Province Opens New Child-Care Centre Serving Families in Northeast Winnipeg


Families in northeast Winnipeg now have access to more child-care spaces in their community with the opening of the new Laugh ‘N’ Learn Early Learning Centre at Donwood Elementary School, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today.

“School-based early learning centres are a great way to help our children prepare for kindergarten and further learning,” said Wishart.  “Centres like Laugh ‘N’ Learn make the most of existing school infrastructure, such as gyms and playgrounds, year-round.”

Wishart noted the new stand-alone 6,000-sq.-ft. centre can accommodate 20 infants and 54 pre-school aged children, for a total of 74 spaces.  Donwood School is a kindergarten to Grade 5 school built in 1970 and the child-care centre was formerly located in a modular classroom.

Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox visited the centre on behalf of Wishart today and confirmed the Manitoba government provided $2.4 million for its construction.

“The addition of this new centre is welcome news for families with young children living in this area,” said Cox.  “Access to early childhood education supports families and provides the foundation for a good start in life.”

Colleen Carswell, board of trustees chair of the River East Transcona School Division, was pleased to see the opening of the new early learning centre.

“We’d like to thank the Manitoba government for providing the necessary funding and support for the new facility that houses the Laugh ‘N’ Learn Early Learning Centre in River East Transcona School Division,” said Carswell.  “Child-care spaces are at a premium and we appreciate the government’s continued support to address this important issue.  Having quality child care within close proximity to schools within our community is important to our families.”

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Manitoba Government Announces Free Access to Provincial Parks this Weekend

July 12, 2017

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No Provincial Park Pass Required July 14 to 16, Province Hosting 50th Anniversary of Birds Hill Park: Minister

This weekend will be one of the busiest on the province’s summer calendar, as the Manitoba government celebrates the annual Canada’s Parks Day with free entry to provincial parks and also recognizes the 50th anniversary of Birds Hill Park, Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox announced today.
“As Manitobans, we spend much of the year looking forward to summer when we can really experience the beauty of our provincial parks,” said Cox. “I encourage everyone to use this weekend to explore this great province and visit your favourite park again or perhaps visit somewhere you’ve never been before. I also wish Birds Hill Park a happy 50th anniversary and hope many Manitobans share in the celebration of our most popular park.”
Visitors to provincial parks will not require park vehicle permits from July 14 to 16. Activities and interpretive events are planned in a number of provincial parks and campgrounds throughout the province as part of Canada’s Parks Day celebrations.
There are special events planned in Birds Hill Park throughout the weekend, the minister noted, adding all are encouraged to visit this historic provincial park to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Celebrations are highlighted by a public event on Saturday, July 15, when park interpreters are hosting visitors from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with musical entertainment and activities that relive the events and stories that shaped Birds Hill Park. More information on events planned for the Birds Hill Park celebration and all other park activities this weekend can be found at
The minister also reminded visitors that although park vehicle permits will not be required for admission to provincial parks this weekend, nightly camping fees still apply.
Manitobans can stay up to date with provincial park news, activities and events by following the Twitter channel at
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Province Invests in Paramedic Staffing Positions in Rural Manitoba, Commits to Implementation of 2013 Provincial EMS Review


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Locating Resources Where They Match Demand for Service will Ensure Timely Access to Care for All Manitobans: Goertzen

BRANDON—The Manitoba government is making improvements to the province’s rural emergency medical services (EMS) including an investment of more than $1.7 million for enhanced paramedic staffing across three regional health authorities, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced here today.

“This investment will expand our already strong provincial network of paramedic dispatch and response, reducing reliance on on-call and call-back staff,” said Goertzen.  “Our reliance on these highly skilled professionals has increased significantly as rural emergency departments were closed over the past decade.  Enhanced staff resources will ensure Manitobans are able to access health-care services when they need them across the province.”

Investments in 24-7 paramedic staffing and reduced reliance on on-call and call-back staff were recommendations contained in the 2013 Provincial EMS Reviewreport by Reg Toews, a recognized leader in the health-care system.

The new 29.2 full-time equivalent, primary care paramedic positions will be located in Arborg, Ashern, Glenboro, Waterhen, Gladstone/Kinosota, Carman, and Morris.  Four positions have already been filled with highly skilled candidates while hiring for the remaining positions will begin immediately, the minister said.

In rural Manitoba, many emergency departments and acute care services have been closed, or are shared between neighbouring communities because resources are stretched too thinly across the province, Goertzen noted.

The 2013 review of Manitoba’s emergency medical services system recommended the development of more integrated, responsive, reliable and sustainable services, but implementation efforts stalled as a result of the complex nature of the health-care system.  The creation of Shared Health Services Manitoba, announced yesterday, will allow EMS services, including dispatch outside Winnipeg, to be operated centrally, Goertzen said.

The review also recommended computer modeling and predictive deployment be used in a 74-station EMS system (a net reduction of 18 low call-volume EMS stations) to achieve the approved response time standard of no more than 30 minutes for 90 per cent of the population, 90 per cent of the time.

During a demonstration at the Medical Transportation Coordination Centre (MTCC), Goertzen noted that in 2015-16 more than 98 per cent of EMS calls in rural and northern Manitoba (not including the City of Winnipeg) are responded to within the provincial response time standard, with 20.38 per cent responded to within 30 minutes, 15.66 per cent responded to within 15 minutes and 62.14 per cent within nine minutes.  The MTCC uses a globally recognized flexible deployment model to shift resources as they are required throughout a region, ensuring timely responses to emergency situations throughout rural Manitoba.

“We continue to support the implementation of the recommendations contained in the 2013 EMS System Review,” said Cameron Ritzer, chairman, Paramedic Association of Manitoba.  “Paramedic services in Manitoba have evolved to the point where we are truly bringing the emergency room to your home when you call 911.  Centralization and robust deployment models supported by evidence from MTCC will ensure that every Manitoba resident receives medical attention when they need it the most.”

