Rochelle Squires

Rochelle Squires

Riel MLA constituency report

Rochelle Squires is the Progressive Conservative MLA for Riel.

Recent articles of Rochelle Squires

Pleased to provide free menstrual products

Rochelle Squires 2 minute read Preview

Pleased to provide free menstrual products

Rochelle Squires 2 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022

Fall is here and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with friends and family while enjoying this amazing season.

Fall is undoubtedly my favourite time of year for long walks in our parks, enjoying the changing colours of the leaves. It’s also a good time for reflection, taking stock of the things most important, and for expressing gratitude. Family is always top of the list for me, followed by good health, happiness, and the opportunity to contribute to our community by doing work that I love.

That is why I was overwhelmingly thrilled to make an announcement at Collège Jeanne-Sauvé a few weeks ago that our government, along with Shoppers Drug Mart, will be providing universal access to menstrual products in all our schools and at women’s shelters and resource centres. This was an initiative spearheaded by a group of girls at Collège Jeanne-Sauvé, who wrote to me and passionately advocated for this. Kudos to Chloe Crockford and Isabel O’Brien and many, many other student advocates for using your voice to push for change. Brava!

I also want to say thank you to everyone who attended my community barbecue in Riel last month. It was great to see you all once again and to celebrate community after a two-year hiatus due to Covid. Thanks to the St. Vital Kinsmen for once again doing up a wonderful meal, and I’m especially thankful to the St. Vital Centennial Arena for allowing me to host this event on their grounds.

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022

Dreamstime

The Manitoba government recently announced a deal with Shoppers Drug Mart which will see the drugstore chain supply 3.3 million tampons and pads each year for three years.

Connecting with the community

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Preview

Connecting with the community

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022

As the summer comes to a close, I cannot help but express my gratitude to the beautiful community of Riel for their resilience over these past two years.

It warms my heart to be able to finally get out into the community again and connect with the people I represent after two long years of uncertainty, frustration, and exhaustion. COVID-19 has such a lasting impact within our community. I remember at the start of the pandemic, the phrase, “we’re all in this together,” would really bother me. The truth is that we are not all in this together. I am privileged to have a home, and that I would be safe at home. Unfortunately, for many, this is not true at all.

Homelessness does not have a single cause but stems from a combination of structural factors, system failures and individual circumstances. Experiences of trauma, discrimination and poverty can all contribute to a loss of housing.

Earlier this year, the Department of Families led numerous consultations regarding ending homelessness. Community-led organizations passionately articulated the needs of their sector and gaps in service. Some also facilitated conversations with people with lived experience. It was a privilege to be entrusted with community members’ stories. Stakeholders told us that additional supports were urgently required to better support people who are homeless, and also to prevent people from becoming homeless.

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022

As the summer comes to a close, I cannot help but express my gratitude to the beautiful community of Riel for their resilience over these past two years.

It warms my heart to be able to finally get out into the community again and connect with the people I represent after two long years of uncertainty, frustration, and exhaustion. COVID-19 has such a lasting impact within our community. I remember at the start of the pandemic, the phrase, “we’re all in this together,” would really bother me. The truth is that we are not all in this together. I am privileged to have a home, and that I would be safe at home. Unfortunately, for many, this is not true at all.

Homelessness does not have a single cause but stems from a combination of structural factors, system failures and individual circumstances. Experiences of trauma, discrimination and poverty can all contribute to a loss of housing.

Earlier this year, the Department of Families led numerous consultations regarding ending homelessness. Community-led organizations passionately articulated the needs of their sector and gaps in service. Some also facilitated conversations with people with lived experience. It was a privilege to be entrusted with community members’ stories. Stakeholders told us that additional supports were urgently required to better support people who are homeless, and also to prevent people from becoming homeless.

The healing and storytelling power of art

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Preview

The healing and storytelling power of art

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

As the spring sitting of the legislative session ended, it allowed an opportunity to take a step back and appreciate the beauty of not only our community, but of our friends, neighbours, and the people of this wonderful province. I have been able to reflect on what I see around me, and I have been drawn by so many different forms of art in our community. Art has a unique and beautiful way of conveying emotions that words sometimes cannot. It allows us to take our pain and loss, our joy and our wisdom, and transform it into something both deeply personal and widely public. Art allows us to tell our stories without a single word, making it accessible to people across language and time. It reminds us that we are not alone, and that we are seen and valued.

June 15 was an incredible day at the unveiling of a mural and renaming of the Birth Centre to Ode’imin, which is the Ojibwa word for strawberry, and the teaching associated with it is “where new life comes from.” This teaching is fitting for this centre — a health-care facility at the junction of St. Anne’s and St. Mary’s roads that provides holistic services and supports for pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. This message about new life is also fitting for a reconciliation event, as reconciliation is about coming together to create a new path forward. Thank you to Karen Sharma and everyone at the Women’s Health Clinic. It was wonderful to meet artists Jeannie White Bird and Mandy van Leeuwen, elder Flora and elder Wa Wa Tei Ikwe.

Art also gives us new ways to tell stories and remember history; and in the retelling there is space for healing. When we share our hurt and work towards healing, we create opportunities to lift up and support others as well, which strengthens our communities and relationships with others. I was honoured to attend the unveiling of a mural at the Legislature titled Layers, a multi-layered art piece done by Indigenous Youth and Elders of Clan Mothers Healing Village. This multi-faceted mural tells of the current issues Indigenous peoples face daily, as well as acts as a tribute to the teachings being provided by the grandmothers of clan mothers. I want to thank Clan Mothers Healing Village, Jackie Traverse, and all the artists who contributed to the installation for your creativity and generosity in sharing your beautiful work. I am so pleased that this installation will remain in the Legislature for the summer as a reminder of the struggles that Indigenous peoples continue to face across the country, and as a testament to the powerful and enduring nature of Indigenous stories, knowledge, culture, and healing.

