«At the Opening of the Fifth Session of the 40th Legislature November 16, 2015 Delivered by: The Honourable Janice C. Filmon, C.M., O.M. Lieutenant ...»
Manitobans enjoy the most affordable utility bundle in Canada thanks to our strong, publicly-owned Crowns like Manitoba Hydro and Manitoba Public Insurance.
Going forward, we will bring in new programs so that Manitobans can save on their energy bills while we capitalize on our clean, green hydroelectricity here at home.
6 We must act on climate change. We need to adapt and we will position Manitoba to take on this challenge with innovation and good green jobs.
Investing in our Children and Youth Investing in the early years gives our children the strongest possible start.
We will ramp up our investments in prevention programming to focus more resources at the front end.
A strong focus on prevention and supporting programs like Families First will avoid putting young Manitobansʼ futures at risk.
Our vision for Manitoba is to build a province where we work together to tackle tough issues.
The colonial legacy of the residential schools, the Sixties Scoop, and the child welfare system still remains.
Indigenous communities must be full partners in our efforts to support and keep families together.
We will introduce customary care legislation to ensure children can grow and thrive safely in their community, strengthening their connection to language, culture and family.
We recognize our role in the reconciliation process. It is an honour that Manitoba is home to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
We are acting on the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
We will be introducing legislation that ensures all Manitoba students learn about the histories, languages, cultures and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples to build on our shared values of inclusion, diversity and respect.
We want to make sure every family can find high-quality, affordable child care.
We are announcing an ambitious goal: we will create a universally accessible child care system with 12,000 additional spaces for families, and expand Manitobaʼs workforce of early childhood educators with our partners, such as Red River College and Université de Saint-Boniface.
We will be expanding child care centres into new housing developments as well as schools, colleges and universities.
Every family who needs child care should have access to an affordable space.
We will expand programs that provide healthy breakfasts, lunches and snacks in schools.
7 We will invest more in community schools, early childhood hubs, and after-school programs in the inner-city and in northern Manitoba.
Teachers are the backbone of our education system. Our government recognizes the incredible work they do every day to make our children successful.
Our schools prepare young people for the opportunities of tomorrow and we will make strategic investments in our schools so that every child can succeed.
We will make classes smaller and provide more one-on-one attention so that no child is left behind.
We will support children who are struggling in our schools, help them with reading and math, and provide opportunities to students who want to excel beyond the core curriculum.
Our Bright Futures Fund supports programs such as Career Trek, Wayfinders and Pathways to Education.
We will continue to ensure that students face no “wrong doors” by creating new programs to help indigenous, newcomer and francophone students excel in higher learning.
Every parent wants their children to have the same opportunities they did, and more.
We will ramp up our First-Year Now initiative to ensure high school students earn university and college credits to get a head start on their careers.
We must build a new Manitoba that creates better education and job opportunities for First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth.
We will forge new partnerships and engage young indigenous leaders by forming an Indigenous Youth Leadership Premierʼs Advisory Council, modeled on the Premierʼs Economic Advisory Council.
Newcomers, who come in the hopes of a brighter future for their families, will be supported with language and literacy training, and specialized supports to ensure that they have the tools they need to succeed and feel welcomed in our communities.
We will expand community-based programs that help skilled newcomers get good jobs in their chosen careers across Manitoba.
Students have told us that post-secondary education should not be a debt sentence. We are listening to our students.
While other jurisdictions are cutting funding and raising fees, we are committed to keeping post-secondary education affordable for all Manitobans and provide more up-front supports to students.
We will develop more mixed-use housing for students in partnership with post-secondary institutions such as Brandon University and the University of Winnipeg.
8 With a $150-million commitment to the University of Manitoba, our government will leverage half a billion dollars to ensure students get the supports, education and research opportunities they need to succeed in our modern and ever-changing labour market.
By working with teachers, business leaders and economic development agencies such as YES! Winnipeg, students will connect with good jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math related professions.
Because our vision for Manitoba is based on our shared values of inclusion, our plan helps people get their foot in the door in traditionally under-represented sectors.
We will invest in new supports for trades and training across the province and double the number of women apprentices in the skilled trades.
We will enhance our First Jobs Strategy to help more young people start rewarding careers.
In the North, we will partner with the University College of the North to build a new trades training centre to help students take advantage of the good jobs created by Manitoba Hydro, our investments in northern infrastructure, and mining.
By investing now, we are helping young people get good jobs in a growing province.
