Rossmere constituency report
Andrew Micklefield is PC MLA for Rossmere and the government whip for the Province of Manitoba.
Recent articles of Andrew Micklefield
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.
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.
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.
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.
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