Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith

Lagimodière constituency report

Andrew Smith is the PC MLA for Lagimodière.

Recent articles of Andrew Smith

Lots of good news for Sage Creek

Andrew Smith 2 minute read Preview

Lots of good news for Sage Creek

Andrew Smith 2 minute read Wednesday, May. 18, 2022

As your MLA, I always put the needs of our community first, and push hard for any programs that can benefit all of us who have made Lagimodiere our home.

I am very happy to say that the results of this advocacy have recently paid off for Sage Creek in the form of two provincial funding grants, benefiting local community projects, for the Sage Creek Residents’ Association (SCRA). The first is a $36,000 grant through the Building Sustainable Communities program, which will assist the SCRA in its improvements to public event and playground areas in Ron Duhamel Park. The second is $9,947 from our province in Green Team funding, which will help the SCRA cover salary costs and expenses for upkeep and maintenance of greenspace to keep Sage Creek a naturally beautiful place to live.

As many of you may already be aware, in order to alleviate the student overcrowding that has taken place in recent years, I have worked very hard to have a second elementary school built in Sage Creek.

After many years of pushing for this to become a reality, I am very happy to announce that design work on a second Louis Riel School Division kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Sage Creek is expected to begin shortly, news which comes as design work has already begun on a Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Sage Creek.

Wednesday, May. 18, 2022

As your MLA, I always put the needs of our community first, and push hard for any programs that can benefit all of us who have made Lagimodiere our home.

I am very happy to say that the results of this advocacy have recently paid off for Sage Creek in the form of two provincial funding grants, benefiting local community projects, for the Sage Creek Residents’ Association (SCRA). The first is a $36,000 grant through the Building Sustainable Communities program, which will assist the SCRA in its improvements to public event and playground areas in Ron Duhamel Park. The second is $9,947 from our province in Green Team funding, which will help the SCRA cover salary costs and expenses for upkeep and maintenance of greenspace to keep Sage Creek a naturally beautiful place to live.

As many of you may already be aware, in order to alleviate the student overcrowding that has taken place in recent years, I have worked very hard to have a second elementary school built in Sage Creek.

After many years of pushing for this to become a reality, I am very happy to announce that design work on a second Louis Riel School Division kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Sage Creek is expected to begin shortly, news which comes as design work has already begun on a Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Sage Creek.

Manitoba wholeheartedly supports Ukraine

Andrew Smith 3 minute read Preview

Manitoba wholeheartedly supports Ukraine

Andrew Smith 3 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2022

We find ourselves in unprecedented times as we face the first major war of the 21st century, which for many of us is on a scale that we have never seen before in our lifetimes, nor did we ever expect to see.

The current human toll in Ukraine, as a result of this unprovoked Russian assault is abominable. Over three million people have fled the country thus far, with many more families being displaced, their communities destroyed, and thousands of innocent lives lost.

Manitoba is home to over 180,000 people of Ukrainian extraction, who make up almost 15 per cent of the province’s population, many of whom live right here in our community. As one of those Manitobans with Ukrainian roots, I know how difficult it is for those with loved ones who may be at risk. I have cousins in eastern Ukraine, and pray that they are safe, as our family has not been able to communicate with them since the Russian invasion.

This is not the first time Ukraine has faced Russian aggression and attempts at “Russification.” Three hundred years ago, Catherine the Great of Russia sought to convert Ukraine into part of Russia and two centuries later, Stalin tried a more barbaric approach — purposely starving millions of Ukrainians to death in the 1930s, an attempt at genocide which would come to be known as Holodomor. I know of the latter far too well, as my grandmother, Mary, was a Holodomor survivor. No matter how horrific it was for her, she never lost her resolve. That tenacity is at the core of all Ukrainians, and the driving force of what keeps them fighting for their freedom, even when faced with such insurmountable odds.

Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2022

Manitobans have regularly rallied in support of Ukraine, and are now opening their hearts, homes and wallets to help.

Honoured to serve as a cabinet minister

Andrew Smith 4 minute read Preview

Honoured to serve as a cabinet minister

Andrew Smith 4 minute read Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022

On Jan. 18, I was appointed by Premier Heather Stefanson as Manitoba’s new minister of sport, culture and heritage, and the minister responsible for tourism. I thank the premier for the honour to serve in cabinet. I am proud to be a part of shaping Manitoba’s future for the benefit of both present and future athletes and artists, in this province.In my previous role as legislative assistant for this office, I had the privilege of working with a broad variety of cultural groups, and establishing some great relationships. When things are up and running again, I look forward to attending cultural events such as Folklorama, further exploring previous relationships, and establishing new ones. Manitoba is becoming a prominent artistic hub, and already possesses a strong reputation for producing world-class talent and projects. In our area alone, we have a number of  world-renowned artists, painters, sculptors, actors and writers and others who are working toward that goal. I look forward to continuing to support for them, so we can help foster the growth of an even larger talent pool here in our province. Sport has always been very important to me. During my university years, I had the honour of representing Manitoba at the Western Canadian championships for Olympic-style weightlifting, so I know first-hand the challenges of being involved in amateur athletics. Our community is home to a multitude of hockey players, curlers, baseball players, football players, soccer players, and a variety of other athletes, including several world-class athletes and recent and past Olympians. I am looking forward to seeing Manitoba talent at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. I am very proud of our athletes, and have the utmost respect for all amateur athletes out there working hard to pursue their goals.I remain firmly committed to our community and, in the future, I look forward to seeing you at local sporting, cultural and artistic events here in our neighbourhood.

