I get excited as I travel through our neighbourhood.
Over the last few months a lot of good things have happened. It is important that we take time to share and celebrate our stories of success.
In early June, I helped cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the new King Edward School playground. I am so proud of how the community worked together with the Province and City of Winnipeg so that students, their families and local residents can enjoy a redeveloped community meeting space and recreation opportunities.
On June 24, I joined Premier Selinger to announce an investment of over $11 million to redevelop the Merchants Hotel into a housing and education complex that will be known as Merchants Corner. The facility will include 30 new affordable, rent-geared-to-income homes for students and their families as well as educational space for the Community Education Development Association’s Pathways to Education Program and the University of Winnipeg’s Urban and Inner-City Studies Program.
When I was a young boy my friends and I had a ritual on Saturday mornings of collecting empty beer bottles and taking them to the vendor at the Merchants Hotel to make a few dollars. Today, we can look forward to a generation of young people bringing books there instead of beer bottles. Students will have a new place to learn and see that a post-secondary education can be part of their future. What a positive change!
If we are going to ask our children to overcome challenges, we have to show them young people who have succeeded. In late June, I was privileged to attend local graduations at Argyle, Children of the Earth and R. B. Russell high schools. I was inspired to see so many young people from Point Douglas graduate in front of their family and friends. Congratulations to the graduates on all their hard work. We can be proud of their achievements and the role models they have become.
Building community is hard work, but we know that when community organizations, businesses, residents and governments work together in partnership, we can share more stories of success.