Andrew Micklefield

Andrew Micklefield

Rossmere constituency report

Andrew Micklefield is PC MLA for Rossmere and the government whip for the Province of Manitoba.

Recent articles of Andrew Micklefield

Hydro debt servicing now 40 cents on the dollar

Andrew Micklefield 3 minute read Preview

Hydro debt servicing now 40 cents on the dollar

Andrew Micklefield 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

We’ve all seen cute videos of kids caught eating chocolate telling adults they were not eating chocolate. The guilty children protest their innocence with wide-eyed sincerity, unaware the chocolate on their faces betrays them.

It reminds me of New Democratic Party MLAs claiming increased Hydro costs are not their doing, even after multiplying Hydro debt nearly 500 per cent while claiming “it won’t cost us a penny” (that’s an actual quote).

In 2011, Manitoba Hydro debt was $5 billion, but when the NDP lost government in 2016, it was a whopping $24 billion. That’s 24 with 9 zeros, or since our province is home to 1.3 million people, $18,461 of Hydro debt for every Manitoban.

Claims that “it’s not government money” (because Hydro is its own corporation) are cold comfort to taxpayers with only one wallet already squeezed by inflation and rising interest. The fact is that NDP Hydro projects went billions over budget, creating huge interest costs we must all now pay.

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

File photo

NDP-approved Hydro projects, such as the Keeyask Generating Station, went billions over budget, creating huge interest costs we must all now pay.

No safe way to inject deadly drugs

Andrew Micklefield 3 minute read Preview

No safe way to inject deadly drugs

Andrew Micklefield 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022

With unparalleled availability of cheap drugs offering highs that last for days, North American cities, including Winnipeg, are grappling with how to best address the problem, and the homelessness and tent-camps it creates. European cities have tried numerous strategies, and some of these failed approaches are being suggested by NDP MLAs as worth trying here.

Let’s be clear — there is no safe way to inject a lethal substance into anyone’s veins. There is no safe place to inject, and there is no such thing as “safe” supply of drugs or needles when it comes to using substances never intended for human consumption, substances which can kill instantly, or at best reduce life expectancy by decades. Illicit drugs are not safe to use and we must stop talking as if they might be. They are illegal for a reason and need to stay that way.

But we do need compassionate solutions that work. The justice system has a role to play, especially with traffickers who sell people the chemical equivalent of a hand grenade with the pin pulled — those people belong in prison. But throwing drug users in jail clogs up prisons, costs millions and often doesn’t address root causes. Many users view addiction as their solution long before it becomes their problem.

Growing numbers of cities including San Francisco and Vancouver are acknowledging their failed experiments with the kinds of ideas being talked around Winnipeg — safe injection sites, decriminalization and even safe supply of taxpayer-funded drugs. Cities which have tried these things have learned the hard way they don’t work and create havoc in downtowns with drug-culture ghettos. We don’t need those things here, so let’s learn from their mistakes.

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022

Many drug users view addiction as their solution long before it becomes their problem, but there is nothing safe about drug use, drug supply or drug addiction.

Public safety is everybody’s business

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Preview

Public safety is everybody’s business

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

In contrast to the NDP’s opposition’s assertion that Winnipeg is an over-policed city, our Progressive Conservative government thinks cops deserve respect and support and is doing just that with a variety of public safety initiatives.

Giving back to communities suffering loss by crime, the criminal property forfeiture fund continues to donate appropriate seized items and cash to community organizations for their benefit and use. The fund has put over $20 million back into communities since its inception.

Five new police officers will receive equipment and training to combat cybercrime, which has seen a boon in recent years. Online swindlers, scammers and con artists will be caught and brought to justice by these specially trained police officers in Winnipeg’s Police Service.

In response to catalytic converter thefts, the Scrap Metal Act became law, limiting cash deals at scrap yards to just $50 (with exceptions for items like paint cans), and requiring record-keeping and identification of metal buyers and sellers, making it harder for criminals to get quick cash for stolen catalytic converters. A program is also being rolled out to engrave existing catalytic converters with vehicle identification numbers, making catalytic converters traceable and harder to sell.

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield writes that we need to redouble our efforts to keep our streets safe.

Lots to celebrate in Rossmere this summer

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Preview

Lots to celebrate in Rossmere this summer

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

Since the Legislative session ended in early June, I have given myself to serving our constituency, whether attending Donwood South’s fortieth anniversary or welcoming and helping new Canadians.

It was great to open the new outdoor classroom at Sun Valley School. The advance work done by the local organizing committee was amazing and I was pleased to join other levels of government and add my support to their application resulting in $19,000 toward the project.

Jubilee Church also continues to enrich our community through clothing drives, community kitchen and food bank, family drop in, kids’ programs, women’s wellness and a community garden serving 35 families. I advocated to fund their roof repair and secured almost $40,000 in funding. It was my pleasure to attend the June 18 Community Roots Fair with Premier Stefanson in order to highlight their good work.

I have also participated in events announcing $16 million more to train and staff personal care homes, $700,000 for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the expansion of funding for Candace House to help families grieving the loss of loved ones killed by violent crime. Other notable June announcements have included expanded coverage for cochlear implant replacements, $110 million to address surgical backlogs and the addition of 400 new nursing spots at the University of Manitoba.

Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

(From left) Andrew Micklefield, Premier Heather Stefanson and community ministry pastor Anna Marie Geddert of Jubilee Mennonite Church at the June 18 Community Roots Fair.

Nine-year-old does her part for Ukraine

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Preview

Nine-year-old does her part for Ukraine

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Wednesday, May. 11, 2022

When the war in Ukraine began in February, people around the world looked for ways to help. Some joined protests or expressed support on social media, many organizations and governments including our own in Manitoba sent money or supplies.

But amidst the prayers, protests and politics, Mila Wiebe, a nine-year-old area resident resolved to do what she could by making loom band bracelets.

When Mila heard at school about the devastated homes and displaced families, she determined to do something to help the Ukrainian people. One of her classmates has family living in Ukraine and, like many others, Mila wanted to find a way to get them supplies and food. So she made bracelets out of yellow and blue loom bands to sell to friends and family for $5 each. Many weeks later, the orders are still coming in.