In closing, if I can be of assistance to you in navigating any provincial programming, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at rochelle@rochellesquires.ca or 204-615-5241.

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

The Birth Centre at the junction of St. Anne’s and St. Mary’s roads was renamed to Ode’imin, the Ojibwa word for strawberry, on June 15.

Child poverty numbers are getting better

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Preview

Child poverty numbers are getting better

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2022

“Women helping women’ is a mantra I hold dear, and as the minister responsible for the status of women, I’m honoured to support initiatives that lift women and their children out of poverty and help them achieve a greater destiny. Last month, I was thrilled to provide $400,000 on behalf of the Government of Manitoba to the North End Women’s Centre. This funding will maintain continuity of its eight-bed transitional housing program to support women in long-term recovery from substance use and trauma.

A highlight of our announcement was meeting a woman named Stephanie, who bravely shared her story of finding sobriety while living in one of these transitional housing units. While living at the facility run by the North End Women’s Centre, Stephanie got sober, and since leaving, she has not only gotten her children back from the care of Child and Family Services, she has also found a job and stable housing. This would not have been possible if not for the wonderful efforts of the North End Women’s Centre. Thank you to North End Women’s Centre for its dedicated work in uplifting women during difficult times.

Housing is an ongoing challenge for many people in our province, and one that I am committed to working on collaboratively with other levels of government to find solutions. I invite you to join me and Winnipeg South MP Terry Duguid along with Coun. Markus Chambers (St. Norbert - Seine River) at a local housing forum on April 21 at 7 p.m. at the United Church of Meadowood, located at 1111 Dakota St. For more information, please visit ucim.org

One of the roles I am honoured to serve in is that of co-chair of our provincial poverty reduction committee. The primary target of Manitoba’s Poverty Reduction Strategy is to reduce the child poverty rate by 25 per cent by 2025 compared to the baseline year of 2015. I was thrilled to see that, on March 23, new data from Statistics Canada showed Manitoba’s child poverty rate has improved significantly to six per cent from 19.3 per cent in 2015 — a 69 per cent improvement. In other words, according to Statistics Canada, there are 84,000 fewer Manitobans living in poverty now than in 2015, including 35,000 fewer Manitoba children. Our work is not finished, and we have a long way to go to lift all Manitobans out of poverty, but our government is committed to getting the job done.

Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2022

Rochelle Squires, minister reponsible for the status of women, announced $400,000 in funding for the North End Women’s Centre on March 23.

Staying busy as we wait for spring

Rochelle Squires - Riel MLA constituency report 7 minute read Preview

Staying busy as we wait for spring

Rochelle Squires - Riel MLA constituency report 7 minute read Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022

I must admit: this time of the year is a struggle. I wish for the long nights and cold temperatures to be a thing of the past as I pay particular attention to the few extra minutes of daylight we receive each day while becoming an avid observer of my weather app, longing to see stretches of that beautiful sunshine icon. It’s coming, I remind myself, while trying to make the most of this relentless season. To that end, on Valentine’s Day, I was happy to take advantage of the free public skate at Dakota Community Centre and I am planning to register for another public skate at St. Vital Centennial arena, which holds a free public skate every Sunday until March 6. If you’re like me and wanting to get active, you can sign up at dakotacc.com and Winnipeg.ca respectively for one of the many public skates offered at these community centres. ☐ ☐ ☐Last month, I was honoured to be asked to continue serving in Premier Heather Stefanson’s cabinet as minister of families, as well as take on the added role as minister responsible for the status of women. I believe that one of the most important things we can do to get women back into the labour market and to rebuild our economy is to ensure the availability of accessible and affordable child care. On Feb. 3, our government announced an expansion of eligibility for our child-care subsidy program by 30 per cent, bringing as many as 12,000 additional children into the subsidy program. This was just a start, as we know there’s much more to do in ensuring access to child care for every family that needs it. Further, our government recently announced a reimbursement of parent fees for any licensed child-care facility that needed to partially or fully suspend service during this current wave of the pandemic, including situations where a facility had to reduce capacity due to staffing shortages or public health closure.In addition to our commitment to early learning and child care, our government is committed to enhancing our education system and was pleased to recently announce an increase of $120 million in funding to Manitoba schools for the next school year. From this funding, we will see an increase in the Louis Riel School Division from $86 million to $97 million. Similarly, Division scolaire franco-manitobaine will see an increase in funding from $58 million to $62 million.☐ ☐ ☐ On Jan. 27, we recognized Holocaust Remembrance Day. This is an often painful but necessary time to grieve and reflect on the atrocious events that took place. I would like to highlight the initiatives of two community members for their commitment to ensuring we never forget the painful lessons of the past. Gene Kirichenko recently self-published a memoir called Maya’s Memories that detailed his mother’s life in Ukraine and her life under both Stalin’s rule and Nazi occupation. Further, Frank Singer, a resident at Dakota House, recently celebrated his 100th birthday on Dec. 2 and received a letter of congratulations from the Consul General of Czechia in Toronto congratulating him on the kind, hard-working nature of his character. In 1938, Frank was drafted by the Czechoslovakian army, and subsequently deployed as a German soldier to the Russian front. He was then captured and served three years as a prisoner of war, before later immigrating to Canada. I wish him a belated happy 100th birthday.In closing, if I can be of assistance to you in navigating any provincial government programs or services, please do not hesitate to reach out at rochelle@rochellesquires.ca or 204-615-5241.

