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 and

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Province Offers Free Park Entry For Month Of February

January 31, 2020

Manitobans Encouraged to Take Advantage
Of Winter Experiences in Provincial Parks

The Manitoba government will again offer free park entry for the entire month of February so Manitobans and visitors can take advantage of the many winter activities available in provincial parks at no cost, Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard announced today.

“The beauty of our provincial parks does not disappear in winter, so why not take advantage of this great opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors,” Guillemard said.  “It’s a great chance to get the family together and leave the hustle and bustle of our busy lives behind to soak up all that our provincial parks have to offer.”

Vehicle permits are not required in any provincial park in February, but Snopasses are still required for snowmobiles using groomed trails in the parks, and entrance fees still apply in national parks.  There are groomed trails in 13 provincial parks across the province for a variety of activities including cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, fat biking, snowshoeing and hiking.  Paint Lake, Spruce Woods and Turtle Mountain provincial parks also offer outdoor skating areas, hockey rinks and toboggan hills.

Trail grooming reports are updated online every Thursday throughout the winter.  Manitobans are encouraged to check trail conditions and weather forecasts before visiting parks to properly plan their outdoor adventure.  Maps of winter trails and updated reports can be found at

Park interpreters are offering several guided experiences this winter.  Interpretive programs are free and offered year round in Birds Hill, Spruce Woods and Whiteshell provincial parks.  Highlights for the month of February include:
•    guided snowshoe treks in Birds Hill Provincial Park on Saturday, Feb. 1;
•    a skijoring workshop in Spruce Woods Provincial Park on Saturday, Feb. 8;
•    a wolf howl in Whiteshell Provincial Park on Saturday, Feb. 15;
•    guided snowshoe treks in Whiteshell Provincial Park on Sunday, Feb. 2 and Sunday, Feb. 23;
•    learn to ice fish session in Whiteshell Provincial Park on Monday, Feb. 17;
•    a nature detectives program for families with preschool aged children in Birds Hill Provincial Park on Wednesday, Feb. 26;
•    a winter family fun day at the winter recreation area in Spruce Woods Provincial Park on Saturday, Feb. 22; and
•    a variety of drop-in family activities at the Spruce Woods Visitor Centre throughout the month.

More information on these events and other upcoming programs can be found under the events tab at the Manitoba Parks Facebook page at and online at

Teachers can also book free guided school programs throughout the winter season.  For more information on winter activities and interpretive programs in provincial parks, email or visit

Manitobans can also stay up to date with provincial park news, activities and events by following the Twitter channel at and liking the Facebook page at

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Housing initiative to help those in recovery.

Last fall I stopped by for the official opening of a special thrift store in Rossmere dedicated to funding addictions recovery. Later on I was also privileged to attend a joint announcement by Winnipeg Supportive Housing Inc. and Riverwood Community Church who are launching a capital campaign to fund Riverwood House, a multi-million dollar housing initiative to help people in recovery from addictions and mental health challenges.

This sort of good news without a doubt flows out of a tremendous amount of behind the scenes effort by individuals and groups dedicated to serving others. More hard work and partnering with government is vital in order to help plans begin to bear fruit in reality.

I have also enjoyed my meetings and dialogues with representatives from Dignity House, Finding Freedom/Re:Act and many others actively addressing mental health and addiction free living in and beyond Rossmere. While it is heart-breaking to review concerns that arise, it is also inspiring and humbling to witness care and recovery which is also part of the story.

Before Christmas I reached out to several organizations in Rossmere about a Manitoba government initiative announced that will see a request for proposals (RFP) to add 100 supportive recovery beds to the health-care system as part of its continuing efforts to strengthen mental health and addictions services.

The RFP will be posted this year. Successful organizations will receive provincial funding to contribute to capital and operational costs, with awards being finalized in the spring. Currently, seven organizations receive provincial funding to provide supportive recovery housing for a combined 174 individuals per year.  The 100 additional bed announcement marks the 12th significant mental health and addictions initiative of the Manitoba government in the latter part of 2019 and brings the total new investment to approximately $20.6 million.

