Be Prepared for Flu Season

Be prepared for flu season

From left to right: Health minister Kelvin Goertzen, Fort Richmond MLA Sarah Guillemard and Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield at an announcement to provide a new, high-dose flu vaccine free of charge to seniors living in personal care homes.
From left to right: Health minister Kelvin Goertzen, Fort Richmond MLA Sarah Guillemard and Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield at an announcement to provide a new, high-dose flu vaccine free of charge to seniors living in personal care homes.

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Manitoba First In Canada to Introduce New Flu Vaccine For Personal Care Home Residents


Manitoba is the first province in Canada to introduce a high-dose flu vaccine to better protect vulnerable residents of personal care homes from influenza, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“Studies show that people over the age of 65 that live in personal care homes are most at risk of complications or death related to influenza,” said Goertzen.  “That’s why we’re the first in Canada to introduce this new type of vaccine to better protect these vulnerable people and keep them healthy when the flu starts to circulate this winter.”

This year, the high-dose seasonal influenza vaccine is being offered to people 65 years of age or older who are living in a personal care home.  The vaccine provides a higher level of protection against two types of influenza A and one type of influenza B predicted to be circulating in North America this fall and winter.

Lower respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia and bronchitis, are a leading cause of hospital admissions in adults aged 65 years or older, especially in frail older adults.  The number of personal care home residents admitted to hospital varies considerably between facilities, but is more frequent during the time of peak influenza activity.

The minister noted public health officials will review data about the use and effectiveness of the high-dose flu vaccine in personal care homes to support future vaccine decisions.

To protect people from getting influenza (flu), Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living encourages all Manitobans to get a free flu vaccine early every fall.  The flu vaccine is typically available from health-care providers in early October.

For more information on seasonal flu and the flu vaccine, visit

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Manitoba Farmers and Motorists Encouraged To Stay Safe During Harvest Season


All motorists and farm families are encouraged to be especially cautious and aware on provincial roadways during Manitoba’s busy harvest season, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today, in partnership with the Manitoba Farm Safety Program.

“The harvest season is a very busy and exciting time for farm families in Manitoba,” said Eichler.  “Now with harvest under way, motorists can expect to see an increase of farm vehicles and equipment moving down provincial roadways.  Whether operating or approaching farm vehicles, our government asks all Manitobans travelling at this time of year to exercise caution.  We all have an important role to play to help ensure everyone returns home safely.”

To help improve safety on and around the farm, Manitobans should:

  • take extra precautions when driving past slow-moving farm equipment;
  • ensure farm equipment is appropriately lit and has its required permits before travelling on roadways;
  • regularly inspect and maintain farm equipment;
  • consider having a short nap or take a break to prevent fatigue when working long hours;
  • create a safe, separate play area for children on the farm; and
  • identify which farm tasks may be appropriate for youth, based on their age, skill levels and the North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks at

If harvest becomes stressful for producers and their families, free confidential support is available through Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services at (toll-free) 1-866-367-3276 or online at

The Manitoba Farm Safety Program provides training, resources and support to producers to ensure they understand workplace safety requirements and provide a healthy, safe workplace.  For more information, visit or follow the Twitter channel at

For more information on Manitoba’s agricultural programs and services, follow the Twitter channel at

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Province Secures Additional Federal Health-Care Funding


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But Strengthened Federal Health Transfer to Provinces Still Essential: Minister

Manitoba has secured an additional $10.9 million in federal health funding and commitments to support key provincial priorities, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the federal government will provide Manitoba with targeted funding of $7.27 million in funding for home and community care, and $3.63 million for initiatives to address mental health and addictions.  Funding will begin to flow to Manitoba immediately.

Manitoba will also be receiving an additional $5 million in federal funding during the current 2017-18 year, in other critical areas identified by the province.  Manitoba will use these funds in the battle against opioid addiction and the disproportionately high rate of chronic kidney disease suffered by Manitobans, particularly among Indigenous peoples, the minister noted.