On Jan. 18, I was appointed by Premier Heather Stefanson as Manitoba’s new minister of sport, culture and heritage, and the minister responsible for tourism. I thank the premier for the honour to serve in cabinet. I am proud to be a part of shaping Manitoba’s future for the benefit of both present and future athletes and artists, in this province.

In my previous role as legislative assistant for this office, I had the privilege of working with a broad variety of cultural groups, and establishing some great relationships. When things are up and running again, I look forward to attending cultural events such as Folklorama, further exploring previous relationships, and establishing new ones. 

Manitoba is becoming a prominent artistic hub, and already possesses a strong reputation for producing world-class talent and projects. In our area alone, we have a number of  world-renowned artists, painters, sculptors, actors and writers and others who are working toward that goal. I look forward to continuing to support for them, so we can help foster the growth of an even larger talent pool here in our province. 

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022

On Jan. 18, I was appointed by Premier Heather Stefanson as Manitoba’s new minister of sport, culture and heritage, and the minister responsible for tourism. I thank the premier for the honour to serve in cabinet. I am proud to be a part of shaping Manitoba’s future for the benefit of both present and future athletes and artists, in this province.In my previous role as legislative assistant for this office, I had the privilege of working with a broad variety of cultural groups, and establishing some great relationships. When things are up and running again, I look forward to attending cultural events such as Folklorama, further exploring previous relationships, and establishing new ones. Manitoba is becoming a prominent artistic hub, and already possesses a strong reputation for producing world-class talent and projects. In our area alone, we have a number of  world-renowned artists, painters, sculptors, actors and writers and others who are working toward that goal. I look forward to continuing to support for them, so we can help foster the growth of an even larger talent pool here in our province. Sport has always been very important to me. During my university years, I had the honour of representing Manitoba at the Western Canadian championships for Olympic-style weightlifting, so I know first-hand the challenges of being involved in amateur athletics. Our community is home to a multitude of hockey players, curlers, baseball players, football players, soccer players, and a variety of other athletes, including several world-class athletes and recent and past Olympians. I am looking forward to seeing Manitoba talent at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. I am very proud of our athletes, and have the utmost respect for all amateur athletes out there working hard to pursue their goals.I remain firmly committed to our community and, in the future, I look forward to seeing you at local sporting, cultural and artistic events here in our neighbourhood.

On Jan. 18, I was appointed by Premier Heather Stefanson as Manitoba’s new minister of sport, culture and heritage, and the minister responsible for tourism. I thank the premier for the honour to serve in cabinet. I am proud to be a part of shaping Manitoba’s future for the benefit of both present and future athletes and artists, in this province.

In my previous role as legislative assistant for this office, I had the privilege of working with a broad variety of cultural groups, and establishing some great relationships. When things are up and running again, I look forward to attending cultural events such as Folklorama, further exploring previous relationships, and establishing new ones. 

Manitoba is becoming a prominent artistic hub, and already possesses a strong reputation for producing world-class talent and projects. In our area alone, we have a number of  world-renowned artists, painters, sculptors, actors and writers and others who are working toward that goal. I look forward to continuing to support for them, so we can help foster the growth of an even larger talent pool here in our province. 

The first Lagimodiere Christmas Spirit contest

Andrew Smith 2 minute read Preview

The first Lagimodiere Christmas Spirit contest

Andrew Smith 2 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021

The Christmas season is one of my favourite times of the year.  the years, I have seen many amazing Christmas displays, a number of which, I am proud to say, have been right here in our own neighbourhood.

This year, I have decided to showcase the best of our community’s Christmas decorating efforts by creating the first annual Lagimodiere Christmas Spirit Award contest.

During the month of December, the district’s best Christmas display home, and two runners-up, will be chosen and  honoured. A panel of judges has been assembled, representative of different sections of our community, who will assess every entry.

There will also be teams of volunteers scouting houses over the next few weeks, seeking local contestants. The grand prize will be a trophy, gift cards to local businesses, and a picture of their Christmas House featured on the front of my 2022 mailer, which will be issued to all households in the constituency during the first quarter of the coming year.

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021

Dreamstime.com
Do you live in the Lagimodiere electoral district and love to decorate your home for the holidays? Enter MLA Andrew Smith’s Christmas Spirit contest.

A time for remembrance

Andrew Smith 2 minute read Preview

A time for remembrance

Andrew Smith 2 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021

On Nov. 11, I will once again, after a one year hiatus owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, have the honour of attending the annual Remembrance Day celebration, organized and hosted by Norwood-St, Boniface Branch 43 of the Royal Canadian Legion.

This will be a sombre occasion, as we remember our young men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to secure the freedom we are privileged with here in Canada.