It’s important to remember that both rural and urban programming for mental health and addictions services is being considered and that current commitments also include proactive initiatives for youth. More details are available. If you’d like to contact my office please visit Andrew Micklefield is MLA for Rossmere


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Embrace the Great Outdoors This Holiday Season


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A Visit with Nature is a Great Gift: Guillemard

The holiday season is the perfect time to have some outdoor winter fun and Manitobans are reminded to take advantage of all the great opportunities available in Manitoba’s provincial parks, Conservation, and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard said today.

“Whether you’re interested in a winter workout or just a walk in the woods, our parks have something for Manitobans of all ages,” Guillemard said.  “I encourage all Manitobans to embrace the winter weather, and experience and appreciate the diversity, beauty and natural splendour our provincial parks have to offer, all year round.”

Provincial parks offer trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, fat biking and snowmobiling, along with outdoor skating ponds, hockey rinks and toboggan hills.

Park interpreters have planned several family fun experiences during the holiday season to encourage Manitobans to discover our natural resources and cultural history, such as:
•    Christmas Bird Count for Kids, a family winter birdwatching event, on Dec. 21 in Whiteshell Provincial Park;
•    Guided snowshoe trek on Saturday, Dec. 28 in Spruce Woods Provincial Park on the Yellow Quill trails;
•    Outdoor bonfire and guided snowshoeing on the Nimowin Trail Thursday, Jan. 2 in Birds Hill Provincial Park; and
•    Wolf Howl Hike on Friday, Jan. 3 to the scenic Pine Point Rapids in Whiteshell Provincial Park, howling for wolves along the way and listening for their return calls.

Guided experiences with park interpreters are planned throughout the winter and are open to everyone.  Teachers can also book free education programs for their students with park interpreters.

Park staff are busy preparing trails for winter use but more snow is required in some areas before trail grooming can begin.  Visitors are encouraged to check trail conditions and weather forecasts before visiting parks to plan properly their outdoor adventure.  Maps of winter trails and updated reports can be found at

Manitobans are also invited to pick up a limited edition 2020 Manitoba Parks Calendar and Visitors Guide for Manitoba 150.  The calendar features signature destinations across the provincial park system, and highlights events and special activities throughout the year.  Pick up a calendar at Manitoba Conservation and Climate offices or Travel Manitoba at The Forks in Winnipeg.

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Manitoba Supports Railside Development Project At The Forks


The Manitoba government will invest up to $11.9 million through tax increment financing to support Phase 1 of the Railside development project, a mixed-use development that will complement and build on The Forks’ unique character and amenities, Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler announced today at The Forks.

“The Forks is one of Manitoba’s significant cultural and tourism amenities, and draws millions of visitors per year,” said Eichler.  “The new Railside development will create an even more inviting atmosphere at The Forks that will encourage visitors to explore and discover.”

The proposed mixed-use development is based on very substantial public consultation and includes a number of unique residential buildings with approximately 339 residential units, main floor retail and services as well as public piazzas and park-like spaces among the buildings.

“This will contribute to the continued evolution – the last 14 acres – of The Forks site,” said Paul Jordan, CEO of The Forks North Portage.  “Not only will the introduction of this new, mixed-use development be a noteworthy public space in North America, this is a step in fulfilling our mission statement and a step toward giving the community what it wants to see here, and that’s high-quality, accessible public spaces.”

This partnership with The Forks Renewal Corporation is expected to provide substantial economic benefits for Manitoba, the minister said.  The provincial tax increment financing leverages significant private investment including an estimated $111 million in direct private-sector investment, $10.7 million in retail sales tax and expenditures of $12.6 million per year by commercial operations with annual residential rent revenue of $7.5 million.

