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Plenty to be happy about in 2023

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Happy new year! I wish all of you an amazing 2023!

As I write this column, it is Jan. 16, a day known as Blue Monday, or the saddest day of the year. The origins of this distinction stem back to an advertising campaign by a U.K. travel campaign in 2004; the company even had a psychologist create a ‘Blue Monday equation’ looking at several factors, including the weather, time since the holiday season, and so forth.

While Blue Monday may not be a real thing, it’s true that we haven’t seen much of the sun in weeks and it’s easy to lose sight of the things that bring us joy and happiness. However, experts unanimously agree that supporting one another and serving our community is one of the surest ways to get rid of the blues, and to that, I say thank you to everyone in Riel who helped contribute to our community drive for Harvest Manitoba. Thanks to your generosity, we delivered food, clothing and household items to those most in need in our community.

In addition to hosting a collection drive in my constituency, our government recently awarded $3 million to Harvest Manitoba to ensure no Manitoban goes hungry this winter. We also gave $100,000 to Teen Stop Jeunesse for its food-security initiative; $225,000 to the Bear Clan Patrol; and $225,000 to West Central Women’s Resource Centre, along with many other organizations that help feed those most in need in our community. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all those involved in ensuring there is food on everyone’s table tonight.

As MLA for Riel, I have had the wonderful privilege of enriching our community by securing funds for a variety of important projects, including enhancements on playgrounds at our many parks and schools, expanded amenities at our cherished recreational centres at Greendell Park Community Centre, Dakota Community Centre, and St. Vital Arena, and contributing to our beautiful green spaces, such as Henteleff Park. Much of that has been possible through the Building Sustainable Communities fund. We recently held another intake of applications to the fund, which closed Jan. 23, and I’m hopeful for the many future projects in our community and I look forward to updating you on soon. Thank you to all those who applied and look forward to future announcements.

Last month I had such a good time at the Dakota Community Centre annual Skate with Santa. It was wonderful to be on the ice with members of the community to enjoy this winter’s holiday. I am also thrilled to tell you that I will be sponsoring the much-anticipated Greendell Park Community Centre Winter Carnival. This event is occurring Feb. 2 – 5 and will celebrate the community centre’s 75 years in community. What a remarkable anniversary! I wish the centre another 75 successful years and I hope to see you there.

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.

Rochelle Squires

Rochelle Squires
Riel MLA constituency report

Rochelle Squires is the Progressive Conservative MLA for Riel.

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