Today we live in a world where oftentimes we take for granted the rights and freedoms to which we have become accustomed. On this day, when we honour those who have fought for our country and our freedom, it is hard to find the words to express just what they have given each and every one of us.

Think for a moment what life would be like if not for those who fought and made the ultimate sacrifice for us all. There would be no democracy, which gives us the freedom to vote for our politicians, who represent us on our behalf in government. There would be no human rights, which keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from persecution and violence, and enable us to lead our lives in peace. There would be no freedom of speech, allowing us to express ourselves without the fear of serious reprisals, and harm coming to us and our loved ones. There would be no freedom of beliefs, allowing us the religious freedoms to worship as we see fit.

Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021

On Nov. 11, I will once again, after a one year hiatus owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, have the honour of attending the annual Remembrance Day celebration, organized and hosted by Norwood-St, Boniface Branch 43 of the Royal Canadian Legion.

This will be a sombre occasion, as we remember our young men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to secure the freedom we are privileged with here in Canada.

Today we live in a world where oftentimes we take for granted the rights and freedoms to which we have become accustomed. On this day, when we honour those who have fought for our country and our freedom, it is hard to find the words to express just what they have given each and every one of us.

Think for a moment what life would be like if not for those who fought and made the ultimate sacrifice for us all. There would be no democracy, which gives us the freedom to vote for our politicians, who represent us on our behalf in government. There would be no human rights, which keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from persecution and violence, and enable us to lead our lives in peace. There would be no freedom of speech, allowing us to express ourselves without the fear of serious reprisals, and harm coming to us and our loved ones. There would be no freedom of beliefs, allowing us the religious freedoms to worship as we see fit.

Many welcome changes in Lagimodiere

Andrew Smith 2 minute read Preview

Many welcome changes in Lagimodiere

Andrew Smith 2 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 15, 2021

At daybreak on Sept. 1, as the sun rose above the horizon, I could see that it was going to be a beautiful, hot and clear Manitoba summer day.

Taking in the light morning breeze, I could feel the winds of change taking place as our province’s 23rd Premier, Kelvin Goertzen, was sworn in. I congratulate him on his new role, and wish him the very best for the next couple months, until our new, permanent leader is chosen at the end of this current leadership race.

The summer also saw many welcome changes in our neighbourhood as well. We were happy to welcome Jenna Rae Cakes to the Island Lakes Strip Mall, along with eye catching new signage on the clock tower, and the addition of a much needed backlit pylon sign, to advertise the local businesses in the mall. I was also excited about announcing the construction of the new SEIG Pathway, joining the existing pathway through Seigneurie Park to the intersection lights at Lagimodiere Boulevard, which has since been completed.

Some changes have also taken place recently in Sage Creek. I am pleased with the addition of the new tennis and pickleball courts at Ron Duhamel Park, that were completed this summer. I would also like to thank Kathy and Jim Wyryha for their many years of service as the former owners of the local McDonald’s.

Wednesday, Sep. 15, 2021

Supplied photo
Brett O’Meara, left, and Lagimodiere MLA Andrew Smith visit at a local McDonald’s in the constituency. Brett and Jodie O’Meara (not pictured) recently became the restaurant’s new owners.

Seig pathway construction begins

Andrew Smith 2 minute read Preview

Seig pathway construction begins

Andrew Smith 2 minute read Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021

On May 28 of last year, I was pleased to announce provincial funding for a multi-use path in Seignieurie Park, known predominantly in the community as the Seig pathway.

Over the past year, many of you have been asking about this project, eagerly awaiting its start. This summer, I am happy to say that the ground has officially been broken, and construction has commenced on this highly anticipated addition to the Island Lakes community.

Wed., July 28, was the day of our official ground-breaking ceremony, and I was joined by representatives from the Island Lakes Residents’ Group (ILRG), and St. Boniface city councillor Matt Allard. Thank you to ILRG for spearheading this project, and the City of Winnipeg for its partnership.

The SEIG Pathway will be used by both pedestrians and cyclists alike, and will run through Seignieurie Park in Island Lakes to the controlled intersection at Lagimodière Boulevard and Sage Creek Boulevard. The pathway will consist of a permanently paved section between the Sage Creek intersection, running up the Lagimodière berm, and will link to a smaller existing pathway in Seigneurie Park.

Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021

Supplied photo
Plenty of folks were on hand for the official groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the new Seig pathway. They included (from left): Wayne and Helen Lymburner; ILRG president Lindsey Wilson; Lagimodière MLA Andrew Smith; Chantale Thurston; Valerie Zurrin; and Coun. Matt Allard (St. Boniface).

Congratulations to all high school graduates

Andrew Smith 2 minute read Preview

Congratulations to all high school graduates

Andrew Smith 2 minute read Thursday, Jul. 15, 2021

During our high school years, we learn the skills that prepare us for our future careers. These are our formative years, the ones that pour the foundation upon which we build our lives. It is here that many of us have learned important life skills, especially when it comes to excelling in our studies, as well as athletic endeavours.

Every year, there are a few graduates who stand out amongst the rest. These are the students who rise to the challenge, and greatly improve from where they started, and in doing so deserve to be recognized.