I must admit: this time of the year is a struggle. I wish for the long nights and cold temperatures to be a thing of the past as I pay particular attention to the few extra minutes of daylight we receive each day while becoming an avid observer of my weather app, longing to see stretches of that beautiful sunshine icon. 

It’s coming, I remind myself, while trying to make the most of this relentless season. To that end, on Valentine’s Day, I was happy to take advantage of the free public skate at Dakota Community Centre and I am planning to register for another public skate at St. Vital Centennial arena, which holds a free public skate every Sunday until March 6. 

If you’re like me and wanting to get active, you can sign up at dakotacc.com and Winnipeg.ca respectively for one of the many public skates offered at these community centres. 

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022

Photo by Simon Fuller
Gene Kirichenko’s recent memoir, Maya’s Memories, tells the story of his mother’s life in Ukraine under both Stalin’s rule and Nazi occupation.

A busy December, and a sad farewell

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Preview

A busy December, and a sad farewell

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021

Merry Christmas and happy new year to everyone.

What a year it has been. There have been many highlights and moments to celebrate — particularly when we saw our Winnipeg Blue Bombers bring home the Grey Cup for the second time in a row — but there have been struggles too as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us all.

I hope that you and your loved ones have been able to spend time together safely to celebreate the season.

December is always a busy month, and top of the list is getting the word out about the Building Sustainable Communities intake happening now. Applications for community development grants of up to $300,000 are being accepted until Jan. 17, 2022, from non-profit and charitable organizations, as well as municipalities.

Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021

Merry Christmas and happy new year to everyone.

What a year it has been. There have been many highlights and moments to celebrate — particularly when we saw our Winnipeg Blue Bombers bring home the Grey Cup for the second time in a row — but there have been struggles too as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us all.

I hope that you and your loved ones have been able to spend time together safely to celebreate the season.

December is always a busy month, and top of the list is getting the word out about the Building Sustainable Communities intake happening now. Applications for community development grants of up to $300,000 are being accepted until Jan. 17, 2022, from non-profit and charitable organizations, as well as municipalities.

A message of gratitude, celebration and thanks

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Preview

A message of gratitude, celebration and thanks

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021

I want to start today’s column with an expression of gratitude:

Thank you to everyone who has helped someone in need, especially during these difficult days. This pandemic has exacerbated economic and social challenges and widened the mental health crisis in our society. Yet we see people helping people in all corners of our community.

All year long, my constituency office has been used as a drop-off centre for many to receive donations of food, clothing, perishable items, household goods, and diapers. As we approach the colder months and especially the Christmas season, please consider helping those around us who are less fortunate. Donate at your favourite locations, or swing by my office at 140 Meadowood Dr., and I will ensure your items are delivered to Centre Flavie-Laurent and Harvest Manitoba Food Bank.

Housing and homelessness are issues facing many people in our community and I was honoured to support some new initiatives that will help get people out from the cold.

Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021

Mikaela MacKenzie/Winnipeg Free Press
Manitoba Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon (foreground) walks to the assembly chamber, followed by Premier Heather Stefanson, prior to the Nov. 23 reading of the speech from the throne.

Supporting those living with disabilities

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Preview

Supporting those living with disabilities

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021

Nearly one in six people in our province live with disabilities, and in honour of supporting inclusion, our government shone a blue and purple spotlight on the Manitoba Legislature to mark National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.

On Oct. 29, I was thrilled to attend a work-site at the Red River Co-op food store in Riel with an admirable individual during Take Your MLA to Work Day. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to spend time on the job with such an enthusiastic employee and this was a testament to the significant contributions made by Manitobans with disabilities in inclusive workforces throughout Manitoba.

Earlier this month, our government wrapped up the condensed two-week sitting of the third session of the 42nd Legislature. During this short session, we successfully passed Bill 72, the Disability Support Act and amendments to the Manitoba Assistance Act.

This legislation to support the development of a new income support program for individuals living with severe and prolonged disabilities has been one of my personal priorities since moving into the Families portfolio. After the legislation passed, I had the honour of participating in the royal assent ceremony in my capacity as deputy premier to declare this bill as legislation.

Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021

Nearly one in six people in our province live with disabilities, and in honour of supporting inclusion, our government shone a blue and purple spotlight on the Manitoba Legislature to mark National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.

On Oct. 29, I was thrilled to attend a work-site at the Red River Co-op food store in Riel with an admirable individual during Take Your MLA to Work Day. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to spend time on the job with such an enthusiastic employee and this was a testament to the significant contributions made by Manitobans with disabilities in inclusive workforces throughout Manitoba.

Earlier this month, our government wrapped up the condensed two-week sitting of the third session of the 42nd Legislature. During this short session, we successfully passed Bill 72, the Disability Support Act and amendments to the Manitoba Assistance Act.

This legislation to support the development of a new income support program for individuals living with severe and prolonged disabilities has been one of my personal priorities since moving into the Families portfolio. After the legislation passed, I had the honour of participating in the royal assent ceremony in my capacity as deputy premier to declare this bill as legislation.

