Canstar Herald Article by Andrew Micklefield – December 1, 2021

Throne speech looks to the future

Last week, Manitoba’s Legislature resumed for a throne speech that outlined the government’s priorities for the coming year. It was a rare and historic moment as a female lieutenant- governor read a speech representing Manitoba’s first female-led government, in a Legislature overseen by a female clerk.

An Indigenous drummer welcomed Lt.Gov. Janice Filmon, who subsequently read the prepared speech for about 30 minutes, giving Manitobans a preview of Premier Stefanson’s style and priorities.

There was much good news for local residents who will be able to engage a premier and government listening and acting on a number of important issues. For the first time in months, the Legislature galleries welcomed reduced-capacity guests including grand chiefs sitting with the premier’s family. Reconciliation featured figuratively and visibly in the opening moments of the throne speech.

Predictably, challenges surrounding COVID- 19 featured, too. A new nursing shortage strategy was announced with a goal of 400 additional nursing seats and job offers for every nursing graduate, plus extra programs for northern communities. Surgery and diagnostic testing backlogs were a stated priority, and a commitment was made to “modify, enhance and implement a renewed seniors’ strategy” which includes “every recommendation of the Stevenson review.”

Social issues including family violence, mental health, disability supports and homelessness also received commitments to action.

Economic growth aligned with local education and international recruitment must continue, along with efforts to improve international credential recognition and grow Manitoba’s provincial nominee program. Other commitments were signalled for infrastructure projects, including an intent to secure agreement on Winnipeg’s North End Water Treatment Plant.

You can review the entire speech from the throne at http://www.gov.mb.ca/thronespeech/ index.html As I listened, I thought of the people I know and serve, of individuals, families and businesses for whom the priorities and actions of our government over the coming year will make a real difference.

I certainly pledge to do my part. If you have questions about government resources or programs, please call me at 204-289-4545 or email andrew@andrewmicklefield.com, my staff or I would be honoured to assist you in any way we can.

Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield will resume his role as Progressive Conservative caucus whip for the new session of Manitoba’s Legislature.

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