To date, Mila has sold 89 of her blue-and-yellow bracelets with the help of her family, and raised $350 for the displaced people of Ukraine. Mila’s family are “not at all surprised that she would want to help in any way she could,” and describe her as “a great kid with a soft heart.”

Wednesday, May. 11, 2022

Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield and Mila Wiebe show off the blue-and-yellow loom bracelets that Mila has been making and selling to raise money to support people in Ukraine.

Human trafficking must end

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Preview

Human trafficking must end

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2022

March 10 was Manitoba Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Every year, thousands of Canadian families are affected by human trafficking, including many right here in Manitoba. What begins as a seemingly innocent conversation online or in person can become sinister and cause long-lasting trauma.

Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation and harbouring of persons for the purpose of exploitation, typically in the sex trade or forced labour. It is the fastest growing, third-most lucrative criminal enterprise globally, producing annual profits as high as $36 billion per year and affecting approximately 30 million people. This means more people are enslaved today than at any time in history. With 93 per cent of Canada’s sex-trafficking victims born in Canada and becoming involved at an average age of just 12 to 14 years old, sex trafficking happens in our own communities when traffickers target our children and grandchildren.

Trafficking victims are carefully ‘groomed’ either in-person, often by a perceived friend or boyfriend, or online via popular social media, where traffickers can reach as many as 100 children an hour. Using face-changing software to appear as teenagers, traffickers make their young victims feel comfortable and gain their trust in the hope that they will confide in them and share information about their lives, interests and location. Once a relationship is established, victims are exploited through manipulation, fear, dependency, favours or debt bondage.

This is why, just a few months ago, the National Human Trafficking Education Centre opened right here in Winnipeg. An extension of the Joy Smith Foundation, this unique online hub offers educational resources to help Canadians both young and old understand and fight human trafficking. Numerous courses are available for a variety of audiences and contexts, many are free, all are available at joysmithfoundation.com

Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2022

Supplied photo
MLA Andrew Micklefield and former MP Joy Smith recently met to discuss human trafficking.

Throne speech looks to the future

Andrew Micklefield - Rossmere MLA Constituency Report 6 minute read Preview

Throne speech looks to the future

Andrew Micklefield - Rossmere MLA Constituency Report 6 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021

Last week, Manitoba’s Legislature resumed for a throne speech that outlined the government’s priorities for the coming year. It was a rare and historic moment as a female lieutenant-governor read a speech representing Manitoba’s first female-led government, in a Legislature overseen by a female clerk. An Indigenous drummer welcomed Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon, who subsequently read the prepared speech for about 30 minutes, giving Manitobans a preview of Premier Stefanson’s style and priorities. There was much good news for local residents who will be able to engage a premier and government listening and acting on a number of important issues. For the first time in months, the Legislature galleries welcomed reduced-capacity guests including grand chiefs sitting with the premier’s family. Reconciliation featured figuratively and visibly in the opening moments of the throne speech.Predictably, challenges surrounding COVID-19 featured, too. A new nursing shortage strategy was announced with a goal of 400 additional nursing seats and job offers for every nursing graduate, plus extra programs for northern communities. Surgery and diagnostic testing backlogs were a stated priority, and a commitment was made to “modify, enhance and implement a renewed seniors’ strategy” which includes “every recommendation of the Stevenson review.” Social issues including family violence, mental health, disability supports and homelessness also received commitments to action.Economic growth aligned with local education and international recruitment must continue, along with efforts to improve international credential recognition and grow Manitoba’s provincial nominee program. Other commitments were signalled for infrastructure projects, including an intent to secure agreement on Winnipeg’s North End Water Treatment Plant.You can review the entire speech from the throne at www.gov.mb.ca/thronespeech/index.htmlAs I listened, I thought of the people I know and serve, of individuals, families and businesses for whom the priorities and actions of our government over the coming year will make a real difference. Conservatives are often thought of as fiscally minded only and. certainly, financial matters are critical to the proper running of any government. But good conservative governments do not only need good fiscal policy but good social policy, too. That balance was laid out in last Tuesday’s throne speech, a balance I hear as I talk with hundreds of residents in our area. Such balance is no easy task, and the throne speech’s closing words are a call to humility and hard work: “I leave you now to the faithful performance of your many duties and trust that  in meeting them, you may have the guidance of Divine Providence in all your deliberations.”May that be so, and may the people of our area and province be well served by these efforts. I certainly pledge to do my part. If you have questions about government resources or programs, please call me at 204-289-4545 or email andrew@andrewmicklefield.com, my staff or I would be honoured to assist you in any way we can.

Last week, Manitoba’s Legislature resumed for a throne speech that outlined the government’s priorities for the coming year. It was a rare and historic moment as a female lieutenant-governor read a speech representing Manitoba’s first female-led government, in a Legislature overseen by a female clerk. 

An Indigenous drummer welcomed Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon, who subsequently read the prepared speech for about 30 minutes, giving Manitobans a preview of Premier Stefanson’s style and priorities. 

There was much good news for local residents who will be able to engage a premier and government listening and acting on a number of important issues. For the first time in months, the Legislature galleries welcomed reduced-capacity guests including grand chiefs sitting with the premier’s family. Reconciliation featured figuratively and visibly in the opening moments of the throne speech.

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021

Supplied photo
Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield will resume his role as Progressive Conservative caucus whip for the new session of Manitoba’s Legislature.