The 5.7-acre Railside property (Phase 1) is owned by The Forks Renewal Corporation and has remained undeveloped since the initial reclamation of the Canadian National Railway East Yards in the 1980s.  The Railside lands are in a critical location that links the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and The Forks to downtown Winnipeg.  Eichler noted the Railside development aligns with Manitoba’s Economic Growth Action Plan by creating an inviting village atmosphere that draws people in and encourages them to explore and discover, as well as with the government’s mandate to increase tourism and economic growth in the province.

Tax increment financing (TIF) is a financing tool that governments use to encourage economic growth and development through incremental tax revenues created by significant new developments.  In December 2018, the Manitoba government announced the TIF framework as part of its Economic Growth Action Plan focusing on economic growth, value for money and limiting risk, which will strengthen the use of TIF as a tool to support economic growth and benefit municipalities and communities across Manitoba.  The TIF framework will also assist with the Manitoba Works goal of creating 40,000 private-sector jobs over the next four years.

For more information on the Railside development project, visit

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Enhanced Cannabis Possession Rules Proclaimed


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Changes Make Manitoba Inspectors First in Canada to Seize Illicit Cannabis, Support Health and Safety: Cullen

Enhanced cannabis possession rules are being proclaimed effective Jan. 1, 2020, to stop the illicit cannabis market, preserve the integrity of the legal retail cannabis system, and protect health and safety, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“Our government has made health and safety our top priority throughout the legalization process,” said Cullen.  “These legislative changes about possession restrictions give provincial inspectors the ability to seize illicit cannabis, helping us crack down on the illicit market without further increasing the burden on police officers.”

The amendments to The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act make it an offence to possess more than 30 grams of non-medical cannabis in a public place.  Similar federal prohibitions already exist under The Excise Act, 2001 and The Cannabis Act, but provincial inspectors appointed under The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act cannot enforce those laws.

These provisions are the first in Canada to allow provincial officials to issue tickets and make seizures related to cannabis, the minister noted.

The changes also make it an offence to possess cannabis that is not packaged, stamped and labelled in accordance with federal legislation.  By prohibiting the possession of illicit cannabis, the province is supporting the legal retail cannabis market.  Exemptions in the legislation allow individuals to remove cannabis from its original packaging for storage and consumption.

The new provincial offences give enforcement officers the option to proceed less formally by issuing a ticket, rather than going through the more complex process of requiring an individual to attend Provincial Court to deal with a formal charge.

The pre-set fines for possessing more than 30 grams of non-medical cannabis and for possessing improperly packaged and labelled cannabis will be $672.

In September 2018, the Manitoba government established pre-set fines for other cannabis-related provincial offences including supplying cannabis to a person under the age of 19, smoking and vaping in provincial parks, transporting improperly stored cannabis and failing drug-screening tests as part of the graduated driver licensing program.

As part of its broader response to the federal legalization of non-medical cannabis, the Manitoba government has also introduced legislation that would formalize a social responsibility fee for cannabis retailers, established a hybrid retail model to support public safety and economic development, and launched an awareness campaign about the laws and risks connected to cannabis use.

For more information on cannabis in Manitoba, visit

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Province Invests $4.4 Million To Enhance Access to Mental Health and Addictions Supports in Schools


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Additional Resources Will Reduce Wait Times, Give Families a Voice in Children’s Treatment Plans: Ministers

The Manitoba government is investing $4.4 million to enhance access to school-based mental health and addictions supports, beginning in Brandon, Portage la Prairie and Steinbach, Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen and Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“This innovative initiative allows for enhanced access to supports prior to requiring a referral to other community services or regional health authority programs,” said Goertzen.  “These additional resources will reduce wait times for children and youth attempting to access supports at community clinics, strengthen inter-agency co-ordination, and provide parents and families with a voice and choice in the treatment plans for their children.”

“We know that an increasing number of children and youth struggle with mental health issues,” said Friesen.  “By investing in additional mental health supports within schools, we are making it easier for families to access a range of services to help their children and making a positive difference in their lives.”

