Since coming into office in 2007, a key focus of mine has been helping families, especially with education, immigration and employment.
I take this balanced approach because I recognize how these sectors relate to one another and how they impact The Maples.
A key challenge facing Manitoba businesses is a shortage of skilled labour. The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) has helped revive immigration to Manitoba, which almost stopped in the early 1990s. The MPNP nominates people with a strong connection to our province who have the skills and work experience we need to become permanent residents and citizens. We now attract thousands of new Canadians and their families every year.
However, sometimes a hurdle for these new residents is getting their previous academic credentials recognized in Manitoba. I have worked with government to improve the recognition of foreign credentials, and now 85% of newcomers who come to Manitoba through MPNP get jobs within three months, and most end up working in their chosen fields within three to five years.
For new residents of The Maples facing language difficulties, there are many resources available to help them adjust to their new environment. The Seven Oaks Adult Learning Centre offers English as Additional Language classes from September until June. For further information, please call 204-632-1716.
We have also focused on primary education to ensure all of our children, whether first generation or fifth, have a bright future ahead of them. For example, I helped the community get approval for a new K-8 school in Amber Trails, which will open in 2015 and includes a daycare centre. This, along with our 60% tuition rebate for post-secondary graduates, will give our youth the opportunity to become future community leaders in The Maples.
Furthermore, we have secured over $60,000 for a new community park to help keep kids and families active. The park will feature play structures and sports areas, including a space for soccer, cricket and football and is located at the corner of Leila Avenue and Strasbourg Drive.
This new park would not have been possible if it were not for The Maples’ strong community spirit. With the help of volunteers, we helped convert an environmental disaster to green/community space by advocating for park development.
When healthy people feel valued and respected at work and are succeeding in the field of their choice, both families and businesses benefit in the long run.
It is always a great opportunity to share new developments in our community. If you have any questions about the projects mentioned above, please contact my office at 204-632-7933 or email me at Mohinder.Saran@yourmanitoba.ca