Take time to discuss truth and reconciliation

Rochelle Squires 2 minute read Preview

Take time to discuss truth and reconciliation

Rochelle Squires 2 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021

Earlier this year, Canada declared Sept. 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and I am proud to say that our government announced that Manitoba would be recognizing the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 as Truth and Reconciliation Week. This week was declared to bring awareness to the history of Indigenous peoples and to honour survivors of residential schools, their families, their communities and all of those who never made it home.

On Sept. 30, with my family by my side, I participated in a healing walk hosted by survivors beginning at the Museum of Human Rights, and ending at St. John’s Park. This was a valuable learning experience for me, as I had the chance to listen and learn from knowledge keepers, elders and survivors about our collective responsibility to acknowledge and learn from the mistakes of our past.

We also had the opportunity to attend Orange Shirt Day activities and ceremonies at the Manitoba Museum. My grandson Theo had a fantastic time exploring the exhibits. This was an incredible day, and I would recommend that everyone take every opportunity to surround themselves with people brave enough to face the systemic racism rooted in our country’s past, and to discuss opportunities to move forward in the future.

☐ ☐ ☐

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021

Earlier this year, Canada declared Sept. 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and I am proud to say that our government announced that Manitoba would be recognizing the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 as Truth and Reconciliation Week. This week was declared to bring awareness to the history of Indigenous peoples and to honour survivors of residential schools, their families, their communities and all of those who never made it home.

On Sept. 30, with my family by my side, I participated in a healing walk hosted by survivors beginning at the Museum of Human Rights, and ending at St. John’s Park. This was a valuable learning experience for me, as I had the chance to listen and learn from knowledge keepers, elders and survivors about our collective responsibility to acknowledge and learn from the mistakes of our past.

We also had the opportunity to attend Orange Shirt Day activities and ceremonies at the Manitoba Museum. My grandson Theo had a fantastic time exploring the exhibits. This was an incredible day, and I would recommend that everyone take every opportunity to surround themselves with people brave enough to face the systemic racism rooted in our country’s past, and to discuss opportunities to move forward in the future.

☐ ☐ ☐

Manitoba on the precipice of something historic

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Preview

Manitoba on the precipice of something historic

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 8, 2021

As the 60th woman ever to get elected to the Manitoba legislature, and as one of a few dozen women ever to hold a cabinet position in the province of Manitoba, I write this column with a clear bias of wanting to improve outcomes for women and to see more women than ever succeed in leadership roles.

Why is this so important to me? Well, it’s not because I don’t like men in leadership roles. In fact, I can point to numerous men and countless decisions made here in our great province that were the result of male leadership.

But I also believe women bring a different perspective, and one that is perhaps more reflective of 51 per cent of our population. I am also committed to the notion that a more balanced approach can lead to better outcomes for everyone in society.

As the former status of women minster and as one who has been advancing women’s issues for several years, it’s fair to ask: have we moved the dial at all? Are we closer to parity? And the answer is—no!

Wednesday, Sep. 8, 2021

As the 60th woman ever to get elected to the Manitoba legislature, and as one of a few dozen women ever to hold a cabinet position in the province of Manitoba, I write this column with a clear bias of wanting to improve outcomes for women and to see more women than ever succeed in leadership roles.

Why is this so important to me? Well, it’s not because I don’t like men in leadership roles. In fact, I can point to numerous men and countless decisions made here in our great province that were the result of male leadership.

But I also believe women bring a different perspective, and one that is perhaps more reflective of 51 per cent of our population. I am also committed to the notion that a more balanced approach can lead to better outcomes for everyone in society.

As the former status of women minster and as one who has been advancing women’s issues for several years, it’s fair to ask: have we moved the dial at all? Are we closer to parity? And the answer is—no!

Restrictions ease but we must still help others

Rochelle Squires 2 minute read Preview

Restrictions ease but we must still help others

Rochelle Squires 2 minute read Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021

Congratulations, Manitoba! We are leading the country in vaccination rates, and because of this, we are able to move forward with a re-opening plan that includes getting back to the things we love with the people we love. Restaurants, wedding, fitness centers, movie theatres, and so much more, are open and excited to greet us all.

While we still have to be cautious, as this pandemic is not entirely in our rear view mirror, we have much to be hopeful for. I look forward to resuming in-person events and meetings, and seeing you all soon.

Although homelessness and the plight of those without homes might seem more visible at this time of year, it is a problem for many people all year long who are precariously housed or experiencing homelessness.

That is why, last year alone, the Progressive Conservative government invested more than $28 million in shelter spaces and we are moving forward with a renewed strategy to find permanent housing solutions with wraparound mental health supports, as well as offering a rent bank to prevent homelessness for those who are experiencing financial difficulties.

Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021

Congratulations, Manitoba! We are leading the country in vaccination rates, and because of this, we are able to move forward with a re-opening plan that includes getting back to the things we love with the people we love. Restaurants, wedding, fitness centers, movie theatres, and so much more, are open and excited to greet us all.

While we still have to be cautious, as this pandemic is not entirely in our rear view mirror, we have much to be hopeful for. I look forward to resuming in-person events and meetings, and seeing you all soon.

Although homelessness and the plight of those without homes might seem more visible at this time of year, it is a problem for many people all year long who are precariously housed or experiencing homelessness.

That is why, last year alone, the Progressive Conservative government invested more than $28 million in shelter spaces and we are moving forward with a renewed strategy to find permanent housing solutions with wraparound mental health supports, as well as offering a rent bank to prevent homelessness for those who are experiencing financial difficulties.