This three-year investment will enhance existing school-based clinical teams with psychiatric nurses and addiction support workers.  In partnership with school divisions, the Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre, regional health authorities and the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, teams will provide mental health services directly in schools and support students with moderate mental health and addictions needs.

High Fidelity Wraparound facilitators will be assigned to work at schools alongside existing school-based clinical teams to improve the well-being of students who require these services.  The wraparound approach creates teams with members from many systems.  They work to create an integrated, highly individualized plan that includes the co-ordination of existing services, as well as the development of new or non-traditional supports to address complex emotional and behavioural challenges.  Wraparound is an ongoing process that may last for many months or even years.

The initiative will be piloted in the Hanover, Portage la Prairie and Brandon school divisions in years one and two of the project.  Based on the outcomes of these investments, the project is anticipated to be scaled up to 12 teams in the third year, Goertzen noted.

“Hanover School Division is acutely aware of the increasing number of students suffering from mental health issues,” said Randy Dueck, superintendent and CEO of the Hanover School Division.  “The social and emotional well-being of our students is a top priority for us over the next three years.  This timely additional funding strengthens our community service partnerships, addresses critical needs and is on target to improve the well-being of our students.”

Friesen noted the investments build on recommendations made in the VIRGO report.

“These supports do not duplicate or replace mental health supports currently available for children and adolescents in regional health authorities and community agencies,” said Friesen.  “Instead, the enhanced access to these services will help us reach more children sooner, reducing the need for more complex care in the future.”

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Andrew Micklefield – December 3, 2019 Private Member Statement on The Spiritual Meaning of Christmas

Andrew Micklefield – December 3, 2019 Private Member Statement on The Spiritual Meaning of Christmas

In the coming weeks, as well as being a time of giving and receiving gifts, Christmas will offer spiritual meaning for those celebrating the gift of Jesus Christ.

The coming of Christ as a baby reinforces the inherent value of children, no matter their socio-economic status or location. When sincere care for children is mingled with faith, our hearts become tender and transformed as we serve those who are helpless without us.

The birth of Christ in an animal stable reminds us that our greatest gifts often come through obscurity and humility and so we are prone to miss them or dismiss them as inconvenience.

That Christ was born to a teenage mother shows how inexperienced people can find themselves entrusted with significance to bless a cynical yet needy world.
The presence of peasant-shepherds, wealthy wisemen, of prayerful observers and political despots reveals that Christ came for all who would receive him, irrespective of their economic, social or religious status.

Centuries later these themes are replayed and re-lived by those who in the name of Christ care for children, assist the marginalized, seek for truth, welcome the stranger and make room in their lives, wallets and schedules when it is easier not to.

Madam Speaker, amidst the gifts given and received this Christmas, may we receive the gift of Christ and remember the words of the angels, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will to all.”
I wish every member of this House a Merry Christmas.

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Manitoba 150 Kicks off A Year-Long Celebration with Illuminate 150

November 26, 2019

Winnipeg—The Manitoba 150 Host Committee Inc. (Manitoba 150), is excited to invite Manitobans to kick off a year-long celebration of our province’s 150th anniversary at a free, family-friendly event on Dec. 14, 2019. This event kicks off the 150-day countdown to Manitoba Day 2020.

“Illuminate 150 is the first of many big events we’re planning in celebration of Manitoba’s 150th anniversary,” said Stuart Murray and Monique LaCoste, co-chairs of Manitoba 150. “We’re setting the tone with a kick-off event that will get Manitobans into the spirit of Manitoba 150 with some exciting and unexpected moments. With the flip of a switch, the Manitoba Legislative Building will glitter with a memorable lighting display as we begin the 150-day countdown to Manitoba Day.”

Illuminate 150 will transform the Manitoba Legislative Building and grounds into a dazzling display, illuminated by more than 300,000 LED lights and Manitoba-inspired installations from Lights of the North. These will remain in place to shine a light on the beauty of Manitoba until July.