Starting in 2016, when I was first elected to office, I established Most Improved Student and Most Improved Athlete scholarships to assist these young people in their post-secondary endeavours.

 I am pleased to announce that for the sixth consecutive year, I recognized four such students for my scholarships at the high schools in our neighbourhood: two from J.H. Bruns Collegiate, one from Collège Beliveau, and one from Centre scolaire Léo-Rémillard.

Thursday, Jul. 15, 2021

During our high school years, we learn the skills that prepare us for our future careers. These are our formative years, the ones that pour the foundation upon which we build our lives. It is here that many of us have learned important life skills, especially when it comes to excelling in our studies, as well as athletic endeavours.

Every year, there are a few graduates who stand out amongst the rest. These are the students who rise to the challenge, and greatly improve from where they started, and in doing so deserve to be recognized.

Starting in 2016, when I was first elected to office, I established Most Improved Student and Most Improved Athlete scholarships to assist these young people in their post-secondary endeavours.

 I am pleased to announce that for the sixth consecutive year, I recognized four such students for my scholarships at the high schools in our neighbourhood: two from J.H. Bruns Collegiate, one from Collège Beliveau, and one from Centre scolaire Léo-Rémillard.

Protecting our community with immunity

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Preview

Protecting our community with immunity

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Thursday, Jun. 17, 2021

As Manitoba’s first-dose vaccination rate continues to grow, additional efforts are being taken to address vaccine hesitancy and access to ensure that Manitoba is able to reach its provincial vaccination goals.

As a government we are we are doing everything we can to ensure that Manitobans have the information and support they need in order to make the right decisions to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities.

To improve uptake, this latest phase of vaccinations will be bolstered by ProtectMB community outreach and incentive grants, which includes funding for local organizations, groups, and businesses in the province that work with vaccine-hesitant communities.

As well, an expanded ProtectMB advertising campaign will be implemented to encourage Manitobans to receive their vaccinations so they can enjoy the activities they have missed and allow everyone to enjoy such freedoms once again. There will also be expanded vaccine access through clinics, pop-up vaccination sites, and pharmacies, to make it easier than ever to choose vaccination, so that the province can reopening safely.

Thursday, Jun. 17, 2021

As Manitoba’s first-dose vaccination rate continues to grow, additional efforts are being taken to address vaccine hesitancy and access to ensure that Manitoba is able to reach its provincial vaccination goals.

As a government we are we are doing everything we can to ensure that Manitobans have the information and support they need in order to make the right decisions to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities.

To improve uptake, this latest phase of vaccinations will be bolstered by ProtectMB community outreach and incentive grants, which includes funding for local organizations, groups, and businesses in the province that work with vaccine-hesitant communities.

As well, an expanded ProtectMB advertising campaign will be implemented to encourage Manitobans to receive their vaccinations so they can enjoy the activities they have missed and allow everyone to enjoy such freedoms once again. There will also be expanded vaccine access through clinics, pop-up vaccination sites, and pharmacies, to make it easier than ever to choose vaccination, so that the province can reopening safely.

Green Team grants to help local groups

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Green Team grants to help local groups

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Wednesday, May. 19, 2021

I am pleased to highlight a recent provincial announcement, one that will have a positive influence right in our neighbourhood.

Over $10 million in Green Team grant programs has been announced, which will help young Manitobans find summer employment, and gain work experience, while supporting COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.  

Three recipients of the Green Team grant are right here in our constituency, and they include Meadowood Manor Personal Care Home for $13,522, the Sage Creek Residents Association for $10,008, and the St. Boniface — St. Vital Baseball Club for $4,768. The funds will be used to employ youths and young adults in the capacity of exterior grounds maintenance for these local organizations.

I recognize the value of supporting community-based organizations and providing youth with critical work experience and income during these challenging times. These grants are a strong investment in our youth, as they help them get involved in our communities, and parks, while kick-starting their career prospects.

Wednesday, May. 19, 2021

I am pleased to highlight a recent provincial announcement, one that will have a positive influence right in our neighbourhood.

Over $10 million in Green Team grant programs has been announced, which will help young Manitobans find summer employment, and gain work experience, while supporting COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.  

Three recipients of the Green Team grant are right here in our constituency, and they include Meadowood Manor Personal Care Home for $13,522, the Sage Creek Residents Association for $10,008, and the St. Boniface — St. Vital Baseball Club for $4,768. The funds will be used to employ youths and young adults in the capacity of exterior grounds maintenance for these local organizations.

I recognize the value of supporting community-based organizations and providing youth with critical work experience and income during these challenging times. These grants are a strong investment in our youth, as they help them get involved in our communities, and parks, while kick-starting their career prospects.

Supporting local businesses in our community

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Supporting local businesses in our community

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 21, 2021

I shop locally whenever I can and in doing so I am happy with the variety of local businesses we have in our community.

It has been a difficult year for Manitobans, but we are prevailing, as the strong and supportive people we are and have always been.

The heart of our community is our local businesses, the places we conveniently frequent for many of our daily shopping needs, which also employ a number of people who live here. Because of such strong community support and growth, I am pleased to see that more businesses are coming to our neighbourhood, including Jenna Rae Cakes in Island Lakes, and Tommy Gun’s Original Barber Shop in Sage Creek.