Local organizations receive project grants

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Preview

Local organizations receive project grants

Rochelle Squires 3 minute read Thursday, Jul. 15, 2021

I am very pleased to say that we have hit our Phase 2 reopening vaccine milestone of 75 per cent first doses and 50 per cent second doses weeks before our Aug. 2 deadline.

With this exciting news, new public health orders will be coming this week. If you are still looking for an opportunity to get vaccinated, walk-in Pfizer and Moderna doses will be available at every vaccine supersite in the province starting Wed., July 14.

As we start to rebuild our economy beyond this pandemic, our government understands the importance of boosting community organizations and investing in local projects that will help build thriving, sustainable communities for everyone’s benefit.

That is why the Building Sustainable Communities program has been expanded for 2021 with up to $13 million available to support 305 community development projects from across the province.

Thursday, Jul. 15, 2021

I am very pleased to say that we have hit our Phase 2 reopening vaccine milestone of 75 per cent first doses and 50 per cent second doses weeks before our Aug. 2 deadline.

With this exciting news, new public health orders will be coming this week. If you are still looking for an opportunity to get vaccinated, walk-in Pfizer and Moderna doses will be available at every vaccine supersite in the province starting Wed., July 14.

As we start to rebuild our economy beyond this pandemic, our government understands the importance of boosting community organizations and investing in local projects that will help build thriving, sustainable communities for everyone’s benefit.

That is why the Building Sustainable Communities program has been expanded for 2021 with up to $13 million available to support 305 community development projects from across the province.

Collège Jeanne-Sauvé soon to expand

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Collège Jeanne-Sauvé soon to expand

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Thursday, May. 27, 2021

The long awaited expansion to Collège Jeanne-Sauvé is happening.

On April 23, I was very pleased to announce our government will provide nearly $10 million in capital funding to College Jeanne-Sauvé for expansions to their school. These upgrades include 16 new classrooms, a science lab, and a new fitness and wellness centre.

This investment is the result of many years of hard work by many stakeholders, and I am very excited to see this project come to fruition. I was joined for this announcement at the school by Louis Riel School Division superintendent Christian Michalik, LRSD board chair Louise Johnston, Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital), Coun. Markus Chambers (St. Norbert-Seine River), and Alain Michilak, principal of CJS.

As sunny summer weather is on the horizon, I am pleased to announce there are a few organizations in my constituency that will be receiving grant funding through our governments Green Team program.

Thursday, May. 27, 2021

The long awaited expansion to Collège Jeanne-Sauvé is happening.

On April 23, I was very pleased to announce our government will provide nearly $10 million in capital funding to College Jeanne-Sauvé for expansions to their school. These upgrades include 16 new classrooms, a science lab, and a new fitness and wellness centre.

This investment is the result of many years of hard work by many stakeholders, and I am very excited to see this project come to fruition. I was joined for this announcement at the school by Louis Riel School Division superintendent Christian Michalik, LRSD board chair Louise Johnston, Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital), Coun. Markus Chambers (St. Norbert-Seine River), and Alain Michilak, principal of CJS.

As sunny summer weather is on the horizon, I am pleased to announce there are a few organizations in my constituency that will be receiving grant funding through our governments Green Team program.

Budget news and a big thank you

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Preview

Budget news and a big thank you

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 21, 2021

I want to say a big thank you to all those who donated to my clothing and food drive last month.

Thanks to the generosity and kindness of the Riel community, I was able to deliver over 30 bags of clothing to the North End Women’s Centre and Centre Flavie-Laurent. I was also able to deliver over 100 pounds of food to Manitoba Harvest. I am very honoured to be able to represent such a caring and generous community in the Manitoba legislature.

☐ ☐ ☐

On April 7, our government presented the 2021 provincial budget. Our government’s priority has been to protect Manitobans throughout the pandemic and to plan for our economic recovery once it’s over.

Wednesday, Apr. 21, 2021

I want to say a big thank you to all those who donated to my clothing and food drive last month.

Thanks to the generosity and kindness of the Riel community, I was able to deliver over 30 bags of clothing to the North End Women’s Centre and Centre Flavie-Laurent. I was also able to deliver over 100 pounds of food to Manitoba Harvest. I am very honoured to be able to represent such a caring and generous community in the Manitoba legislature.

☐ ☐ ☐

On April 7, our government presented the 2021 provincial budget. Our government’s priority has been to protect Manitobans throughout the pandemic and to plan for our economic recovery once it’s over.

Working together to help those who need it

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Preview

Working together to help those who need it

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Monday, Mar. 22, 2021

We all have the power to make a difference in the lives of our families, friends and community. We have seen this principle in action over the past year, in which we have all worked so hard to get through the COVID-19 together. It has been a tough year for many and in times like these it is important to remember those in our community who could use some extra help.

I recently partnered with some of our local churches and community leaders to gather items most needed by those in our community who are most vulnerable.

To that end, I am using my constituency office as a drop-off for items needed by Manitoba Harvest, Centre Flavie Laurent, and the North End Women’s Resource Centre. If you have any of the following items that you would like to donate, please come by.

We are collecting: women’s winter and spring coats, baby clothes, formula, diapers (size 1-7), baby wipes, feminine hygiene products and women’s personal toiletries. We are also in need of men’s and children’s winter and spring jackets.  

Monday, Mar. 22, 2021

Supplied photo
The bedroom of a newly renovated housing unit that were recently made available to individuals experiencing homelessness.

