Province Announces Summer Youth Job Opportunities

PROVINCE ANNOUNCES SUMMER YOUTH JOB OPPORTUNITIES


The Manitoba government is offering summer employment opportunities for students and youth, Education and Training Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“The Manitoba government’s summer employment programming provides students with invaluable experience and skills to prepare them for the workforce,” said Goertzen.  “Job centres across the province are opening their doors for the season to offer services that benefit local employers and young Manitobans alike.”

Manitoba Youth Job Centres (MYJC) are located in 43 rural and northern communities.  The offices are situated in all 11 Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centres along with local municipal offices, chambers of commerce and other community-based organizations.

The centres match Manitobans age 12 to 29 with local employers for summer jobs and offer assistance with job searches, employment referrals, resumes and interviews, as well as other employment-related resources and events.  Each summer, they serve 8,000 to 11,000 youth and students.

MYJC will be open May 13 to Aug. 16.  The centres are staffed by post-secondary students who work for the Manitoba government through the STEP Services program.

The minister noted the STEP Services program employs about 1,400 students in government departments, Crown corporations and special operating agencies.  STEP students work for the Manitoba government as part-time, full-time or co-operative work placements that line up with their field of study.

This summer, STEP will also launch two new initiatives:

  • STEP Tuition Waiver Summer Student Program in partnership with nine Manitoba colleges and universities that provide bursaries to waive tuition for students formerly in care of Chid and Family Services.  The STEP Tuition Waiver Summer Employment Program offers eligible students receiving a tuition waiver paid work placements in the Manitoba government. The program supports education and training that benefits youth currently and formerly under the care of child welfare.
  • STEP Design Thinking Challenge, where teams of STEP students and their supervisors will work to solve modern public sector challenges.  Students will learn how to communicate innovative ideas to decision makers and will have the opportunity to present their team challenge solutions at the Institute for Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) national conference in Winnipeg.

For more information on MYJC and STEP Services, visit www.gov.mb.ca/cyo/youth/services/manitobayouthjobcentres.html and www.gov.mb.ca/cyo/studentjobs/index.html.

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Province Partners With Manitoba Chambers of Commerce to Fund Digital Manitoba Initiative

October 21, 2021 – Investment Will Allow Businesses and Non-Profits to Provide Goods and Services Online, Thrive in Post-Pandemic Environment: Reyes

The Manitoba government is partnering with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce (MCC) to fund the Digital Manitoba Initiative (DMI), which will help businesses and non-profit organizations with digital transformation, Economic Development and Jobs Minister Jon Reyes announced today.

“Digital technology can enhance both systems and productivity, but many businesses and non-profit organizations face challenges integrating this technology into their operations,” said Reyes. “Our government’s investment in the Digital Manitoba Initiative will enable local businesses and non-profit organizations to transition their operations to digital platforms, provide goods and services online and allowing Manitoba’s economy to better recover from COVID-19.”

The DMI offers businesses and non-profit organizations across Manitoba a low-risk way to invest in and adopt digital technology. The initiative will be delivered and administered by the MCC, but the province will cover the $15-million cost of the initiative as part of Manitoba’s $50-million Long-Term Recovery Fund.

“Investing in the technological enhancement of local business is the best way to ensure our community’s future success,” said Chuck Davidson, president and CEO of Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “The DMI will enable future facing organizations to meet the changing needs of our modern economy, while increasing efficiencies and contributing to scalability.”

The DMI fund will provide parameters for applicants but be purposefully broad to prevent bias and encourage creative solutions by businesses, for businesses.

The fund consists of two streams designed to support projects that are immediately actionable:

  • TechUP digital adoption investment of up to $5,000 for fundamental digital tools, which could include a range of assets and/or applications, such as supporting marketing and promotional activities, website development/enhancement, e-commerce capabilities, accounting, events or project management software; and
  • PowerUP digital strategy funding of up to $25,000 to evolve business models, processes and operations, improve client/customer experience and increase productivity.

Initial applications to the DMI will be reviewed and vetted for eligibility. Organizations must be a Manitoba-based business or not-for-profit, with a valid Manitoba business number, in good standing with the Companies Office. Once eligibility to apply is confirmed, DMI applicants will be invited to submit their funding request via the digital portal. Submissions will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis by a panel of new media and technical experts.

For more information on the Digital Manitoba Initiative, visit www.digitalmanitobainitiative.com.  

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Province Announces $1 Million for Green Projects Through Conservation and Climate Fund

October 15, 2021 – Funding Supports Green Economic Recovery and Climate Adaptation: Guillemard

“Manitoba continues to take important steps to restart our economy and create jobs, and our government is committed to supporting environmentally responsible initiatives,” said Guillemard. “These projects support a cleaner environment, climate adaptation and low-carbon economic growth.”