Thank you to everyone who has supported and continues to support our local businesses. The outpouring of support has tremendously helped.

Wednesday, Apr. 21, 2021

Supplied photo
MLA Andrew Smith at Island Lakes strip mall.

New K-8 school coming to Sage Creek

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

New K-8 school coming to Sage Creek

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Monday, Mar. 22, 2021

I am pleased to announce plans by our government to acquire land for a new kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Sage Creek.

I have strongly advocated for this over the past few years, and am happy that all the time and effort spent has as made the difference. I have always been committed to making sure that we were meeting the needs of our growing communities, and now we are doing more, by investing in new school construction to support staff and students. This new K-8 facility will provide access to enhanced learning opportunities for students and educators in the very best classroom space.

The Manitoba government is investing over $210 million in crucial K-12 school capital projects, including $24 million for seven land acquisition projects for future school sites. This announcement builds upon the government’s commitment to building 20 new schools over 10 years, with six already open and in use, and the remainder expected to be completed ahead of schedule.

As well, we have also announced increased funding to public school divisions for the 2021-22 school year of $20.8 million, totalling a record-setting investment of $1.35 billion.

Monday, Mar. 22, 2021

Supplied photo
Lagimodiere MLA Andrew Smith near the entrance to Sage Creek, where a new kindergarten to Grade 8 school will soon be built.

Remember those less fortunate this winter

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Remember those less fortunate this winter

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

As we leave 2020 behind us, 2021 is off to a promising start when it comes to members of our community who diligently give of themselves to help the most vulnerable in society.

Last year, I was honoured to volunteer alongside members of the Ramgarhia Association in their effort to feed frontline workers and those in need.

This year, volunteers from that organization, consisting of Lagimodiere residents Nimmi and Baldev Ramgotra and Pam and Satinder Ghattora, established Nanak Support, an initiative whereby evenings are planned to go out and personally feed Winnipeg’s homeless population, located in the downtown core area.

I joined them on Sat., Jan. 9. We traveled in a convoy of a few vehicles, and stopped at every bus shelter we could find that was acting as temporary living quarters for the homeless. We delivered several dozen pizzas, dozens of juice boxes, and bottles of water. The people were very happy to see us, and gladly accepted the warm meals.

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

Supplied photo
Lagimodiere residents MLA Andrew Smith and Nimmi Ramgotra helped feed homeless Winnipeggers on Jan. 9.

Our community’s generosity is impressive

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Our community’s generosity is impressive

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

Although this is a Christmas and New Year’s season like no other, I am encouraged by the tremendous generosity of our community.

Over the month of December, I organized a food and clothing drive for Siloam Mission, and I was impressed by the enthusiastic participation of those who made donations, as our office received a constant flood of emails and phone calls from people asking us where they could drop off their items. Siloam Mission offers its heartfelt thank yous for the generous outpouring of donations from you.

Those in need across Winnipeg and the rest of the province have long required our support, especially during the Christmas season. This year has been particularly challenging, and I thank everyone for stepping up, and donating what they could, to such a great cause.

This is an excellent way for us to end such a challenging year. As we leave the year 2020 behind, and welcome 2021, we have much reason to be optimistic and hopeful. We have already begun to witness the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in our province, and I look forward to further rollout throughout the coming year.

Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

Supplied photo
Lagimodiere MLA Andrew Smith is pictured with community donations to Siloam Mission.

A time to give in our community

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Preview

A time to give in our community

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

As a very challenging year winds down to a close, the Christmas season is upon us. With the struggles we are currently facing as a society, most of us can turn to our families for love, comfort and solace.

There are many in our communities, however, who do not have that stability, and not only face loneliness and lack of support but also abject poverty. Thankfully, there are a number of compassionate goodwill organizations in our city, which exist solely to help those most desperately in need.

Siloam Mission is one of these, and its mission, as a Christian humanitarian organization, is to assist those affected by poverty and homelessness and help them through their most difficult times  by giving them opportunities that they could never have found on their own.  Those with nowhere else to turn find themselves in a place that gives them hope, starting with a warm meal, clothing and shelter if desired.

 Siloam Mission and similar organizations rely on donations in order to exist. Monetary donations are crucial, helping them in maintain their daily operations and affording them the ability to expand their services to more people in need.

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

Supplied photo
Lagimodiere MLA Andrew Smith is encouraging everyone to donate non-perishable food items to those in need this holiday season.

Building a safer, more accessible community

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Building a safer, more accessible community

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 8, 2020

This summer, I was pleased to announce funding for two important projects in our community.

I advocated for these initiatives, and am pleased to work with our government to make them a reality. The projects are the SEIG Pathway and an accessible dock on the Seine River, each of which will contribute to increased safety and accessibility in our community.

The first was $55,105 for the Island Lakes Residents Group (ILRG) SEIG Pathway project. The pathway will be multi-use, and will run through Seignieurie Park in Island Lakes, to the controlled intersection at Lagimodiere and Sage Creek Boulevards.