Tell us how to strengthen the childcare system

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Preview

Tell us how to strengthen the childcare system

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021

A strong, accessible and affordable childcare system is the hallmark of any good community. I know personally that if it weren’t for many dedicated childcare workers and a strong sector, I never would have been able to pursue my career goals or enter the labour market to the extent that I was able to do so.. For that, I say thank you to everyone who is engaged in the sector.

Our Manitoba government is committed to improving the system so that it is able to adapt and change to the emerging needs of our diverse community, as well as able to attract, recruit and retain a dedicated workforce.

To that end, we are asking for your input on how to strengthen the sector. If you are a parent or guardian with a child or children up to the age of 12, we want to hear from you.

Go to www.engagemb.ca/childcare-modernization to participate in the survey today. We are seeking feedback until March 1, and afterwards will be sharing with you the information we obtained on how best to make improvement.

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021

A strong, accessible and affordable childcare system is the hallmark of any good community. I know personally that if it weren’t for many dedicated childcare workers and a strong sector, I never would have been able to pursue my career goals or enter the labour market to the extent that I was able to do so.. For that, I say thank you to everyone who is engaged in the sector.

Our Manitoba government is committed to improving the system so that it is able to adapt and change to the emerging needs of our diverse community, as well as able to attract, recruit and retain a dedicated workforce.

To that end, we are asking for your input on how to strengthen the sector. If you are a parent or guardian with a child or children up to the age of 12, we want to hear from you.

Go to www.engagemb.ca/childcare-modernization to participate in the survey today. We are seeking feedback until March 1, and afterwards will be sharing with you the information we obtained on how best to make improvement.

Thank you for helping flatten the curve

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Preview

Thank you for helping flatten the curve

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

Congratulations and thank you to each and every Manitoban who has been helping flatten the curve by following public health orders.

Recently, we heard from nearly 70,000 people regarding modest changes to public health orders. As a result, we are taking a cautious approach to re-opening by allowing retail stores to operate at 25 per cent capacity, allowing personal services such as barber shops and hair salons to reopen at 25 per cent capacity, and allowing visitation with two additional people in a household.

 “As we look at ways to gradually ease restrictions on the way Manitobans socialize and do business, we must always consider the needs of our health-care system and our vulnerable communities, we cannot lose sight of the progress we have made over the last 10 weeks, which is why it is crucial that Manitobans continue to follow the fundamentals as we move forward through this pandemic,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer.

Our province is working hard to plan and prepare for a massive immunization campaign but the level of uncertainty caused by missed or reduced vaccine shipments will affect our work in the weeks ahead. That being said, you can rest assured that we are fully equipped to adjust to the changing circumstances.

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

Congratulations and thank you to each and every Manitoban who has been helping flatten the curve by following public health orders.

Recently, we heard from nearly 70,000 people regarding modest changes to public health orders. As a result, we are taking a cautious approach to re-opening by allowing retail stores to operate at 25 per cent capacity, allowing personal services such as barber shops and hair salons to reopen at 25 per cent capacity, and allowing visitation with two additional people in a household.

 “As we look at ways to gradually ease restrictions on the way Manitobans socialize and do business, we must always consider the needs of our health-care system and our vulnerable communities, we cannot lose sight of the progress we have made over the last 10 weeks, which is why it is crucial that Manitobans continue to follow the fundamentals as we move forward through this pandemic,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer.

Our province is working hard to plan and prepare for a massive immunization campaign but the level of uncertainty caused by missed or reduced vaccine shipments will affect our work in the weeks ahead. That being said, you can rest assured that we are fully equipped to adjust to the changing circumstances.

Thank you for the sacrifices of 2020

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Preview

Thank you for the sacrifices of 2020

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

As we approach the end of what has been, for many, a very difficult year, I want to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to all of you who have endured personal sacrifice for the betterment of all.

Each time you have chosen to stay home, to wear your mask, to shop local using curbside or online methods, and to self-isolate when feeling unwell, you’ve placed others ahead of yourself. I know that none of this has been easy, but to quote one of my favourite authors, Glennon Doyle, “We can do hard things!”

As we have all worked to protect the health-care system and each other, we have had to compromise and sacrifice. For that, I want to offer you my heartfelt gratitude.

I am also pleased to tell you that hope is on the horizon. As many of you know, on Dec. 14, we began our unprecedented COVID-19 vaccine clinic. We received our first trays of the recently approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and used all those doses to inoculate our frontline health-care workers. As we continue to receive doses of approved vaccines (at the time of writing, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had been approved, while Moderna’s approval was imminent) we will continue to follow the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on immunization by prioritizing front-line workers and high-risk individuals.

Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

As we approach the end of what has been, for many, a very difficult year, I want to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to all of you who have endured personal sacrifice for the betterment of all.

Each time you have chosen to stay home, to wear your mask, to shop local using curbside or online methods, and to self-isolate when feeling unwell, you’ve placed others ahead of yourself. I know that none of this has been easy, but to quote one of my favourite authors, Glennon Doyle, “We can do hard things!”

As we have all worked to protect the health-care system and each other, we have had to compromise and sacrifice. For that, I want to offer you my heartfelt gratitude.

I am also pleased to tell you that hope is on the horizon. As many of you know, on Dec. 14, we began our unprecedented COVID-19 vaccine clinic. We received our first trays of the recently approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and used all those doses to inoculate our frontline health-care workers. As we continue to receive doses of approved vaccines (at the time of writing, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had been approved, while Moderna’s approval was imminent) we will continue to follow the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on immunization by prioritizing front-line workers and high-risk individuals.