Investing in Healthy Families When we ask Manitobans what kind of province they want to see in 2020, they tell us that robust health care services for families form a major part of that vision.
Our government will support an exciting new partnership with the RehFit Centre to build the Pan Am Clinic of the future.
We are ushering in a new era of womenʼs health care with a state-ofthe-art Womenʼs Hospital.
We will support the expansion of the Womenʼs Health Clinic and its important programming in reproductive health.
We will make sure more families have access to midwives and postpartum supports, and we will expand the successful Fertility Treatment Tax Credit to provide more support to would-be parents.
We will create a new breast milk donation centre and complete the rollout of digital mammography throughout the province.
We will enhance our Emergency Medical Services system and move towards equalizing and reducing ambulance and other fees.
Cancer affects us all. We are investing in effective cancer care strategies, and will support a new state-of-the-art CancerCare facility to give Manitobans better access to expanded treatment.
9 We have shortened the journey from diagnosis to treatment for cancer patients, and we will build on this success by improving the journey for Manitobans with chronic diseases.
Seniors have worked hard to give us all a better life and they deserve our support to stay in their homes with dignity.
Manitoba pioneered home care in Canada. Together, we will pioneer home care innovation to serve our loved ones in the years to come without introducing user fees as other jurisdictions have done.
We will enhance funding to seniors centres and work with our partners to develop more seniors housing to foster independent living in our communities.
We will continue to build new personal care homes with an added focus on high-needs patients suffering from Alzheimerʼs and dementia, and we will make sure seniors get the individualized attention they need in a culturally responsive environment.
We will improve palliative care services for Manitobans by creating new hospice beds in partnership with Jocelyn House, support a new research chair in palliative care with the University of Manitoba and partner on the International Centre for Dignity and Palliative Care.
We will introduce legislation to help families find balance while caring for their loved ones, including making sure they get the time they need to provide care.
Our government will invest in the social determinants of health.
To be healthy, we need access to healthy foods. We will continue to invest in community-based strategies to expand local production of healthy foods across the North, and work with producers and the agricultural sector to bring local foods to new markets.
Together with community partners, such as Make Poverty History Manitoba, we will take steps to increase the minimum wage and bring the incomes of Manitoba families above the poverty line so that all Manitobans can live with dignity and fully participate in society.
We will develop more social and affordable housing with our partners, and work to end homelessness.
We will expand access to community-based youth mental health services by developing a variety of supports for young people with complex needs and those who are struggling with addictions to opiates. We will put in place new standards of service in northern Manitoba.
We will modernize our supports to persons who face employment disadvantages due to severe and prolonged disabilities.
We will provide training and job opportunities for individuals facing barriers to employment by strengthening our Social Enterprise Strategy with our partners, including BUILD, Aki Energy and Manitoba Green Retrofit.
10 Our vision for Manitoba is one where everyone can feel safe in their homes and their communities. We will bolster supports for victims of crime, while tackling the root causes of crime with a Restorative Justice Strategy.
We will take important steps to provide paid leave to Manitobans who are victims of domestic violence, and we will make legislative changes to strengthen protection orders.
We will partner with our post-secondary institutions to make our campuses a safer place for all students with policies to prevent, and respond to, sexual violence and sexual harassment.
With healthier, safer and stronger communities, Manitoba will be able to reach its full potential.
Conclusion Today, we are presenting a forward-looking and optimistic vision of a prosperous future. It is an inclusive vision that believes in the potential of every Manitoban, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and newcomers. It ensures that every child, senior and family has an opportunity to contribute and belong.
It is a smart, strategic vision that promotes steady growth, creates good jobs and builds critical infrastructure. It enhances our well-being and quality of life, develops our cultural assets to attract new tourism dollars, and reinforces our commitment to water quality, lakes and parks.
It is an ambitious vision, but one that is within reach, should we choose to grab hold of it.
We were encouraged to see so many engaged Manitobans voting in the last federal election.
We recognize the record number of Manitobans participating in Remembrance Day ceremonies this year. In honour of our veterans who have sacrificed so much to protect our democracy, we will now take the necessary steps to make November 11th a full statutory day of Remembrance.
We also honour the contributions made by Peace Officers and First Responders to the safety of our communities and, when they fall in the line of duty, we will ensure that their story is heard through our Geographic Names Program.
As you proceed to carry out the responsibilities the people of Manitoba have entrusted to you, I trust that Divine Providence will guide your deliberations and your decisions in the best interests of all our citizens.