The pathway will be a permanently paved path between the Sage Creek intersection, up the Lagimodiere berm, and will link to a smaller existing pathway in Seigneurie Park. This walkway will further connect our community, and provide a much-needed, safe means for individuals, and families, to travel back and forth between Island Lakes and Sage Creek.

Tuesday, Sep. 8, 2020

This summer, I was pleased to announce funding for two important projects in our community.

I advocated for these initiatives, and am pleased to work with our government to make them a reality. The projects are the SEIG Pathway and an accessible dock on the Seine River, each of which will contribute to increased safety and accessibility in our community.

The first was $55,105 for the Island Lakes Residents Group (ILRG) SEIG Pathway project. The pathway will be multi-use, and will run through Seignieurie Park in Island Lakes, to the controlled intersection at Lagimodiere and Sage Creek Boulevards.

The pathway will be a permanently paved path between the Sage Creek intersection, up the Lagimodiere berm, and will link to a smaller existing pathway in Seigneurie Park. This walkway will further connect our community, and provide a much-needed, safe means for individuals, and families, to travel back and forth between Island Lakes and Sage Creek.

Recognizing teaching excellence

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Recognizing teaching excellence

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020

In our neighbourhood, we have a number of individuals who contribute so much to their community.

One such resident is Dr. Anju Bajaj, a renowned teacher at Holy Cross School who goes the extra mile for her students. She is also a founder, co-ordinator, and organizer of the nationally accredited Bison Regional Science Fair for independent, Catholic, and home schools, which is not only extensive, but showcases some of the brightest young minds in the province.

Winners of the fair compete at the national and international levels, with all of their expenses allocated by Dr. Bajaj from various means of fundraising and science activities throughout the year. Anju is the kind of educator who nurtures young minds to excel, and in doing so, allows student talents to flourish, paving the way for bright futures ahead in Manitoba.

In honour of her diligence and professionalism in education, she was the 2019-2020 recipient of the teaching excellence sward at Manitoba’s Excellence in Education Awards.

Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020

Supplied photo
Dr. Anju Bajaj (left) is pictured here with Lagimodiere MLA Andrew Smith.

What Phase 2 means for our community

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

What Phase 2 means for our community

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Monday, Jun. 15, 2020

On June 1, we began Phase 2 of the Manitoba government’s Restoring Safe Services plan. I applaud Manitobans in diligently flattening the curve, which has now enabled the restoration of a much wider variety of services, as well as a greater degree of overall operations.

This restoration of services includes: increasing child-care centre occupancy to up to 24 children plus staffing;  increasing day camp group sizes to 24; resuming sports, arts and cultural activities for children and adults; lifting occupancy limits at outdoor recreation facilities and golf courses outdoors, as long as physical distancing can be maintained and allowing limited access to indoor spaces; allowing direct travel to northern parks, campgrounds, cabins, lodges and resorts while ensuring physical distancing; allowing public/private swimming pools, spas, fitness clubs, gyms and community/service centres to reopen with some limitations; allowing religious or other organizations to hold outdoor services or events without limitation on numbers if people stay in their vehicles; reopening manicurists and pedicurists, tattoo parlours, estheticians, cosmetologists, electrologists and tanning parlours at 50 per cent capacity; and allowing restaurants, bars, micro-breweries and distilleries to reopen indoor spaces at 50 per cent capacity and to offer patio services at that capacity level.

As a result of Phase 1, I had the privilege to visit re-opened local businesses, in our community, which included Block & Blade, Freshii, Chicken Chef, Mary Brown’s, Snips N’ Shears, and Von Riesen Hair Co.

Patrons, staff, and owners alike were very pleased to be back at work, while at the same time following current health orders to the letter. Phase 2 further lifted restrictions, which allowed me to visit the recently reopened Southdale Community Centre, where youth hockey camp was in full swing, while all involved were strictly adhering to current health protocols.

Monday, Jun. 15, 2020

Supplied photo
Lagimodiere MLA Andrew Smith (left) and Tamara Bauknecht, president of the Southdale Community Centre, chat in the centre’s arena.

Crime an issue in Island Lakes

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Crime an issue in Island Lakes

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Monday, Dec. 30, 2019

The Christmas season is a time spent with loved ones where everyone should feel happy, safe and secure.

Unfortunately, crime has been a serious issue in our province lately, so I want you to know that both I and our provincial government are taking this matter very seriously.

Our Safer Streets, Safer Lives Action Plan will crack down on drug dealers victimizing our communities and make downtown Winnipeg safe again. But downtown is not the only area that needs improvement, as there have been rashes of crime right in our very own community.

Within the past few years, there has been an ongoing theft ring, which has been breaking into cars in Island Lakes, and wreaking havoc on our neighbourhood. With the increase in smash-and-grab crimes across the city, you may have noticed an increased police presence at retail locations around town, including our area. Unfortunately, that means that there is no area in our city that is devoid of crime.

Monday, Dec. 30, 2019

The Christmas season is a time spent with loved ones where everyone should feel happy, safe and secure.

Unfortunately, crime has been a serious issue in our province lately, so I want you to know that both I and our provincial government are taking this matter very seriously.