In addition, the governments of Canada and Manitoba agreed to work together with Indigenous organizations and governments to pursue improvementsin health-care service delivery for remote Indigenous communities, with particular emphasis on transportation and procurement challenges.

“Our government has consistently championed Indigenous health concerns and was very pleased to see the federal government commit extensive additional funding for First Nations and Inuit health in its last budget.  We look forward to seeing that translate to direct benefits for Indigenous people in Manitoba,” said Goertzen.  “Manitoba will continue to work with local Indigenous organizations and communities to identify collaborative health-care improvements and advocate for appropriatelong-term federal action and investment.”

While additional targeted funding to support health services for Manitobans is welcome, it is no substitute for a strengthened growth model in the annual Canada Health Transfer, Goertzen said.

“We will continue to stand up for the people of Manitoba, by pressing the federal government to negotiate a real health accord with all provinces and territories that actually secures a strong, safe and sustainable health-care system for all Canadians,” he added.

Health care is the single most important priority of Canadians, the minister said.  Yet a growing body of independent research has already concluded the federal government’s current health-care transfer funding approach will place the sustainability of health services at risk.

Over the next 10 years, the federal government will provide Manitoba with a total of $399.6 million in targeted funding for home and community care and mental health and addiction initiatives.  But over the same time-frame, Manitoba will receive $2.25 billion less through the Canada Health Transfer than it would have under previous funding arrangements, the minister noted.

“Addressing this large funding gap – and the threat to health services it creates – is essential.  And we will continue to call on the federal government to join us in a true health-care funding partnership that will protect the services that Manitobans rely upon,” said Goertzen.


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Province Announces New Single Portal to Access Community Development Programs

August 14, 2017
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New Online Access Now Available: Clarke

Following thorough review and consultations, the Manitoba government has revamped its community development programs and created a single portal for intake, assessment and awarding support, Indigenous and Municipal Relations Minister Eileen Clarke announced today.
“We have heard from community groups and stakeholders alike, who told us to centralize the intake process and make it simpler to follow up on applications and approvals,” Clarke said. “We’re going to focus on planning for better outcomes and support programs that build better communities or sustain important community efforts.”
Core funding will continue for existing services, while the intake begins for new projects, the minister noted. Applications will be accepted for funding from Community Places, Community Planning Assistance, Hometown Manitoba, Neighbourhoods Alive! – Community Initiatives, Neighbourhoods Alive! Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, and Partner 4 Growth.
The minister said priority will be given to new applications focused on the following strategic areas:
accessibility and reducing barriers for Manitobans of all ages, gender, cultural background, sexual identity, physical or mental ability or income;
green space and active transportation such as parks, playgrounds and trails; and
newcomer support, either through building on or encouraging involvement in the community.
Application deadline is Sept. 11. For more information, or to submit an application, visit

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Manitoba Makes Progress Toward Offering Pooled Registered Pension Plans: Friesen

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Province Announces Major Addition, New Child-Care Centre at Neepawa Area Collegiate

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Manitoba Selects Constitutional Law Expert for Legal Opinion on Carbon Pricing

August 3, 2017
The Manitoba government has asked Dr. Bryan Schwartz (S.J.D., LL.M, LL.B), a constitutional law expert at the University of Manitoba, to provide a legal opinion on the federal government’s authority to implement a carbon pricing regime in Manitoba, Justice Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.
“Dr. Schwartz is a well-known Manitoban expert on constitutional law who will provide a legal opinion to help guide our government in its development of a made-in-Manitoba climate and carbon pricing plan,” said Stefanson. “Our government looks forward to receiving his assessment as we seek clarity in this fundamentally important matter.”
Schwartz will provide a legal opinion on the constitutionality of the federal government’s proposed carbon pricing benchmark and backstop proposals. He will also consider the authority of the province to assert its own made-in-Manitoba plan. His report will be made public this fall.
Schwartz is a renowned scholar and national expert in constitutional, trade and labour laws, serving as chair of the constitutional section of the Canadian Bar Association. He has advised the governments of Canada, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Yukon in the past and has also been an advisor to the Assembly of First Nations.
The terms of reference for the legal opinion are attached. Schwartz’s CV is also available upon request.