Coping with COVID-19 in Riel

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Coping with COVID-19 in Riel

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020

Manitoba has experienced an increase in COVID-19 case numbers in these last few weeks. On Nov. 12, the province moved to the critical level (red) on the #RestartMB pandemic response system to halt transmission and protect Manitoba’s most vulnerable citizens.

Throughout the pandemic, our government has been working hard to protect Manitoba’s front-line workers and to help businesses, non-profit and charitable organizations get through this very challenging time.

On Nov. 16, our government announced a new bridge grant, which will provide a $5,000 grant to eligible small and medium-sized businesses and organizations that were required to fully close their premises to the public to comply with the Manitoba COVID-19 public health orders. The list includes non-essential retailers, restaurants, recreation and sport facilities, museums and galleries, theatres and concert halls, not-for-profit organizations, faith-based organizations and registered charities.

The full list and application criteria are available on the program page at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/programs/bridge-grant.html

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020

Manitoba has experienced an increase in COVID-19 case numbers in these last few weeks. On Nov. 12, the province moved to the critical level (red) on the #RestartMB pandemic response system to halt transmission and protect Manitoba’s most vulnerable citizens.

Throughout the pandemic, our government has been working hard to protect Manitoba’s front-line workers and to help businesses, non-profit and charitable organizations get through this very challenging time.

On Nov. 16, our government announced a new bridge grant, which will provide a $5,000 grant to eligible small and medium-sized businesses and organizations that were required to fully close their premises to the public to comply with the Manitoba COVID-19 public health orders. The list includes non-essential retailers, restaurants, recreation and sport facilities, museums and galleries, theatres and concert halls, not-for-profit organizations, faith-based organizations and registered charities.

The full list and application criteria are available on the program page at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/programs/bridge-grant.html

Stay vigilant, keep doing the right thing

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Stay vigilant, keep doing the right thing

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020

The weather is getting colder and we are spending more time indoors, which also increases the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

We have seen our numbers increasing but we are not helpless to slow the spread of COVID-19. We did this in this in the spring and we can do it again. I want to thank everyone in the community who is complying with our public health orders and making sacrifices to keep themselves and their neighbours safe.

Our government has increased the number of testing sites and increased the number of tests being done. We have also collaborated with Red River College to get health care students trained to administer COVID-19 tests. Red River College is on track to train over 180 health-care professionals and students to safely perform sample collections at authorized COVID-19 test sites. People can find a testing centre by calling toll-free 1-855-268-4318 or visiting gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/testing/html.

I would also like to thank Dakota Medical Centre for stepping up to be the first community clinic to offer community-based, doctor’s office COVID-19 testing. It is fantastic to see this kind of collaboration between our government and Doctors Manitoba.

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020

The weather is getting colder and we are spending more time indoors, which also increases the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

We have seen our numbers increasing but we are not helpless to slow the spread of COVID-19. We did this in this in the spring and we can do it again. I want to thank everyone in the community who is complying with our public health orders and making sacrifices to keep themselves and their neighbours safe.

Our government has increased the number of testing sites and increased the number of tests being done. We have also collaborated with Red River College to get health care students trained to administer COVID-19 tests. Red River College is on track to train over 180 health-care professionals and students to safely perform sample collections at authorized COVID-19 test sites. People can find a testing centre by calling toll-free 1-855-268-4318 or visiting gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/testing/html.

I would also like to thank Dakota Medical Centre for stepping up to be the first community clinic to offer community-based, doctor’s office COVID-19 testing. It is fantastic to see this kind of collaboration between our government and Doctors Manitoba.

Grants support local improvements

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

Grants support local improvements

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Monday, Oct. 5, 2020

It was a very busy September in Riel. While always following public health guidelines, I have been able to get out and attend a number of community events.

On Sept. 11, I had the pleasure of stopping in at Dakota Community Centre to see its new, enhanced outdoor seating area and beautification improvements around the community centre. I was very happy to provide them with a Building Sustainable Communities grant of $28,297 to help with these improvements.

On Sept. 19, I was honoured to take part in the grand opening of Bishop Grandin Greenway’s Bittersweet Gardens. This project has been in the works for several years, and I was pleased our government was able to provide a Building Sustainable Communities grant of $18,278 to help make this project a reality. I want to congratulate long-time board members Murray Gibson, Michelle Meade and Derick Young, as well as all their volunteers, for all the hard work to make this dream a reality.

There are many in our community who are working hard to help everyone get through this difficult time. I wanted to let you know about an amazing initiative spearheaded by our Louis Riel School Division called RIEL-EVATE. This foundation has been working for many years to provide clothing for infants, children, youth and adults and those in need in our community and in particular, those who are newcomers to Canada. Many of these people are about to experience their first Winnipeg winter and may not have things such as warm coats, mittens and boots to get them through the cold months ahead.

Monday, Oct. 5, 2020

It was a very busy September in Riel. While always following public health guidelines, I have been able to get out and attend a number of community events.

On Sept. 11, I had the pleasure of stopping in at Dakota Community Centre to see its new, enhanced outdoor seating area and beautification improvements around the community centre. I was very happy to provide them with a Building Sustainable Communities grant of $28,297 to help with these improvements.

On Sept. 19, I was honoured to take part in the grand opening of Bishop Grandin Greenway’s Bittersweet Gardens. This project has been in the works for several years, and I was pleased our government was able to provide a Building Sustainable Communities grant of $18,278 to help make this project a reality. I want to congratulate long-time board members Murray Gibson, Michelle Meade and Derick Young, as well as all their volunteers, for all the hard work to make this dream a reality.

