As MLA for The Maples for six years and a resident for many more, I am proud of our area.
We are a community that celebrates diversity and a community that more and more people are choosing to call home—whether they are new Manitobans or people whose families have lived in our province for generations. Your ideas and contributions are important in making The Maples such a thriving, beautiful community.
For several years, I heard residents ask for more options to build secondary suites (or "granny suites") adjacent to their homes. In many cultures, it is common for families of three generations (or more) to live together under one roof. These self-contained suites, which share common space with the principal residence, are perfect for their needs. Seniors can stay with their families, and more people are present to take care of children.
In 2010, I introduced legislation to promote the construction of more granny suites. This has helped lead to the provincial government’s Secondary Suites Program, which provides homeowners with up to $35,000 to pay for up to half the cost of building a secondary suite in their home or on their property. For more information, visit the website at http://www.gov.mb.ca/housing/ssp.html
To further assist seniors in The Maples and across the province, the provincial government is working on phasing out the education portion of the property tax that they pay. A portion of the education property tax will be cut in 2014, and the rest will be eliminated by 2015.
We must take care of our seniors, but we must also ensure that we are preparing the next generation for success. As our neighbourhood grows, families need more school spaces for their children. Construction on the new Amber Trails School is underway, with classes slated to begin for 625 students when this modern, K-8 school opens in the fall of 2015.
The school will also include a daycare, with space for 64 infant and preschool students and 40 spaces for kindergarten/nursery and before- and after-school students. Since 1999, the government has increased the number of funded child care spaces in Manitoba by more than 80%.
When I speak to people in our neighbourhood, I frequently hear about the need to invest in our roads. Several roads in northwest Winnipeg are going to be receiving repair work in the coming months through the province’s Building and Renewal Plan, including Garton Avenue, Manila Road and Leahcrest Crescent.
I want to continue to hear from you, so please call my office at 204-632-7933, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at 80 Mandalay Dr.