Taking on the new role of Speaker of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly has been a bit scary, intimidating and at the same time thrilling and invigorating with the challenges of learning new skills and reinventing myself to meet new challenges.
Who knew when I graduated from nursing years ago that it would lead me on a path of entering politics, becoming an MLA, and now in a new role as Speaker of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly?
Visitors from outside Manitoba as well as residents of the province are always made welcome at our magnificent Legislative Building. Everyone is invited to watch the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly when it is in session from the vantage point of the Visitors’ Gallery.
Tour guides will be happy to show you the rest of the building and explain its history and architecture. Appointments are required from September to June. To book an appointment, please call 945-5813. From July 1 to the Labour Day long weekend in September, tours are offered on an hourly basis.
Manitoba’s Legislative Building is reputed to be one of the finest public buildings in North America. At the turn of the 20th century, members of the provincial government were unanimous in their desire to construct a building that would serve as a symbol for the people of Manitoba.
Excavation began in 1913. By the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, walls were beginning to take shape above the foundation. However, a shortage of materials, labour, and funds delayed construction to such a degree that the building was not ready for partial occupancy until 1919, well after the end of the Great War.
On July 15, 1920, the 50th anniversary of Manitoba’s entry into Confederation, the Lieutenant Governor officially opened the Legislative Building.
Large and elegantly decorated, the Speaker’s Reception Room (Room 200) is reserved for official functions. Also called the Manitoba Room or the Chandelier Room, the formal events held in this area often include a receiving line consisting of the Lt.-Governor, the Premier, the Speaker of the House, and their respective spouses.
I invite you to come down to the Legislative Building this summer for a tour of our building, a priceless monument in the fullest sense of the term, as it is unlikely that such a project will ever again be undertaken.