“The Manitoba Legislative Building is the perfect place to kick off Manitoba 150, and we are honoured and excited to host the first major event to celebrate our province’s sesquicentennial,” said Premier Brian Pallister. “I invite all Canadians and former Manitobans from near and far to join us in celebrating our province’s past, present and future.”

With a spectacular array of more than 300,000 LED lights, and a variety of family-friendly winter activities, Illuminate 150 on Dec. 14 has something for everyone and promises to be Instagram worthy.

Illuminate 150 Kick-Off Celebration

Illuminate 150 festivities take place at the Manitoba Legislative Building and grounds on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 3 p.m. until approximately 7 p.m. Guests who need a quick warm up can head indoors for the Manitoba Legislative Building 2019 Open House, which runs from 3 to 5 p.m.

3 to 5 p.m. – Manitoba Legislative Building 2019 Open House (Donation of non-perishable food item for the Christmas Cheer Board is encouraged)
3 to 7 p.m. – Illuminate 150 outdoor activities, programs and DJ
5:30 p.m. – Formal welcome (Assiniboine Avenue side)
5:35 p.m. – Flip of the Switch to Illuminate the Manitoba Legislative Building and grounds

Manitobans of all ages are invited to enjoy a variety of FREE activities including:
• snow tube races and snowshoe obstacle course,
• free gourmet hot chocolate and coffee,
• interactive displays from Lights of the North,
• and more!

In addition, merchandise and food trucks will be on site.

The lights of Illuminate 150 will remain in place until July, providing a beautiful backdrop for a year of celebration.

Illuminate 150 is a chance for Manitoba to unite in celebration during the kickoff and throughout 2020.

Additional information on Manitoba 150 can be found at

About The Manitoba 150 Host Committee Inc.

The year 2020 will mark 150 years since Manitoba became Canada’s fifth province. The Manitoba 150 Host Committee Inc. (Manitoba 150) is an independent, not-for-profit organization overseeing commemorative activities in celebration of our province, its beauty, people, culture, and history throughout 2020.

Manitoba 150 supports initiatives and events that cultivate pride in our province, foster a profound connection with our diverse cultures and, above all, unite us in celebration.

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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this release on behalf of the government of Manitoba and the Manitoba 150 Host Committee.

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November 22 2019 Private Member Statement Recognizing John Courtney’s Retirement from YFC

Madam Speaker, I rise to recognize Youth For Christ Executive Director John Courtney, who after 47 years of serving Winnipeg’s youth, will be retiring on December 31st.

After helping youth at an addiction treatment centre in Toronto, John joined Youth for Christ Winnipeg in January 1973 and in April 1977 became its Executive Director, a position he has held ever since! Under John’s leadership Youth For Christ has grown from 4 staff serving 400 young people a year in one location to now 82 staff serving 11,000 young people in eleven Manitoba communities. This includes the 160-bed capacity Camp Cedarwood which offers year-round camp experiences that specialize in youth programming.

In 2011 and under John’s leadership, the “The Centre for Youth Excellence” opened at the corner of Higgins and Main and now offers many youth programs including a host of drop in activities in the Atrium, dance, musical theatre, fine arts and piano by Masterworks, Teen Parent Support, Edge Indoor Skatepark, Rig Fitness, Rock Climbing Gym, Youth and Family Counselling, Work Counselling, ball hockey and soccer.

As well as receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from Youth for Christ Canada, John has been honoured with the Entrepreneurial Leadership Award and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal. But in my view John’s most notable quality is humility. I once heard him say if he could rewind his life and do it all over again, he would not change a thing. John is an ordinary guy with a huge heart for helping youth and a 47 year-long track record of doing it well.

Over the past 47 years John has impacted tens of thousands of young people and the ripple effect of this service is simply remarkable. John: you’ve served well, thank you. Please step back but don’t stop. Your heart and experience are needed as new leaders serve young people facing new and previously unimagined challenges. I invite all Members to join me in thanking John Courtney for 47 years of serving young people. Our province is better for it, our city is better for it, and John, we thank you.

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Province Presents Speech From the Throne To Move Manitoba Forward

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