One of the greatest privileges of being the MLA for Tuxedo is the opportunity to meet outstanding leaders in faith, business, and government who are dedicated to improving our great community.
Each year, I make a point of inviting many of these individuals to a special community leaders luncheon to discuss common goals and challenges.
I’m happy to report that this year’s luncheon, held at Assiniboine Park’s beautiful Qualico Family Centre on Sept. 29, was another great success. It was wonderful to see many familiar faces among the 60 people who attended but I was also thrilled to welcome some emerging leaders in our community.
Among some of the new faces included two constables from the Community Relations Unit of the Winnipeg Police Service, representatives of Tuxedo’s thriving business community, and several new principals and superintendents from local schools.
Each year I invite a special guest speaker to address our diverse group, and I always leave the event more informed about our city and our province as a result. This year, I was honoured to welcome Scott Kolody, the commanding officer of RCMP "D" Division, to Tuxedo.
Since being appointed Manitoba’s minister of justice and attorney general, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mr. Kolody on several occasions. I know him to be a dedicated public servant committed to building strong and safe communities in Manitoba.
Mr. Kolody’s presentation was a thorough reflection of the scope of RCMP operations, as well as the values and priorities that help the police address new challenges.
RCMP "D" Division operates 87 detachments across three districts in Manitoba and serves 58 First Nations communities. It provides police services to approximately 40 per cent of Manitoba’s population.
The division’s work is guided by a dedication to the values of integrity, honesty, professionalism, compassion, respect and accountability. Mr. Kolody outlined how these values inform the Division’s community policing efforts, whether they are preventing suicide, addressing family violence, or developing mentorship for kids to discourage crime and keep them out of jail.
One of the greatest challenges the division faces is the prevalence of troubled, high-risk individuals who use multiple agency resources. I’m pleased to see that the RCMP has developed a community mobilization approach to prevent high-risk people entering the criminal justice system. Through various programs, the division is increasingly able to identify at-risk individuals and engage with social service agencies to get them the support they need before crimes are committed.
There’s a lot more work to do to ensure that Manitoba is a safe place that offers valuable economic opportunities for all, but I certainly know that my guests and I left the Qualico Family Centre feeling grateful for the hard work of the RCMP "D" Division!
Thank you to Mr. Kolody and to all my guests at the Community Leaders Luncheon.
I look forward to seeing you again next year!