Small businesses embrace digital economy

Andrew Micklefield - Rossmere MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Preview

Small businesses embrace digital economy

Andrew Micklefield - Rossmere MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Monday, Nov. 1, 2021

 

One of the ways life has changed for many of us in the past two years is our increased familiarity with technology. More than ever, computers and smartphones now connect us to restaurants, banks, schools, doctors, services and most importantly, to each other. Businesses that have quick to adapt now serve customers and access markets in new ways. We are living in a digital-first world and recent shifts have solidified this undeniable reality.As evidence of this, Dr. Paul Cooley, founder of NextGen Environmental Research, gained government attention and support for software that interprets satellite imagery of land and waterway ice for environmental and agricultural industries.Also in Rossmere is local author Katarzyna Orlow, whose new book, Your success Begins Today: 10 Proven methods to a Winning, Future-Assuring Life as an Entrepreneur, offers insights into navigating new business opportunities. Local people are participating and prospering in Manitoba’s emerging digital markets. This is good news, and Statistics Canada reported earlier this month that Manitoba’s jobless rate is the lowest in Canada. Manitoba’s government recently announced the Digital Manitoba Initiative (DMI) to help businesses and non-profits embrace their own digital transformation. Grants of $5,000 and $25,000 are available for training, online subscriptions, e-commerce development, online marketing and other software and web-necessary tools and equipment. In the words of Manitoba’s Chambers of Commerce; “The DMI will enable future facing organizations to meet the changing needs of our modern economy, while increasing efficiencies and contributing to scalability.” Eligible expenses are retroactive to April 2021, and full program details at digitalmanitobainitiative.com.Manitoba is well positioned to emerge from the pandemic ahead of other parts of Canada, and local businesses and industries willing to embrace new digital realities are already blazing their paths forward. Government grants to help businesses and non-profits transition to engage these new markets suggest that if Statistics Canada’s latest numbers are anything to go by, that path forward has room and promise for everyone.  

One of the ways life has changed for many of us in the past two years is our increased familiarity with technology. 

More than ever, computers and smartphones now connect us to restaurants, banks, schools, doctors, services and most importantly, to each other. 

Monday, Nov. 1, 2021

Supplied photo
Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield uses digital tools for a remote learning session with students.

Plenty to be grateful for this Thanksgiving

Andrew Micklefield 4 minute read Preview

Plenty to be grateful for this Thanksgiving

Andrew Micklefield 4 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021

Amidst the tensions and divisions of COVID-19, let’s remember just how much we have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the best in each other and count our blessings. This Thanksgiving weekend, let’s remember just how much we have to be thankful for. I am thankful we can share Thanksgiving with family and friends in our homes. I am thankful for warm fall weather and the many walking trails in our area. I am thankful for numerous provincial parks a short drive away. I am thankful our kids are at school, in-person, and that businesses are open, mostly without lineups. I am thankful churches are open, Winnipeg’s pro sports teams are playing, and concerts are happening. The zoo is also open, as are museums, movie theatres, swimming pools and gyms. I’m thankful for those things, too. I’m thankful for simple things like being able to get a haircut or celebrate a birthday with a friend. I’m thankful for in-person meetings for work. The masks can be a challenge, but I much prefer in-person to online. I’m thankful we’re in-person.I’m thankful for health care workers, doctors, nurses and support staff. Some of them are my friends and these last 18 months have not been easy for them at all. I’m thankful for our medical system, which saved the lives of people in our community, including some of my own friends. Opinions will no doubt continue on this and many other issues but gratitude can transform even the toughest of times. Let’s embrace thanksgiving this weekend, and continue in the habit once the turkey has all been eaten. My office is always available to answer your questions and concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime by calling  204-289-4545, or emailing andrew@andrewmicklefield.com

Amidst the tensions and divisions of COVID-19, let’s remember just how much we have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the best in each other and count our blessings. This Thanksgiving weekend, let’s remember just how much we have to be thankful for. 

I am thankful we can share Thanksgiving with family and friends in our homes. I am thankful for warm fall weather and the many walking trails in our area. I am thankful for numerous provincial parks a short drive away. 

I am thankful our kids are at school, in-person, and that businesses are open, mostly without lineups. I am thankful churches are open, Winnipeg’s pro sports teams are playing, and concerts are happening. The zoo is also open, as are museums, movie theatres, swimming pools and gyms. I’m thankful for those things, too. 

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021

Supplied photo
Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield enjoys a hike with his wife, Ruth.

Many good moves being made in Manitoba

Andrew Micklefield 4 minute read Preview

Many good moves being made in Manitoba

Andrew Micklefield 4 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 8, 2021

 

Despite international headlines, a federal election, COVID and Premier Pallister’s resignation, Manitoba’s government continues to serve our province in ways easily overshadowed by other headlines. Here are some of the stories you may have missed.Statistics Canada reported Manitoba as a national leader in economic recovery, gaining 7400 jobs in July, more than twice Canada’s per-capita average. Manitoba’s unemployment dropped to 6.1 per cent — Canada’s best — and well ahead of the national 7.5 per cent average. Manitoba recently signed a child-care agreement with the federal government to secure $10 a day childcare, and fund 23,000 new childcare spaces in the province over the next five years. A total of $812 million for 38 health projects and facilities in western Manitoba will take pressure off Winnipeg hospitals and health services. The announcement includes a new Intensive Care Unit, expanded neonatal units and additional hospital beds throughout the region. A plan to return students to classes includes $58 million for COVID measures, as Bill 64 is formally denounced by many government MLAs. Parents with questions about details for returning to school can contact their children’s school administration.Following the toppling of statues of Queens Victoria and Elizabeth and the subsequent plans to restore both statues to new locations, $500,000 was announced for a statue of Chief Peguis for the legislative building grounds, making good a previous commitment to honour his memory as a pivotal leader in Manitoba history.Lake Winnipeg will benefit from a Memorandum of Understanding building upon a previous 10-year agreement between federal and provincial governments, “to understand and protect the water quality and ecological health of Lake Winnipeg and its basin, including reducing nutrient loading. The MOU will also support engagement of Indigenous Peoples to advance reconciliation and mutual priorities related to water quality and the ecological health of Lake Winnipeg.”These are just a few examples of how Manitoba’s government continues to build our province stronger for the future in ways that benefit us all. Despite international headlines, a federal election, COVID and Premier Pallister’s resignation, Manitoba’s government continues to serve our province in ways easily overshadowed by other headlines. Here are some of the stories you may have missed.

Statistics Canada reported Manitoba as a national leader in economic recovery, gaining 7400 jobs in July, more than twice Canada’s per-capita average. Manitoba’s unemployment dropped to 6.1 per cent — Canada’s best — and well ahead of the national 7.5 per cent average. 

Manitoba recently signed a child-care agreement with the federal government to secure $10 a day childcare, and fund 23,000 new childcare spaces in the province over the next five years. 