Manitoba launched the Conservation and Climate Fund last year with a commitment to ongoing support for environmental projects. Grants have been awarded this year to the following organizations through a results-oriented intake process:

  • Strategic Systems Engineering Inc. – $150,000 for a circular economy project which provides phosphorus and bio-char production from local harvested biomass feedstock;
  • Red River Basin Commission – $150,000 for a Netley Marsh renewal pilot on the restoration of vegetation shelves;
  • Gardewine Group – $150,000 for a heavy-duty electric truck, electrical infrastructure and operational testing;
  • Green Action Centre – $35,000 for an advanced compost pilot involving provincial government buildings;
  • Carbon Block – approximately $122,000 to research fertilizer application practices that would reduce nutrient loading in Manitoba’s waterways and achieve greenhouse-gas emissions reductions;
  • Office of Sustainability, University of Manitoba – $69,000 to support the electrification of fleet vehicles and encourage staff and students to use plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles;
  • Tecmerra Methane Solutions Ltd. – $150,000 for cleantech development involving a methane to methanol technology;
  • Winnipeg Trails Association Inc. – approximately $59,000 to support Winter Peg 2022, which will create winter activity in parks and community green spaces throughout Winnipeg; and
  • Association des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba (AMBM), approximately $114,000 to support education about the transition to zero-emission vehicles by municipalities.

“We recognize that Manitoba’s transportation industry is responsible for nearly 40 per cent of the province’s total carbon output. As a result, we believe that in order to see meaningful change, our industry should lead and government should support the development of this initiative. We are part of an organization that believes in investing in technology for the future,” said Darin Downey, president and chief operating officer, Gardewine Group Limited Partnership. “We want Gardewine to be the industry pioneers, and serve as a guide and resource for other companies within our sector.”

Funded projects support the ongoing commitment to green investments that align with the Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan. Applications were assessed and ranked on established criteria and projected outcomes to ensure a strong performance-based approach. The application criteria is drawn from the pillars and keystones of the Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan

#RestartMB is the Manitoba government’s roadmap to recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, outlining investments in public health preparedness, jobs and economic stimuli to protect Manitobans and their livelihoods. For details, visit www.manitoba.ca/RestartMB.

For information on the Conservation and Climate Fund, visit Manitoba GO (Manitoba Grants Online) at www.gov.mb.ca/grants/grant-name.html.

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Province Breaking Ground on Two Schools in Southwest Winnipeg

October 12, 2021 – Two New Schools Bring Province Closer to Promise of 20 New Schools: Cullen

The province has started construction on two schools that will serve Waverley West’s (Bison Run) growing student population with a groundbreaking ceremony, Education Minister Cliff Cullen announced today. 

“Today’s announcement provides the growing community of Waverley West safe educational spaces for their students,” said Cullen. “Our government continues to make record investments in education and critical infrastructure that deliver quality learning environments for our students and educators.”

Construction is scheduled to begin on the high school later this month with the elementary school construction having started in August. The province and Pembina Trails School Division have worked co-operatively on the 21-acre school campus, with construction totalling $67.8 million as the initial investment by the province toward the creation of the community campus for Waverley West.

“Excitement and anticipation for the two new schools in Bison Run has been building for some time in Pembina Trails School Division,” said Kathleen McMillan, chair of the board of trustees. “This official sod-turning event is a true celebration for us. We eagerly await welcoming students into these new learning spaces.”

The two-storey, 81,400-sq.-ft. elementary school will have an overall capacity of 800 students with a target completion date of December 2022, Cullen noted. The three-storey, 116,950-sq.-ft. high school has capacity for 1,200 students and is scheduled for completion in June 2023, he added. The design will also feature a centralized, safe common area facilitating bus and parent drop-off.

Both schools are targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification. LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings of all building types and all building phases including new construction, interiors, operations and maintenance, and core and shell.

The two new schools will be co-located with the first phase of the City of Winnipeg’s recently announced South Winnipeg Recreation Campus which involves a multi-use, multi-generational recreation centre with gymnasiums, multi-purpose rooms, fitness space, a walking/running track, a daycare, a vocational building and adjacent site development. Together, the two schools and South Winnipeg Recreation Campus will form a community campus for the residents of Waverley West.

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Province to Amend Legislation on Prescription Drug Formularies

October 14, 2021 – Faster Updates to Manitoba’s Formularies to Provide Better Access, Reduce Drug Costs for Manitobans: Gordon

The province is amending legislation to streamline how its prescription drug formularies are updated, which would provide faster and better access to drugs and other therapies for Manitobans, Health and Seniors Care Minister Audrey Gordon announced today.