There are many in our community who are working hard to help everyone get through this difficult time. I wanted to let you know about an amazing initiative spearheaded by our Louis Riel School Division called RIEL-EVATE. This foundation has been working for many years to provide clothing for infants, children, youth and adults and those in need in our community and in particular, those who are newcomers to Canada. Many of these people are about to experience their first Winnipeg winter and may not have things such as warm coats, mittens and boots to get them through the cold months ahead.

‘Learning to live with the virus’

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Preview

‘Learning to live with the virus’

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 2 minute read Monday, Sep. 14, 2020

The cool air and shorter evenings have suddenly arrived, and with that means a return to school for many students and teachers. In fact, last week was the first time many of us entered a classroom since last March.

I know this a time of change and, for some, stress and anxiety as we adjust to the ‘new normal’, and as Dr. Roussin says, a period of adjustment as we “learn to live with this virus.”

To that end, I want to congratulate the Louis Riel School Division on the tremendous planning it has done to ensure a safe learning environment for all staff and students.

Our government has also been working very closely with school divisions and teachers to ensure a safe return to school. Our Restoring Safe Schools plan is a comprehensive blueprint that sets out protocols to ensure our schools could return to some normalcy for students and teachers and keep everyone safe.

Monday, Sep. 14, 2020

The cool air and shorter evenings have suddenly arrived, and with that means a return to school for many students and teachers. In fact, last week was the first time many of us entered a classroom since last March.

I know this a time of change and, for some, stress and anxiety as we adjust to the ‘new normal’, and as Dr. Roussin says, a period of adjustment as we “learn to live with this virus.”

To that end, I want to congratulate the Louis Riel School Division on the tremendous planning it has done to ensure a safe learning environment for all staff and students.

Our government has also been working very closely with school divisions and teachers to ensure a safe return to school. Our Restoring Safe Schools plan is a comprehensive blueprint that sets out protocols to ensure our schools could return to some normalcy for students and teachers and keep everyone safe.

Making the best of the ‘new normal’

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Preview

Making the best of the ‘new normal’

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020

Happy summer! What an amazing season it has been — filled with endless sun and blue skies.

I hope you are enjoying our warm Manitoba summer as much as I am. It is unlike any summer we’ve had in the past. Hopefully you and your family have had the opportunity to get out of the house and explore and enjoy our many lakes, parks and campgrounds. As more services and businesses slowly open up, Manitobans can get back to some normal activities, although we are all experiencing a ‘new normal.’

One of my favorite things to do at this time of year is attend Folklorama pavilions. I am always amazed and inspired by the rich cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity in our province. I know that many of you, like myself, are missing this experience, as well as other cultural events like the Winnipeg Folk Fest and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Hopefully 2021 will see a return of these favourite Manitoba summer activities.

Late last month, our government introduced Phase 4 of Restoring Safe Services. As with the previous phases, the government requested the public’s feedback about the details of this phase. We were very pleased to receive over 50,000 responses. This public input helped shape our plans.

Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020

Happy summer! What an amazing season it has been — filled with endless sun and blue skies.

I hope you are enjoying our warm Manitoba summer as much as I am. It is unlike any summer we’ve had in the past. Hopefully you and your family have had the opportunity to get out of the house and explore and enjoy our many lakes, parks and campgrounds. As more services and businesses slowly open up, Manitobans can get back to some normal activities, although we are all experiencing a ‘new normal.’

One of my favorite things to do at this time of year is attend Folklorama pavilions. I am always amazed and inspired by the rich cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity in our province. I know that many of you, like myself, are missing this experience, as well as other cultural events like the Winnipeg Folk Fest and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Hopefully 2021 will see a return of these favourite Manitoba summer activities.

Late last month, our government introduced Phase 4 of Restoring Safe Services. As with the previous phases, the government requested the public’s feedback about the details of this phase. We were very pleased to receive over 50,000 responses. This public input helped shape our plans.

Summer, the curve is flat… reopening has begun

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Preview

Summer, the curve is flat… reopening has begun

Rochelle Squires — Riel MLA Constituency Report 3 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 14, 2020

Summer is here in full heat and what a wonderful season it is.

We recently celebrated Canada Day, and although we couldn’t engage in some of the activities we normally would, many of us still found creative and safe ways to mark the occasion. Whether you spent the day with close friends and family, or attending live COVID-friendly events via social media, I hope you had some time to enjoy the wonderfulness of what it means to be Canadian.

These past four months have been very challenging but Manitobans have worked together to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

Because of these efforts, our government has been able to proceed with Phase 3 of its Restoring Safe Services plan. This phase includes opening up more of our economy, increasing access to community centres and recreation opportunities, increasing capacity in daycare centres and enabling more in-person medical services.

Tuesday, Jul. 14, 2020

Summer is here in full heat and what a wonderful season it is.

We recently celebrated Canada Day, and although we couldn’t engage in some of the activities we normally would, many of us still found creative and safe ways to mark the occasion. Whether you spent the day with close friends and family, or attending live COVID-friendly events via social media, I hope you had some time to enjoy the wonderfulness of what it means to be Canadian.

These past four months have been very challenging but Manitobans have worked together to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

Because of these efforts, our government has been able to proceed with Phase 3 of its Restoring Safe Services plan. This phase includes opening up more of our economy, increasing access to community centres and recreation opportunities, increasing capacity in daycare centres and enabling more in-person medical services.