Wednesday, Sep. 8, 2021

 

Despite international headlines, a federal election, COVID and Premier Pallister’s resignation, Manitoba’s government continues to serve our province in ways easily overshadowed by other headlines. Here are some of the stories you may have missed.Statistics Canada reported Manitoba as a national leader in economic recovery, gaining 7400 jobs in July, more than twice Canada’s per-capita average. Manitoba’s unemployment dropped to 6.1 per cent — Canada’s best — and well ahead of the national 7.5 per cent average. Manitoba recently signed a child-care agreement with the federal government to secure $10 a day childcare, and fund 23,000 new childcare spaces in the province over the next five years. A total of $812 million for 38 health projects and facilities in western Manitoba will take pressure off Winnipeg hospitals and health services. The announcement includes a new Intensive Care Unit, expanded neonatal units and additional hospital beds throughout the region. A plan to return students to classes includes $58 million for COVID measures, as Bill 64 is formally denounced by many government MLAs. Parents with questions about details for returning to school can contact their children’s school administration.Following the toppling of statues of Queens Victoria and Elizabeth and the subsequent plans to restore both statues to new locations, $500,000 was announced for a statue of Chief Peguis for the legislative building grounds, making good a previous commitment to honour his memory as a pivotal leader in Manitoba history.Lake Winnipeg will benefit from a Memorandum of Understanding building upon a previous 10-year agreement between federal and provincial governments, “to understand and protect the water quality and ecological health of Lake Winnipeg and its basin, including reducing nutrient loading. The MOU will also support engagement of Indigenous Peoples to advance reconciliation and mutual priorities related to water quality and the ecological health of Lake Winnipeg.”These are just a few examples of how Manitoba’s government continues to build our province stronger for the future in ways that benefit us all. Despite international headlines, a federal election, COVID and Premier Pallister’s resignation, Manitoba’s government continues to serve our province in ways easily overshadowed by other headlines. Here are some of the stories you may have missed.

Statistics Canada reported Manitoba as a national leader in economic recovery, gaining 7400 jobs in July, more than twice Canada’s per-capita average. Manitoba’s unemployment dropped to 6.1 per cent — Canada’s best — and well ahead of the national 7.5 per cent average. 

Manitoba recently signed a child-care agreement with the federal government to secure $10 a day childcare, and fund 23,000 new childcare spaces in the province over the next five years. 

Helping others, despite great loss

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Preview

Helping others, despite great loss

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021

On Thurs., Sept. 23, area resident and refugee advocate Maysoun Darweesh will receive the Lieutenant Governor’s Award and Vice Regal Award for her service to Winnipeg’s Syrian and Yazidi refugees.

Maysoun’s husband Nour spearheaded much of the couple’s compassionate work until his untimely death in a boating accident on Lake Winnipeg last summer. NOur was a leader in the Yazidi and refugee communities, and his passing left a huge gap, but Maysoun continued his community work even as she grieved the loss of her husband..

I first met Nour, Maysoun and their two daughters at events for refugees new to Canada who had escaped political persecution. The couple felt an obligation to pay forward the kindness they’d received from their sponsor, Douglas Mennonite Church, to others arriving here with similar needs to their own when they first came.

The Kurdish Initiative for Refugees was formed and offered safe, friendly places and practical help to newcomers needing assistance with housing, translation, doctor’s visits, settlement services and schools. Nour and Maysoun pioneered a family and youth program to help young people adjust to life in Canada and they organized summer camps for hundreds of refugee children eager to practise English, play games and learn about human rights. Many children from these camps now attend university and aspire to contribute to their new home in Manitoba.

Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021

Supplied photo
On Thurs., Sept. 23, area resident and refugee advocate Maysoun Darweesh will receive the Lieutenant Governor’s Award and Vice Regal Award for her service to Winnipeg’s Syrian and Yazidi refugees.

Happy to help local organizations

Andrew Micklefield 3 minute read Preview

Happy to help local organizations

Andrew Micklefield 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 14, 2021

Over the last months I’ve been busy assisting and advocating for various community projects involving both people and things. I successfully helped a dozen local organizations obtain Green Team grants to hire students, totalling over $225,000 for beautification and community programming into our area. On top of these Green Team Grants, numerous Building Sustainable Communities grants will benefit our area: • Gateway Recreation Centre received almost $80,000 to replace its brine tank and heat exchanger, needed to create ice for Gateway’s rinks and which needed replacing after 15 years of use; • Sun Valley School received $19,000 for a park enhancement and community gathering space which includes nature play equipment and an outdoor classroom. Plans are in place and the project is ready to proceed;• The Elmwood Giants received over $5,000 toward a new speaker system at Koskie Field;• Union Gospel Mission, which helps men recovering from addictions, received $6,000 to buy new mattresses;I should also mention that the Manitoba Camping Association, whose head office is at 1215 Henderson Hwy., has helped dozens of camps receive grants over the last months. Thankfully. camps are opening again this summer, helping families and children enjoy Manitoba’s outdoors. More info at www.mbcamping.caOne of my favourite parts of serving our area as MLA is assisting community groups and organizations. If you want to be put on my community groups list, contact my office to receive information about future grant applications and find out about opportunities to benefit from government programs and opportunities. I can be reached by phone at 204-289-4545 and by email, andrew@andrewmicklefield.com

Over the last months I’ve been busy assisting and advocating for various community projects involving both people and things. 

I successfully helped a dozen local organizations obtain Green Team grants to hire students, totalling over $225,000 for beautification and community programming into our area. 

On top of these Green Team Grants, numerous Building Sustainable Communities grants will benefit our area: 

Wednesday, Jul. 14, 2021

Photo courtesy of Manitoba Campi
The Manitoba Camping Association, whose head office is on Henderson Highway, has helped dozens of camps receive grants over the past few months, enabling them to operate and help introduce families and children to the great outdoors.

New laws and initiatives you may not have heard about

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Preview

New laws and initiatives you may not have heard about

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2021

Earlier this month, Manitoba’s Legislature completed one of busiest Legislative sessions in Manitoba history. Over 100 bills from all parties were introduced, about 70 passed, a handful were defeated and the rest remain on the order paper for further consideration this fall.

But Manitobans rarely hear about many of the interesting but less contentious things that come from their Legislature.