“This is an important shift that will modernize and streamline the process for prescription drugs to become available to Manitobans,” said Gordon. “We know how important the pharmacare program is to thousands of people to ensure they have access to medications to support their health and quality of life. This amendment allows us to be more responsive when new medication becomes available and reduces the time required to add to the formulary.”

Changes to the Pharmaceutical Act and the Prescription Drugs Cost Assistance Actwould allow updates to the Manitoba Drug Interchangeability Formulary and the Manitoba Drug Benefit Formulary to be made by provincial policy instead of regulation. This would allow the province to add lower-cost generic drugs more quickly and add or remove drugs from the formularies if there are drug shortages.

“Streamlining Manitobans’ access to cost-saving generic prescription medicines after they have been reviewed and authorized for sale by Health Canada is a smart way to reduce unnecessary red tape and save money that can be better invested in patient care,” said Jim Keon, president, Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

To help better identify patterns or trends that might indicate inappropriate or fraudulent drug prescriptions, the province shares information with health professions about monitored drugs, which include opioids such as OxyNEO and hydromorphone. These changes would also allow new monitored drugs to be added more quickly by policy instead of regulation. This would ensure the province and health professions can more quickly identify and respond to emerging concerns or reports of prescription drug misuse, noted Gordon.

These changes result from amendments to sections 20 to 24 of the Reducing Red Tape and Improving Services Actwhich would come into effect by proclamation on Oct. 18.

The formularies list therapeutically effective drugs of proven high quality that have been approved as eligible benefits under the Pharmacare drug benefit program. The Manitoba Pharmacare Program is based on family income and covers 100 per cent of eligible drug costs once the income-based deductible is reached, regardless of medical condition or age.

For more information on the Manitoba Pharmacare Program, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/pharmacare.

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Manitoba’s Excellence in Education Awards Call for Nominations

October 5, 2021Recognizing World Teachers’ Day and Manitoba’s Outstanding Educators: Cullen

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2021-22 Manitoba’s Excellence in Education Awards to recognize achievements in education, Education Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“On this World Teachers’ Day, we take the time to acknowledge Manitoba’s dedicated teachers and school administrators,” said Cullen. “Manitoba educators provide outstanding service every day, and continue to do so during the pandemic. The Excellence in Education Awards provide an opportunity to recognize educators who are making a special difference in the lives of their students.”

The province is now accepting nominations to recognize outstanding achievement in education. Awards will be presented in the following categories:

  • teaching excellence (three awards);
  • outstanding new teacher (one award);
  • outstanding team collaboration (one award);
  • outstanding school leader (one award); and
  • Premier’s Award for Excellence in Education (one award).

Parents, students, school trustees, teachers and school or school division administrators are invited to submit nominations by the Dec. 2 deadline. Nominees must be educators who hold a valid, permanent Manitoba teaching certificate and work directly with kindergarten to Grade 12 students in a school setting on a daily basis. Each award recipient will receive $500 and a framed certificate.

The selection committee includes representatives from Manitoba Education, Manitoba School Boards Association, Manitoba Association of Parent Councils and Manitoba Federation of Independent Schools.

“I want to thank our educators for the work they do, supporting our children and ensuring they can succeed,” said Cullen. “We know teachers are an incredibly dedicated group, and we hope the community responds to this call for nominations.”

Information on past recipients and on the nomination process, including selection criteria and required forms, can be found at www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/excellence/.

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Private Member Statement – October 7, 2021 – Embracing Thanksgiving – Andrew Micklefield

Thanksgiving holiday weekend is an annual opportunity to pause and remind ourselves of all we can be thankful for. This year has had it challenges, but there are still many things for which we can be grateful.

I am thankful we can share Thanksgiving with family and friends in our homes. 

I am thankful for warm fall weather, the many walking trails in my constituency and across our city, and the numerous provincial parks a short drive away.

I am thankful for our children, and that they are at school, in person. I’m thankful businesses are open. 

I am thankful our pro sports teams are playing, and concerts are happening and places of worship are open. The zoo is also open, as are museums, movie theatres, swimming pools and gyms. I’m thankful for those things, too.

I’m thankful I can get a haircut, celebrate birthdays, and attend in-person meetings.

I’m thankful for health care workers, doctors, nurses and support staff. Some of them are my friends and these last 18 months have not been easy for them at all. I’m thankful for our medical system, which saved the lives of people in our community, including some of my friends.