For the first time, Manitoba publicly released a map of the proposed EMS station locations including those recommended for reallocation or restructuring to provide enhanced strategic coverage in locations that allow resources to be better matched with actual service demand.  The minister said five new sites are proposed to be constructed, while station locations located in a number of areas with very low call volumes, those in poor state of repair or those that have seen service discontinued due to a lack of staffing will be closed as new capacity is created.

As additional investments are made in paramedic staffing over the coming years, remaining and new stations will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to allow a more rapid response to emergency calls than was possible with a reliance on on-call or call back staff, he added.

“Paramedics are highly skilled medical professionals who provide a high level of medical care from the moment they reach a patient,” said Goertzen.  “Our government is committed to the implementation of the recommendations of 2013 Provincial EMS Reviewand to ensuring Manitobans are able to access the vital and often lifesaving services of paramedics when and where they are needed most.”

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Province Responds to Federal Government on Proposed Backstop and Benchmarks for Carbon Pricing


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Manitoba Seeks Legal Opinion on Right to Develop `Made-in-Manitoba’ Plan: Pallister

The Manitoba government has submitted its response to the federal government on its proposed backstop and benchmarks for carbon pricing, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.  The response highlights the significant investments Manitobans have made in renewable energy and also notifies of the province’s decision to seek a legal opinion on its right to develop its own ‘made-in-Manitoba’ plan.

“Our province is a leader in clean energy and the federal government should credit the significant investments Manitobans have made over the last few decades,” said Pallister.  “The federal government can provide flexibility and recognition for ongoing efforts in each province and territory rather than impose its carbon pricing policy.  For this reason, we are seeking a legal opinion on whether the provincial government has the jurisdiction to implement a made-in-Manitoba plan without interference from the federal government.”

The federal government released a technical paper on the federal carbon pricing backstop on June 9 and requested comprehensive feedback from each province and territory by June 30.

“The federal backstop plan fails to accommodate provincial plans, such as Manitoba’s own, which would actually further the national objectives for greenhouse-gas reductions,” said Pallister.  “Manitobans have invested billions of dollars in clean energy for decades and deserve credit for that early action to reduce emissions.”

Manitoba sources 98 per cent of its power from clean, renewable hydroelectricity.  The province also accounts for less than three per cent of Canada’s total carbon emissions, the premier added.

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Manitoba Government Celebrates New Affordable Housing Project in Winnipeg


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Thirty-unit Building Prioritizes People with Mental Health Needs: Fielding

A unique affordable housing project in Winnipeg is now accepting tenants, Families Minister Scott Fielding announced today.

“Our government has invested more than $8.4 million in Fountain Springs Housing, part of Clubhouse of Winnipeg, to better support low- to moderate-income households and individuals with mental health needs,” Fielding said.

Fountain Springs Housing, located in the West Broadway neighbourhood, is a new six-storey, 30-unit apartment building that recently began accepting tenants.  This $9-million project features 25 one-bedroom and five two-bedroom units.  Up to 18 independent-living suites will be available to individuals who have struggled to find stable housing due to mental health issues.

“The Manitoba government recognizes a range of housing options are required to meet the needs of Manitobans,” said Janice Morley-Lecomte, legislative assistant to Fielding, who attended Clubhouse of Winnipeg’s annual general meeting today.  “Fountain Springs Housing is an important addition to our community, offering another option for individuals with lower incomes or with mental health needs.  Our partnership with Fountain Springs and Clubhouse of Winnipeg will help extend the benefits of stable housing to even more people.”

All units meet visitable design standards and three are fully accessible.  The building also meets the criteria set out under Manitoba Hydro’s Powersmart New Buildings Program.

Clubhouse of Winnipeg, a non-profit organization which assists people with mental health needs, donated land valued at more than $150,000 for this project.  Clubhouse also established a new non-profit organization, called Fountain Springs Inc., to oversee construction and manage the property.

“The appeal of Fountain Springs Housing is its location,” said Michael Mercury, president, Clubhouse of Winnipeg.  “Its occupants, the majority of whom are Clubhouse members, feel safe, secure and less stressed.  Their home is now right next door to the Clubhouse itself, a place where they spend most of the week with friends working in a safe, clean and structurally oriented facility.”

Manitoba Housing provides a range of subsidized housing and other programs and services across the province.  For more information, visit

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Getting kids the supplies they need

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Province Launches Review of College Education

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Province Responds to Omnitrax Rail Closure Due to Long-Term Flooding in Northern Manitoba


The Province of Manitoba is aware of the recently announced Omnitrax rail closure and continues to be actively engaged with affected stakeholders in northern Manitoba to ensure essential services are in place.

The Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) of Manitoba Infrastructure has assembled a team to co-ordinate provincial support.

Senior provincial officials have met with Churchill Mayor Michael Spence and are engaged with community groups and businesses in the region.

The province has been advised that Calm Air will be providing freight service twice a week from Thompson to Churchill.

EMO will continue to take any warranted steps to ensure the safety and well-being of all Manitobans.

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Province Announces Byelection Set for June 13 in Point Douglas


Premier Brian Pallister today announced that a byelection for the provincial constituency of Point Douglas will be held on Tuesday, June 13.

The necessary documents providing for the June 13 byelection were signed and issued today.

Nominations in the constituency will officially close on May 29.  On voting day, polls will remain open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Advance polls will be open from June 3 to 10.

There are currently 40 Progressive Conservatives, 12 New Democrats, three Liberals, one independent and one vacant seat in the Manitoba legislature.

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Answering Some Questions On Health Care

Answering some questions on health care

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