Here are some examples from recent months:

The Department of Families has partnered with the Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association to pilot the Rent Bank, a $5.6 million investment to support low-to-moderate-income families. Collectively owned and managed by over 100 non-profit housing providers, 24,000 affordable homes are available in 23 communities across Manitoba. Spending on the Department of Families rose by $34 million this year.

Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2021

Earlier this month, Manitoba’s Legislature completed one of busiest Legislative sessions in Manitoba history. Over 100 bills from all parties were introduced, about 70 passed, a handful were defeated and the rest remain on the order paper for further consideration this fall.

But Manitobans rarely hear about many of the interesting but less contentious things that come from their Legislature.

Here are some examples from recent months:

The Department of Families has partnered with the Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association to pilot the Rent Bank, a $5.6 million investment to support low-to-moderate-income families. Collectively owned and managed by over 100 non-profit housing providers, 24,000 affordable homes are available in 23 communities across Manitoba. Spending on the Department of Families rose by $34 million this year.

COVID-19 something to take seriously

Andrew Micklefield - Rossmere MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Preview

COVID-19 something to take seriously

Andrew Micklefield - Rossmere MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Monday, May. 17, 2021

 

When COVID-19 first made the news, I was skeptical — was this really any more serious than the flu?  When my friend got COVID and wound up in intensive care, I began to take things a little more seriously. However, I wasn’t entirely persuaded. I thought maybe he was just unlucky. Then another friend got COVID, and died. That got my attention. Then a different friend’s mom got COVID and died as well.Then another friend who is 44 years old and in reasonable health got COVID and was admitted to hospital, his blood oxygen at dangerous levels. Thankfully for his wife and six children, he returned home some time later, over the worst, but weak and physically exhausted.  I spoke with him recently and he is still unable to work and still physically affected. That was last Christmas.  “Sometimes I feel like I’m shuffling about from better to worse to better again without making much progress.” There does appear to be slow improvement but doctors say it will take time to return to normal, hopefully later this year. Two weeks ago another friend got sick with COVID and found herself in intensive care. Her family asked our whole church to pray for her while she wondered if she would ever see her grandchildren again. Thankfully she is now recovering at home.I appreciate that others do not have so many friends affected by this virus, they are fortunate. I mention these situations because they changed my mind. I am no longer skeptical or unsure about the reality of COVID. That’s why my wife and I chose to get vaccinated.Places in the world with high vaccine uptake are seeing far fewer cases and hospitalizations and resuming normal life, something all of us want. We all hope the COVID-19 pandemic is a once in a lifetime event. No doubt there will be lessons learned, but one is already plain: this virus is something to take seriously. That’s why I chose to get vaccinated, and I hope my story helps others do the same.  

When COVID-19 first made the news, I was skeptical — was this really any more serious than the flu?  

When my friend got COVID and wound up in intensive care, I began to take things a little more seriously. However, I wasn’t entirely persuaded. I thought maybe he was just unlucky. 

Monday, May. 17, 2021

Supplied photo
MLA Andrew Micklefield was recently vaccinated.

Budget will improve lives of Manitobans

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Preview

Budget will improve lives of Manitobans

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Thursday, Apr. 22, 2021

Budgets are never just about money, they’re always about people, and Manitoba’s 2021 budget charts the course to help all Manitobans by creating jobs, lowering taxes and strengthening core services. 

On April 7, Manitoba’s government committed to spend more per-person on health (up $156 million), education (up $91 million for K-12) and social services (up $34 million) combined than any other province.

Budget 2021 committed a record $2.1 billion for strategic infrastructure, stimulating construction jobs and building roads, schools, bridges and other projects. The NDP’s record years of infrastructure spending hovered around $100 million, the next three years will see our government spending upwards of $500 million annually.

Ordinary Manitobans will benefit from tax breaks, changing the NDP’s record of making us one of Canada’s highest-taxed provinces. Home owners will receive education property tax rebates as school funding comes off property tax bills. Retail sales tax will be removed from personal services and vehicle registration fees will drop by 10 per cent. Small business payroll tax thresholds will also decrease.

Thursday, Apr. 22, 2021

Budgets are never just about money, they’re always about people, and Manitoba’s 2021 budget charts the course to help all Manitobans by creating jobs, lowering taxes and strengthening core services. 

On April 7, Manitoba’s government committed to spend more per-person on health (up $156 million), education (up $91 million for K-12) and social services (up $34 million) combined than any other province.

Budget 2021 committed a record $2.1 billion for strategic infrastructure, stimulating construction jobs and building roads, schools, bridges and other projects. The NDP’s record years of infrastructure spending hovered around $100 million, the next three years will see our government spending upwards of $500 million annually.

Ordinary Manitobans will benefit from tax breaks, changing the NDP’s record of making us one of Canada’s highest-taxed provinces. Home owners will receive education property tax rebates as school funding comes off property tax bills. Retail sales tax will be removed from personal services and vehicle registration fees will drop by 10 per cent. Small business payroll tax thresholds will also decrease.

Education plan aims for better results

Andrew Micklefield 5 minute read Preview

Education plan aims for better results

Andrew Micklefield 5 minute read Monday, Mar. 22, 2021

 

Last week, Manitoba’s government released education reform legislation based on recommendations from the long-awaited K-12 education teport. For the first time in more than a generation, the structure underlying Manitoba’s public schools was examined. Not everything got a passing grade. Manitoba has more school boards and trustees per capita than anywhere in Canada. School funding is based on complicated formulas linked to property taxes and house values, resulting in unequal funding in different school divisions. For example, River East Transcona had the lowest funding per student at $12,990 while St. James Assiniboia spent $15,508.Teachers make different amounts depending on where in the province they work, with salaries and benefits varying inside Winnipeg, too. Teachers with similar experience and education, teaching similar classes in different schools receive salaries that vary, as well as different benefits.Toronto, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria have all moved to single school boards years ago to even out similar inequities. Winnipeg will amalgamate its six school divisions and change its funding model to provide more consistency. Teachers province-wide will bargain centrally, something the Manitoba Teachers’ Society has wanted for years. Manitoba’s 37 school boards will streamline into a single provincial education authority, allowing for a more co-ordinated and even system and reallocating $40 million from duplicative school boards to the classroom. The goal is to increase the number of educational assistants, clinicians, teachers and other experts collaborating to strengthen literacy and numeracy and support the mental health and wellbeing of our children. Parents will have more meaningful involvement in local decision-making through new school community councils. Principals, parent-councils and teachers will determine together how best to invest into our schools. If the current system delivered leading results, it might be worth preserving, but decades of the present structure prove that is not the case. Under the previous government, Manitoba ranked last among provinces in every category of education outcomes. Despite spending the third-most money in Canada, Manitoba was the only province to see reading levels drop between 2007 and 2013. In 2016, we  ranked 10th out of 10 provinces in reading levels and math. Our children deserve better than last place. It’s imperative Manitoba’s education system delivers better education. On top of building 20 new schools, these overdue changes will redirect money from boardrooms to classrooms, streamline duplication and address inconsistencies to improve education for Manitoba’s students. Feel free to reach out to my office by calling 204-289-4545 or emailing andrew@andrewmicklefield.com 