It’s hard to grumble when you’re grateful, gratitude can transform difficult situations like those we all find ourselves in. Thanksgiving is good for our mental and emotional health, so let’s practice thanksgiving this weekend, and make it a habit in every season of life. 

Despite the challenges, let’s not lose sight of all we can be thankful for.

October 7, 2021 – Private Member’s Statement on Thanksgiving by Andrew Micklefield
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Plenty to be grateful for this Thanksgiving – Oct 6 2021 Canstar Herald Article by Andrew Micklefield

Amidst the tensions and divisions of COVID-19, let’s remember just how much we have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the best in each other and count our blessings. This Thanksgiving weekend, let’s remember just how much we have to be thankful for.

I am thankful we can share Thanksgiving with family and friends in our homes. I am thankful for warm fall weather and the many walking trails in our area. I am thankful for numerous provincial parks a short drive away.

I am thankful our kids are at school, in person, and that businesses are open, mostly without lineups. I am thankful churches are open, Winnipeg’s pro sports teams are playing, and concerts are happening. The zoo is also open, as are museums, movie theatres, swimming pools and gyms. I’m thankful for those things, too.

I’m thankful for simple things like being able to get a haircut or celebrate a birthday with a friend. I’m thankful for in-person meetings for work. The masks can be a challenge, but I much prefer in-person to online. I’m thankful we’re in-person.

I’m thankful for health care workers, doctors, nurses and support staff. Some of them are my friends and these last 18 months have not been easy for them at all. I’m thankful for our medical system, which saved the lives of people in our community, including some of my own friends.

Opinions will no doubt continue on this and many other issues but gratitude can transform even the toughest of times. Let’s embrace thanksgiving this weekend, and continue in the habit once the turkey has all been eaten.

My office is always available to answer your questions and concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime by calling 204-289-4545, or emailing andrew@andrewmicklefield.com.

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Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield enjoys a hike with his wife, Ruth.

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Statement from Premier Kelvin Goertzen and Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Minister Alan Lagimodiere

September 30, 2021

Today, we recognize National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and encourage all Manitobans to join the provincial government to learn and engage in meaningful discussions about residential schools and its tragic enduring legacy in our country.

In June, the House of Commons passed Bill C-5, establishing a new federal statutory holiday, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to be observed on Sept. 30 annually starting this year. The Manitoba government has also recognized this day as a day of observance to encourage reflection and meaningful discussions about the impacts of residential schools.

Observing today is vital to memorializing residential school experiences, witnessing and honouring the healing journeys of survivors and their families, and committing to the ongoing process of reconciliation.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is just one-step in the process to heal the relationship with Indigenous peoples by having meaningful discussions about the trauma Indigenous peoples and their families have faced and to build a bridge to a new, healthier, more positive and productive relationship.

We all have a role to play in the reconciliation and healing process for Indigenous peoples who have suffered the physical and emotional trauma of the residential school system and with recent tragic discoveries on the grounds of residential schools across Canada makes this day even more significant.

In 2017, Manitoba passed legislation to recognize formally Sept. 30 as Orange Shirt Day to encourage meaningful discussions about the trauma of residential schools.

Flags on all provincial government buildings will be lowered today to half-mast to align with long-standing protocol for all National Days of Observance. Schools and non-essential government services and offices will also be closed for the day to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. At sunset, the Legislative Building will be lit up with an orange Every Child Matters graphic to honour the children that never returned home from residential schools. The graphic was designed by Natalie Thiessen in partnership with Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.  

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Economic Outlook for Manitoba in 2021 Optimistic

September 23, 2021 – Pandemic Continues to Influence Manitoba’s Finances and Economic Recovery: Fielding

The 2020-21 year-end financial results show ongoing challenges and uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing impact on Manitoba’s economy, but there is room for optimism, Finance Minster Scott Fielding announced today.

“We see indications of economic growth and a low unemployment rate but far too many people are still unemployed,” said Fielding. “Both the Public Accounts and the First Quarter report are within the budgeted targets. When considering the COVID-19 costs that are included in both years, government continues to show its ability to manage the finances in turbulent times.”

COVID-19 left a significant mark on Manitoba’s finances, increasing expenditures by nearly $2 billion in 2020-21, resulting in the province’s summary financial position as of March 31, 2021, in a deficit of $2.117 billion. Provincial own-source revenues were $566 million less than the prior year due to a significant decrease in income taxes. Lower net income of government business enterprises, including Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, were also impacted by the pandemic. Despite these challenges, Manitoba continued to invest in the priority areas of health care, education and families. In 2020-21, government invested $1.7 billion more in these areas than in 2015-16 as it has done each year.

