor H.L. Wyatt Schools — structures which also received federal and provincial funding. I am now talking with the École Varennes Parent Committee in regard to their plans for a similar playground structure.
This past summer I was delighted to see Nancy Allan, MLA for St. Vital, announce $900,000 in provincial funding to "turf" the western soccer field at Memorial Park (next to the YMCA and Glenlawn Collegiate), which will allow for greater usage of that field, including use as a practice facility for the Women’s World Cup in 2015. Memorial Park field is actually a city property, as well as home to Glenlawn sporting teams, including the soccer academy. I was pleased to work with the province and Bonivital Soccer Club, which leases the field from the city, to make this project happen, and the city is committed to co-operating with LRSD and Glenlawn to ensure that students continue to have access to what will be a great soccer facility.
Additionally, Coun. Dan Vandal (St. Boniface Ward) and I worked with LRSD trustees this year to get city-funded aboriginal scholarships expanded to include school divisions like Louis Riel, outside of Winnipeg’s centre.
In addition to the Louis Riel School Division, there are also two schools operated by the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM) in South St. Vital, École Christine-Lesperance (K-8) and Le Centre scolaire Léo-Rémillard (9-12). I worked with DSFM trustees in June to resolve city concerns with the daycare expansion at Christine Lespérance (now under construction). I am also meeting with DSFM in regard to my proposal to install eight-feet-high basketball outdoor hoops (better for small kids than the regular 10-foot hoops) at Lespérance.
There is still work to do, notably at Dakota Collegiate’s tennis courts — which date back to my days at Dakota in the late 1970s — where the City of Winnipeg and school division have argued over responsibility for maintenance. LRSD trustee Wayne Ruff said to me recently, "Let’s just solve this."
I agree, and look forward to working together to get this done.