Last week, Manitoba’s government released education reform legislation based on recommendations from the long-awaited K-12 education report. For the first time in more than a generation, the structure underlying Manitoba’s public schools was examined. Not everything got a passing grade. 

Manitoba has more school boards and trustees per capita than anywhere in Canada. School funding is based on complicated formulas linked to property taxes and house values, resulting in unequal funding in different school divisions. For example, River East Transcona had the lowest funding per student at $12,990 while St. James Assiniboia spent $15,508.

Monday, Mar. 22, 2021

Per capita spending varies broadly within Winnipeg, with River East Transcona students getting nearly $3,000 less than those in St. James Assiniboia. (Daniel Crump / Winnipeg Free Press)

Plenty of community activity to keep us warm

Andrew Micklefield 3 minute read Preview

Plenty of community activity to keep us warm

Andrew Micklefield 3 minute read Friday, Feb. 19, 2021

There’s been plenty to get excited about this February thanks to the creative enterprise of area community groups. 

Winnipeg’s annual Real to Reel Film Festival, usually hosted live at North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church at 1315 Gateway Rd., is running online this year until Feb. 28, spotlighting an impressive 50 films curated over the past year from submissions by independent film-makers from around the world. 

Featuring a mix of full length, short, family, and documentary movies, the festival aims to provide “cool, clean, compelling, uplifting films” says Paul Boge, the festival’s co-ordinator. 

For example, Breathtaking follows the adventure of mountain guides attempting to summit K-2 while Against the Tide discusses the intersection of science and Christian faith. This year’s Real to Reel Festival also includes pre-recorded conversations with the film-makers regarding the inspiration and production of each film. Passes for the online festival are $10 at winnipegfilmfestival.com.

Friday, Feb. 19, 2021

There’s been plenty to get excited about this February thanks to the creative enterprise of area community groups. 

Winnipeg’s annual Real to Reel Film Festival, usually hosted live at North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church at 1315 Gateway Rd., is running online this year until Feb. 28, spotlighting an impressive 50 films curated over the past year from submissions by independent film-makers from around the world. 

Featuring a mix of full length, short, family, and documentary movies, the festival aims to provide “cool, clean, compelling, uplifting films” says Paul Boge, the festival’s co-ordinator. 

For example, Breathtaking follows the adventure of mountain guides attempting to summit K-2 while Against the Tide discusses the intersection of science and Christian faith. This year’s Real to Reel Festival also includes pre-recorded conversations with the film-makers regarding the inspiration and production of each film. Passes for the online festival are $10 at winnipegfilmfestival.com.

Local investments a priority in 2021

Andrew Micklefield 5 minute read Preview

Local investments a priority in 2021

Andrew Micklefield 5 minute read Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

 

As the MLA serving our area, I am honoured to write about ongoing investments into our local communities. Since Jan. 1, many such investments have been announced which will benefit families, schools and neighbourhoods in real and meaningful ways. $50 million was announced for capital investments in kindergarten to Grade 12 schools, including: a roof replacement at Chief Peguis Junior High School; phase 2 of a two-storey roof structural upgrade at Springfield Heights School; and an elevator at Kildonan-East Collegiate. The announcement also included a commitment to land acquisition for a future school in Devonshire Park north of the Regent Avenue Costco, and reaffirmed the expansion of the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine’s new Panet Road school for 350 students in 2022. In addition, 96 regularly funded nursery schools received Jan. 1 grant increases for operating funding as part of a commitment to a fair funding model. Of Manitoba’s 162 nursery schools, only 66 received this level of funding until now. More details about this nursery school funding are forthcoming to ensure the expansion and accessibility of nursery and preschool care.As well, non-profit and community organizations are invited to apply for Green Team grants to hire youth aged 15 to 29 between May 1 and Sept. 30. Last year my office successfully helped local organizations benefit from over $200,000 in grants for summer children’s and youth programming, community gardens, site maintenance, and COVID protocols. One hundred per cent of wage costs are covered for non-profit organizations; applications must be received by Feb. 15. Non-profit and community-led organizations can also apply for Building Sustainable Communities grants, which fund up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $75,000; and for larger-scale capital projects to a maximum of $300,000. The application deadline is Feb. 28.Since Jan. 1, the province has also announced $2.3 million for wraparound care for youth and young adults injured by violence; $5.6 million for support and services for victims of crime; and $4 million for safety and security upgrades for Manitoba Housing. Despite the challenges of the current times, Manitoba’s government is committed to investing in local communities like ours.While these investments rarely make front page news, they often make a huge difference in the lives of those they touch. And it is a highlight of my service as an MLA to help community groups access funds they are eligible for, and to see them put those monies to good use serving the community. If you would like more information about any of the above opportunities, please contact my office anytime at 204-289-4545 or by emailing andrew@andrewmicklefield.com 

As the MLA serving our area, I am honoured to write about ongoing investments into our local communities. Since Jan. 1, many such investments have been announced which will benefit families, schools and neighbourhoods in real and meaningful ways. 

$50 million was announced for capital investments in kindergarten to Grade 12 schools, including: a roof replacement at Chief Peguis Junior High School; phase 2 of a two-storey roof structural upgrade at Springfield Heights School; and an elevator at Kildonan-East Collegiate. 

Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

Supplied photo
Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield meets with Kim Scherger, executive director of the Manitoba Camping Association, located at 1215 Henderson Hwy.

Reasons for optimism in 2021

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Preview

Reasons for optimism in 2021

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020

This holiday season is undoubtedly different than those of years past, but I hope you and your family have found ways to celebrate. As we count down to the new year one thing is certain — 2021 will not be the same as 2020.  There are reasons for optimism.

I am proud to share that Manitobans have started to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In early December, our province received a very limited supply of the vaccination from the federal government. Since receiving that supply, we have begun implementing our immunization plan by offering the vaccine to those most vulnerable including those working on the front lines in our health-care system to protect them and those they care for. 

The federal government has provided assurance that enough doses of the vaccine will eventually be available to every Manitoban who wishes to receive one. For those who do not want to be vaccinated, it will not be mandatory. Until then, I encourage everyone to continue to follow the public health fundamentals to help fight the spread of this virus and save lives. 

For those looking for things to do while at home during the holidays, Manitoba’s government is offering free programming under the Safe at Home Manitoba grant to provide entertainment to people’s homes. The program features free creative cultural, artistic and fitness activities by Manitoba businesses, artists and instructors. For more information and to access programming, please visit www.safeathomemb.ca 

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020

This holiday season is undoubtedly different than those of years past, but I hope you and your family have found ways to celebrate. As we count down to the new year one thing is certain — 2021 will not be the same as 2020.  There are reasons for optimism.

I am proud to share that Manitobans have started to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In early December, our province received a very limited supply of the vaccination from the federal government. Since receiving that supply, we have begun implementing our immunization plan by offering the vaccine to those most vulnerable including those working on the front lines in our health-care system to protect them and those they care for. 

The federal government has provided assurance that enough doses of the vaccine will eventually be available to every Manitoban who wishes to receive one. For those who do not want to be vaccinated, it will not be mandatory. Until then, I encourage everyone to continue to follow the public health fundamentals to help fight the spread of this virus and save lives. 

For those looking for things to do while at home during the holidays, Manitoba’s government is offering free programming under the Safe at Home Manitoba grant to provide entertainment to people’s homes. The program features free creative cultural, artistic and fitness activities by Manitoba businesses, artists and instructors. For more information and to access programming, please visit www.safeathomemb.ca 

Let’s fight the virus, not each other

Andrew Micklefield 4 minute read Preview

Let’s fight the virus, not each other

Andrew Micklefield 4 minute read Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020

 

 In response to COVID-19, Manitoba’s government is protecting the vulnerable and supporting the economy. In November ,we announced more than 60 initiatives, many in response to challenges presented by the virus. Here are some examples: • We are partnering with Red River College to rapidly train health care support workers for personal care homes. A one-week course is tuition-free for applicants committing to work for three months with existing PCH teams, helping with “resident observation, companionship, redirection, stocking of supplies and more.”  •  Manitoba’s government is offering a $5,000 bridge grant to businesses, charities and non-profit organizations ordered to close. Eligibility is broad and organizations which have received other federal or provincial funding are welcome to apply. • A $10 million pandemic staffing support benefit is available to cover overtime costs, replacement staff or sick time for those serving disabled people, working in child care or child welfare. • A $10 million provincial remote learning support centre is currently hiring over 100 teachers, 20 educational assistants, information technology staff and clinicians to expand existing infrastructure to equip teachers and parents to deliver online education.  This pandemic is disruptive for everyone, yet despite so much we cannot control, we can still choose to be gracious and treat others with kindness, including when we disagree. Everyone loses when conversation — the hallmark of our democracy — deteriorates into a shouting match in person or on social media. These uncertain times are not improved when health-care workers are sworn at and fear and hysteria eclipses respect and civility. As we head into Christmas, let’s support local merchants by using curbside pickup or ordering online, let’s find things to be grateful for, let’s practise the fundamentals. We will get through this. Let’s fight the virus, not each other.  For information about any of these programs or other needs, contact my office anytime. 

In response to COVID-19, Manitoba’s government is protecting the vulnerable and supporting the economy. In November ,we announced more than 60 initiatives, many in response to challenges presented by the virus. 

Here are some examples:

Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020

Supplied photo
Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield is pictured here with a stack of letters he's about mail out to local businesses, explaining the details of the Manitoba Bridge Grant.

The plan for your Hydro rates

Andrew Micklefield 5 minute read Preview

The plan for your Hydro rates

Andrew Micklefield 5 minute read Friday, Oct. 30, 2020

 

Area residents concerned about Manitoba Hydro rate hikes deserve to know the reason for the increase: massive Hydro spending under the former NDP government. Borrowing more costs more, and bills for huge Hydro projects have come due. Since the year 2000, Manitoba’s NDP government sent Hydro’s debt skyrocketing from $6 billion to $21.6 billion. That’s roughly $44,000 of Hydro debt for every home in the province, plus roughly $1,600 of interest charged annually per household for these same Hydro projects. And, because Hydro operates outside of government accounts, Hydro debt is often excluded from government debt discussions, even though it accounts for 40 per cent of Manitoba’s overall debt-load. But there is only one taxpayer, and all taxes and bills come from the same paycheck.In response, Manitoba’s PC government introduced legislation modernizing the operations of the Public Utilities Board and strengthening its oversight of utility rates. Bill 35 lowers rate application costs by millions and makes rates more predictable by changing an annual review to a multi-year rate application process, as is done in other provinces. It also sets stricter parameters on capital project oversight to avoid a repeat of the past where the NDP pushed huge projects forward such as Keeyask or Bipole III, costing billions with minimal scrutiny. Part of these changes include a transition period in which the government can set rates. The PC government recognizes the need to keep household Hydro rates low while ensuring Manitoba Hydro had enough revenue to service its large debts. The proposed rate of 2.9 per cent is consistent with historic rate increases and will add about $2.50 to monthly bills for most homes.Manitoba’s current PC government is making life more affordable for ordinary people. We’ve changed provincial income tax laws so folks make more each year before paying provincial income tax, and now thousands of very low-income earners pay no provincial income tax at all. We’ve reduced the PST. And we’ve implemented common-sense policies like no longer insisting all government offices have fax machines. These big and small measures add up. And we’ll need it. With Manitoba Hydro debt at $21.65 billion, Manitobans will be left with an ongoing reminder of the NDP legacy for decades into the future. Andrew Micklefield is the MLA for Rossmere and can be reached at 204.289.4545 or by emailing andrew@andrewmicklefield.com 

Area residents concerned about Manitoba Hydro rate hikes deserve to know the reason for the increase: massive Hydro spending under the former NDP government. 