“We are focused on Manitoba’s recovery, and budget 2021 set aside nearly $1.2 billion for the ongoing COVID-19 response and to prepare the province for future economic shocks and challenges,” said Fielding. “Although our focus is to continue to protect Manitobans through the ongoing pandemic, we have made a commitment to once again return to balance within the next eight years.”

The Manitoba government has worked to ensure the economy is resilient and the finances can weather storms like COVID-19, the minister said. The provincial unemployment rate demonstrates that resilience now at 5.7 per cent, ranking the best in the country. The female unemployment rate is third lowest in Canada at 5.7 per cent and the youth unemployment rate is second lowest at 7.6 per cent. The provincial labour market has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels after employment plummeted by 90,300 net jobs in April 2020 following the implementation of pandemic health restrictions. Between April 2020 and August 2021, Manitoba’s labour market regained 79,500 net jobs. 

“While declining COVID-19 cases and achieving vaccination targets earlier than expected will help to accelerate economic activity in Manitoba, the pace and magnitude of recovery in 2021 and 2022 will depend on a variety of factors,” said Fielding. “The biggest risk to the provincial economy remains the impact of COVID-19, notably the variants of concern.”

A resurgence of the virus in other parts of the world, particularly the United States, could also affect Manitoba’s economic recovery. Businesses are continuing to experience supply chain bottlenecks brought on by the pandemic. Further disruptions to business operations could result in further supply shortages and higher prices for consumers affecting economic performance, the minister noted.

After a strong start to the year, agriculture producers in Manitoba faced a drought this summer that reduced crop yields, as well as the supply of feed for livestock. The impact of the drought on Manitoba Hydro’s net income is expected to be known with greater certainty after October, while current expectations remain below budget, Fielding said. Budget 2021 included a $100-million contingency provision, increased from $25 million in prior years, as a prudent fiscal planning measure given the uncertain economic and public health situation. This contingency offsets by half the lower net income of government business enterprises.

Manitoba’s net debt to GDP increased by 4.8 per cent in 2020-21 due to a rise in borrowing related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall Manitoba’s GDP was impacted by the pandemic in 2020, declining by 4.8 per cent, which was the fifth lowest decrease among the provinces, behind only B.C. and the Maritime provinces. However, Manitoba has seen a strong rebound in 2021 with projected GDP growth of 4.9 per cent this year and 3.7 per cent in 2022. This should return Manitoba’s economy and employment levels to a path of growth similar if not higher than pre-pandemic levels. 

View the 2020-21 public accounts and 2021-22 first quarter report at:
www.manitoba.ca/governmentfinances.

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Province Announces Task Force on Poverty and Education

September 17, 2021- Task Force will Examine the Correlation Between
Poverty and Education: Cullen

The Manitoba government has established a Provincial Task Force on Poverty and Education that will examine the correlation between poverty and education and work in connection with the province’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, Education Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“Poverty and education were highlighted as challenges to student success in the K-12 commission’s report, and this task force will examine the correlation between poverty and education,” said Cullen. “This group will support the implementation of strategies to improve engagement and outcomes for all students, and in particular, those who are living in low-income circumstances. The task force will be comprised of members from multiple key stakeholder groups, including students, parents, teachers, school leaders, Indigenous representatives and organizations, and other community experts to examine how poverty impacts school outcomes for students, and bring forward ideas for action.”

The report from Manitoba’s Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education identified factors such as an increasingly diverse population, relatively low overall socio-economic status, as well as a high number of children in care that contribute to education challenges faced by Manitoba. The commission reflected the urgency for action and made recommendations as a direct response. The minister noted these recommendations were accepted and are being prioritized as action items in the Better Education Starts Today strategy including establishing a Task Force on Poverty and Education.

Key responsibilities of the task force will be to address joint poverty and education issues, and to put forth advice on areas of action to the Poverty Reduction Committee of Cabinet. Areas of initial focus for the task force include:
• food access and security;
• access to technology, transportation and other socio-economic barriers to participation; and
• outcomes and continuity of education for children in care.
The Task Force on Poverty and Education will develop an engagement plan to seek out best practices and lived experience from identified experts in the areas of focus. Based on its early work, the task force will prepare a preliminary learnings report for the Poverty Reduction Committee in mid-2022, Cullen said. 

The minister noted the issue of poverty extends beyond the education system and requires a whole-of-systems approach to identify barriers and solutions. The work of the task force will lead to holistic support for the needs of children and youth, and respond to the impacts of poverty on learning.

The Task Force on Poverty and Education members and terms of reference are listed at: https://bettereducationmb.ca/better-education-starts-today-best-strategy-advisory-groups/#tfpe.   

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