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Funding helps out Kiwanis Homes

Local organizations are benefiting from government grants for building maintenance and upkeep, in some cases repairing longstanding issues to improve quality of life for residents.

This summer, Kiwanis Homes on Golspie received $112,000 from the Provincial Government for roof repair, ventilation and new windows. A Manitoba Hydro rebate program also provided  new LED hallway light bulbs.

“All these years we never got anything from the Province in the form of loans and/or repair grants, and now this year we did,” said Marilyn Gilbert, who has managed the property for 27 years.”

Kiwanis Homes on Golspie and Dunrobin was built in two stages during the mid 1960s and includes 43 apartments, home to many devoted seniors. Founded by the Kiwanis Club in 1963, club members continue to serve on the housing development’s board, Kiwanis Homes of East Kildonan, which meets monthly and for emergency meetings as required.

Gilbert says the provincial funding accelerates these maintenance projects which otherwise would have taken much longer to complete. A property manager from another area told her about the grant and the community was overjoyed when they heard the funding was approved.

The board for Kiwanis Homes carefully manages any building upgrades in order to keep rent affordable. The 55-plus community has only a handful of openings each year.

“Residents remain as long as they are able,” Gilbert said, noting that the result was that “folks here are like their own little family.”

At Christmas those who wish to participate decorate their apartment doors in advance of a contest where the winner is determined by a vote. Lately an 85th birthday barbecue complete with cake was held in an adjoining park for a resident who has lived at Kiwanis Homes for 25 years. Several years ago a 100th birthday was celebrated for a resident who had lived in the building since 1963.

Manitoba’s Provincial Government offers grants for a variety of project types. If you know of a project you think may be eligible for funding, please contact my office so we can help you find out what is available from the Province. Often people do not know what funds they can access, but now proudly boasting new windows, lighting, ventilation and shingles, the folks at Kiwanis Homes are grateful they asked.

Andrew Micklefield is the MLA for Rossmere and can be found at Unit 3-935 McLeod, except for when the legislature is sitting. Contact Andrew directly at 204-289-4545 or email at

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Province Announces 2017 Municipal Road Improvement Program Projects


The Manitoba government is investing $12 million for municipal roads, Indigenous and Municipal Relations Minister Eileen Clarke announced today, along with Chris Goertzen, president, Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM), and Reeve Jim Campbell, RM of Rockwood.

“Investments in our road and transportation infrastructure ensure that both goods and services continue to flow efficiently throughout our province,” said Minister Clarke.  “Our government recognizes the importance of investing in our municipal infrastructure, which helps foster long-term, sustainable growth for our communities.”

The Municipal Road Improvement Program was developed in partnership with the AMM and provides 50/50 cost-shared funding for municipal road projects including the cost of new road construction and road renewal projects to extend the useful life of a road.  A total of 188 projects were approved in 2017 in 99 municipalities, the minister noted.

“The AMM is pleased to be a partner with the Province of Manitoba in selecting these critical infrastructure projects under the Municipal Road Improvement Program,” said Goertzen.  “While the projects range from main streets to back lanes, and from campground roads to industrial park corridors, all have one thing in common – they will positively impact the citizens in their respective communities.”

“Rockwood is a large municipality with numerous infrastructure challenges,” said Campbell.  “Thanks to financial assistance from our provincial government, the RM of Rockwood will be able to attain some of these challenges.”

Projects were evaluated against key outcomes that address increased economic activity, extended asset life, improved public safety, and regional or community impact, added Clarke.

This funding is in addition to the $747 million that Manitoba Infrastructure has budgeted for roads, highways, bridges and flood protection outside of Winnipeg for capital maintenance and the preservation of provincial infrastructure assets, the minister said.

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