Our Safer Streets, Safer Lives Action Plan will crack down on drug dealers victimizing our communities and make downtown Winnipeg safe again. But downtown is not the only area that needs improvement, as there have been rashes of crime right in our very own community.

Within the past few years, there has been an ongoing theft ring, which has been breaking into cars in Island Lakes, and wreaking havoc on our neighbourhood. With the increase in smash-and-grab crimes across the city, you may have noticed an increased police presence at retail locations around town, including our area. Unfortunately, that means that there is no area in our city that is devoid of crime.

Remembering the original ‘Mr. Southdale’

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Remembering the original ‘Mr. Southdale’

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Monday, Nov. 18, 2019

I was very happy to see Jack Reimer Drive in Bonavista, right here in our community.

In discovering this while I was the MLA for Southdale, I felt a great sense of privilege to be walking in his footsteps, as he was Southdale’s very first MLA.

The Southdale constituency, which had previously been a large part of the Niakwa constituency, was where Jack was first elected MLA in September of 1990. He served two very successful terms there, which included his second term appointment as Minister of Urban Affairs and Minister of Housing by Premier Gary Filmon. The Southdale constituency was then formed in 1999, and in September of that year, Jack was elected as the new riding’s first MLA, where he would remain for two more terms in office.

It was interesting to find out that Jack and I also shared another parallel, as we are both of Slavic descent; he being Russian on his father’s side, and I, maternally Ukrainian. I have always very much respected Jack, as he was very active in his community, and I have carried on those ways, as community is first and foremost for me. Jack paved the way for every subsequent Southdale MLA, as he initiated many enhancements to our community, including being the first to advocate for the Southdale Community Centre expansion.

Monday, Nov. 18, 2019

Supplied photo
Lagimodiere MLA Andrew Smith was pleased to see Jack Reimer Drive, named in tribute to the area’s former longtime MLA.

Honoured to represent you again

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Honoured to represent you again

Andrew Smith — Lagimodière MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Monday, Oct. 7, 2019

Thank you to the people of Lagimodiere for entrusting me with representing them in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly.

To the residents of Southdale, I thank you for the opportunity to have served you over the past few years. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve another term as an MLA.

During my first term, I successfully advocated for a number of projects, including: École Van Belleghem’s portable classrooms, which enabled them to be a kindergarten to grade eight school; the construction of École Guyot’s additional classrooms which also allowed for K to 8; a new cell tower in Sage Creek for much-needed improvement in cell service coverage; Sage Creek’s new Living Prairie Day Care facility providing 74 new child care spaces due to $740,000 of funding from our provincial government; a $14,000 government grant for The Island Lakes Residents Group “Get Fit” outdoor exercise equipment program; a $75,000 government grant towards the construction of an outdoor learning environment at Island Lakes Community School, a community project that will benefit the children who attend the school as well as many others in the community. Our government listened to your concerns, and are committed to building two new schools in Sage Creek.

I look forward to serving this second term in office, and I will continue to advocate for our community.

Monday, Oct. 7, 2019

Supplied file photo
MLA Andrew Smith pictured in November 2018 at a provincial government announcement regarding Sage Creek’s Living Prairie Day Care.

New program will streamline support for projects

Andrew Smith — Southdale MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

New program will streamline support for projects

Andrew Smith — Southdale MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Sunday, Apr. 28, 2019

Our government has made it a priority to ensure they can provide strong funding for the needs of our neighbourhoods.

The new Building Sustainable Communities Program will streamline support for such funding so that non-profit groups and charitable organizations may have access to a more modern and efficient grant support program for community development projects.

The predecessor to this system is what enabled us to fund recent successful community projects in our neighbourhood. These projects included both the Island Lakes Resident’s Group’s “Get Fit” initiative, to which our government contributed $14,800 for the required outdoor fitness equipment, and the Community Kitchen inside Niakwa Place School. The Building Sustainable Communities Program will give us the ability to even more efficiently fund future projects right here in our community.

The new $7.9-million program will transform grant funding, with a focus on increasing community capacity, and the sustainability of non-profit organizations. Replacing seven antiquated provincial grants, the Building Sustainable Communities Program will be more responsive to communities’ needs, while reducing red tape, and duplication for both applicants, and for our government.

Sunday, Apr. 28, 2019

Our government has made it a priority to ensure they can provide strong funding for the needs of our neighbourhoods.

The new Building Sustainable Communities Program will streamline support for such funding so that non-profit groups and charitable organizations may have access to a more modern and efficient grant support program for community development projects.

The predecessor to this system is what enabled us to fund recent successful community projects in our neighbourhood. These projects included both the Island Lakes Resident’s Group’s “Get Fit” initiative, to which our government contributed $14,800 for the required outdoor fitness equipment, and the Community Kitchen inside Niakwa Place School. The Building Sustainable Communities Program will give us the ability to even more efficiently fund future projects right here in our community.

The new $7.9-million program will transform grant funding, with a focus on increasing community capacity, and the sustainability of non-profit organizations. Replacing seven antiquated provincial grants, the Building Sustainable Communities Program will be more responsive to communities’ needs, while reducing red tape, and duplication for both applicants, and for our government.

