Addressing Unique Local Needs – Canstar Herald April 10, 2019 article by Andrew Micklefield
Several times this Spring I have enjoyed taking time to meet with people and share with them how my office can assist them. Often people do not know how the government can help them, and I’m always glad to share some of the new helps that can benefit their lives. One such visit recently took place at Kildonan House, where I spent a morning meeting with seniors over brunch.
Many seniors have told me about the challenges of living on a fixed and limited income. I appreciate that for those in these situations, even small changes can help families or individuals. That’s why I’m happy to tell people that when the PST drops by 1% on July 1, individuals will save about $180 a year and a family of 4 about $500 a year. And thanks to changes in the income tax laws, about 3500 people now pay no provincial income tax at all. Ambulances are now just $250, down 50% from $500 three years ago. Pharmacare now covers dozens of new drugs, so check with your Doctor to see if your prescription is covered.
Seniors requiring a care home are also finding the system which works better than it used to. Previous lists of hundreds of seniors waiting for months to access care homes have shrunk to a few weeks and whenever possible, close to their home and family. Sometimes seniors are placed within a few days, and all because of better management and smarter coordination of services.
Another similar meeting was with a group of newcomers from other countries who moved to Manitoba with their spouses and hope to have their foreign education and working credentials recognized or transfered. Newcomers often bring needed skills in our province, and though the process is rarely instant, it is possible and improving all the time. Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program, which brings many people here, is also running more smoothly than it has in years. A backlog of thousands of applicants in process for years is now eliminated and responses often come in 6 months or less. We are ensuring the right people come to Manitoba without delay, and I’m always happy to help people navigate through the challenges of coming and settling in Manitoba.
Political service is not only about policy and legislation, but is also rooted in a constituency serving people with unique needs and questions. That is what I love to do, and if I can serve you in any way, please contact my office and my assistant or I will be more than happy to help. Andrew Micklefield is the MLA for Rossmere and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 204-289-4545.