Borrowing more costs more, and bills for huge Hydro projects have come due. Since the year 2000, Manitoba’s NDP government sent Hydro’s debt skyrocketing from $6 billion to $21.6 billion. That’s roughly $44,000 of Hydro debt for every home in the province, plus roughly $1,600 of interest charged annually per household for these same Hydro projects. And, because Hydro operates outside of government accounts, Hydro debt is often excluded from government debt discussions, even though it accounts for 40 per cent of Manitoba’s overall debt-load. But there is only one taxpayer, and all taxes and bills come from the same paycheck.

Friday, Oct. 30, 2020

Supplied photo
The cost of borrowing to construct mega-projects such as the Keeyask Generating Station (above) and Bipole III has saddled Manitoba Hydro with $21.6 billion of debt.

Keeyask Generating Station

August 2018

Local recycling company thrives

Andrew Micklefield 5 minute read Preview

Local recycling company thrives

Andrew Micklefield 5 minute read Friday, Oct. 2, 2020

 

A locally owned and operated company is proof that smart recycling can be good for the environment and business at the same time. Fueled by curiosity, innovation and old shingles and wood waste, Greensite Recycling on Springfield Road is a three-generation family business that saves area businesses money, keeps reusable materials out of landfills and creates green products needed across the province. It all started in 2009, when entrepreneur John Krueger, of Krueger Roofing, began looking for options for the vast piles of discarded shingles he took to the dump every week. He discovered technology able to grind shingles down to harvest ingredients needed to make roads. Now, more than a decade later, this shingles-to-roads technology has been adopted by the City of Winnipeg and is being tested by the province. Today, roofers routinely drop used shingles at Greensite instead of the dump, an option that costs them less, is often closer to their work sites and creates a renewable product that reduces road building costs for governments.“Our government is making great efforts to invest in eco-friendly infrastructure in support of transforming waste in Manitoba,” sInfrastructure Minister Ron Schuler said in a recent news release. “Being able to divert reusable waste from our landfills, such as shingles, allows our province to reduce its environmental footprint and be in the forefront by adopting new and innovative products.”  Ethan Boyer Way, a new service road where Manitoba’s government is testing this technology, will use shingles from 45 house-roofs instead of sending them to the dump, where they take roughly 300 years to break down. Greensite’s shingle-grinder also grinds wood, allowing Greensite to collect downed trees for landscaping mulch and playground material. Hutterites use wood pellets to fuel boilers formerly heated by coal. Different-sized wood chips shore up sloppy or washed out remote roads. Nearby factories previously recycling 30 per cent of their waste now bring 80 per cent of their discarded wood cut-offs for Greensite to recycle into animal bedding. Home builders, factory manufacturers, arborists and tree service companies, waste transfer companies, roofers and governments are all working with Greensite, saving money and the environment, and creating clean, green products in the process: a variety of mulches, pellets and ground-up wood products needed in numerous settings.Manitoba’s government remains committed to environmental stewardship and working toward a future that is sustainable for ourselves and our children. Greensite Recycling is just one example of local, green technology outpacing older paradigms and providing needed products at reduced prices. There are ways forward, and those willing to pursue curiosity and innovation can find profit, even from things thought best sent to the dump.  

A locally owned and operated company is proof that smart recycling can be good for the environment and business at the same time. 

Fueled by curiosity, innovation and old shingles and wood waste, Greensite Recycling on Springfield Road is a three-generation family business that saves area businesses money, keeps reusable materials out of landfills and creates green products needed across the province. 

Friday, Oct. 2, 2020

Supplied photo
(From left) Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield, Greensite Recycling’s John Krueger and Jeremy Kosman are pictured with Manitoba Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler.

Green Team funding helps groups

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Preview

Green Team funding helps groups

Andrew Micklefield 2 minute read Friday, Sep. 4, 2020

Area community clubs, churches and charities benefited from over $200,000 of Green Team grants this summer. 

Grants offering full wage subsidies for students aged 15 to 29 helped community organizations run children’s programs, maintain and improve facilities, offer COVID-related supports and develop leadership skills in the youth they hired.

The Kurdish Initiative for Refugees runs daily programs for newcomer youth, who enjoyed (COVID-careful) fun and cultural programs. 

Green Team students hired by Covenant Reformed Church tended the five-acre site, maintaining a ball diamond and green space used by the community. 

Friday, Sep. 4, 2020

Supplied photo
MLA Andrew Micklefield visited local youths at Douglas Mennonite Church, which has benefited from Green Team funding this year.

Opening up, with precautions, is the way forward

Andrew Micklefield 3 minute read Preview

Opening up, with precautions, is the way forward

Andrew Micklefield 3 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt and dominate, the way forward is not fear, not ignorance and not a long-term lockdown, difficult to enforce and filled with mental and social health challenges. People need people but no one wants COVID.

But COVID-19 doesn’t appear to be leaving any time soon, so how should we move forward? Open up — with measures in place. We cannot eradicate the virus but we can mitigate it. We can begin returning to normal with reasonable precautions. Yes, there are disruptions but they’re manageable and temporary. Manitoba’s Health Minister recently said “COVID will be here for some time. We must learn to live with the virus… the little things are the big things — washing hands frequently, staying home when sick, keeping distance in public places.”

For those who think Manitoba’s COVID-19 precautions have been too much, I point to the U.K., where a more relaxed approach saw hundreds of people dying daily; or to parts of the U.S. where normally adequate medical systems have been overrun, causing a shortage of needed hospital beds for sick people.

Thankfully, this has not been Manitoba’s experience. Let’s keep it that way by opening up with precautions in place.

Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020

Supplied photo
Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield discusses church reopening with Pastor Bruce Adams at Kilcona Park Alliance Church.