Manitoba’s best days are ahead of us

Andrew Smith — Southdale MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Preview

Manitoba’s best days are ahead of us

Andrew Smith — Southdale MLA Constituency Report 4 minute read Monday, Mar. 18, 2019

Most Saturdays, a number of you will see me door-knocking in the community, as I always like to keep in touch with the community to see what people are thinking.

For quite some time now, many of you have been asking when we would fulfil our promise by reducing the PST by one per cent since, after all, that was one of our main campaign promises. Well, promise fulfilled.

This past Saturday I was so pleased to door-knock shortly after the budget and was eager to hear feedback from people in the community. I was pleased to find out that the vast majority of people were positive about the PST decrease, and in turn happy to see our government was on the right track with this decision.

I know that there are many small business owners in our community, as well as families and those that truly understand the value of a dollar, who very much appreciate our commitment to tax relief. We ran on the commitment to decrease the PST by one point in our first term of government, so we could put more money back on Manitoba kitchen tables rather than on the cabinet table.

Monday, Mar. 18, 2019

Supplied photo
Southdale MLA Andrew Smith, at right, with Finance Minister Scott Fielding.

Thanks for supporting Darcy’s

Andrew Smith — Southdale MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Thanks for supporting Darcy’s

Andrew Smith — Southdale MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019

On Sat., Jan. 12, I hosted my 2019 open house at the constituency office.

It was nice seeing so many friendly faces; thank you to all of you who participated, especially those who left donations of unused household items for the Darcy’s Arc Thrift Store. This is a very worthwhile cause that has all proceeds from the sale of these items going to the animal shelter. Our winter is shaping up to be extremely cold, so anything you can give to the shelter would be greatly appreciated.

The harsh winter months are a time of increased health related issues. The good news is that hospital wait times are down. Our government has implemented a health care reform that has made much progress over the past year. The health care system is in the midst of transitioning to a new and more efficient model. While the full improvements to patient care will not be realized until this transition is complete, the health system is already seeing progress in a number of key areas. For example, the length of stay for emergency patients admitted to hospital is 10.47 hours this year, a 4.6 per cent decrease over last year. The length of stay for inpatients since April 2017 is 8.38 days, the equivalent of freeing up an average of approximately 147 beds, a 7.8 per cent improvement over 2016/17, the year before our plan was initiated. As well, August wait times improved over last year, even with a 16.4 per cent increase in emergency medical service arrivals, and an 8.3 per cent increase in the number of admitted patients.

The WRHA is expanding sub-acute (non-life threatening) capacity at Victoria, Concordia and Seven Oaks Hospitals on an ongoing, incremental basis. This is important to ensure good patient flow out of acute (life threatening) care to create capacity for new patients. The opening and expansion of clinical assessment units at St. Boniface, Grace and HSC are supporting emergency department patients who require longer assessment, freed up space, and staff resources. The three acute care hospitals (HSC, St. Boniface, Grace) improved over last year, with HSC improving 25 per cent over last August, while Victoria General Hospital Urgent Care saw a 19 per cent improvement. All in all, Manitobans have saved almost 380,000 hours while waiting for medical care in Winnipeg emergency departments. The improvements will continue, as we remain diligent in our goal to dramatically improve our province’s health care system.

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019

On Sat., Jan. 12, I hosted my 2019 open house at the constituency office.

It was nice seeing so many friendly faces; thank you to all of you who participated, especially those who left donations of unused household items for the Darcy’s Arc Thrift Store. This is a very worthwhile cause that has all proceeds from the sale of these items going to the animal shelter. Our winter is shaping up to be extremely cold, so anything you can give to the shelter would be greatly appreciated.

The harsh winter months are a time of increased health related issues. The good news is that hospital wait times are down. Our government has implemented a health care reform that has made much progress over the past year. The health care system is in the midst of transitioning to a new and more efficient model. While the full improvements to patient care will not be realized until this transition is complete, the health system is already seeing progress in a number of key areas. For example, the length of stay for emergency patients admitted to hospital is 10.47 hours this year, a 4.6 per cent decrease over last year. The length of stay for inpatients since April 2017 is 8.38 days, the equivalent of freeing up an average of approximately 147 beds, a 7.8 per cent improvement over 2016/17, the year before our plan was initiated. As well, August wait times improved over last year, even with a 16.4 per cent increase in emergency medical service arrivals, and an 8.3 per cent increase in the number of admitted patients.

The WRHA is expanding sub-acute (non-life threatening) capacity at Victoria, Concordia and Seven Oaks Hospitals on an ongoing, incremental basis. This is important to ensure good patient flow out of acute (life threatening) care to create capacity for new patients. The opening and expansion of clinical assessment units at St. Boniface, Grace and HSC are supporting emergency department patients who require longer assessment, freed up space, and staff resources. The three acute care hospitals (HSC, St. Boniface, Grace) improved over last year, with HSC improving 25 per cent over last August, while Victoria General Hospital Urgent Care saw a 19 per cent improvement. All in all, Manitobans have saved almost 380,000 hours while waiting for medical care in Winnipeg emergency departments. The improvements will continue, as we remain diligent in our goal to dramatically improve our province’s health care system.