Archived News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 30, 2009


A framework designed to build on the priorities of Manitoba families such as jobs, health care, education and enhanced public safety was unveiled today during the launch of the fourth session of the 39th legislative assembly.
The speech from the throne, read by Lt.-Gov. Philip Lee, congratulated Manitobans for responding to emergencies already faced this year such as the H1N1 pandemic, the second-worst flood this century and the global economic crisis.
The speech commits to helping Manitobans confront these and new challenges through the following measures:
·         Organizing a 2010 economic summit, led by the premier and bringing together business, labour, Aboriginal and local government leaders to deal with issues such as innovation and trade, skills development and investment.
·         Saying no to the harmonized sales tax (HST) to ensure Manitobans are not hit with more than $400 million in new sales taxes during challenging economic times.
·         Supporting public safety by working with the City of Winnipeg to acquire a helicopter as a law‑enforcement tool for police.
·         Continuing measures to stimulate the economy and create public assets with long-term benefits such as the Polar Bear Conservation Centre and Exhibit to launch the Assiniboine Park Arctic Attraction.  So far, the Manitoba government has invested in 1,500 stimulus projects creating more than 12,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs.
·         Prioritizing funding for health care, education and training, despite significant fiscal challenges facing all jurisdictions including Manitoba.
The speech also made specific commitments to preserve and enhance education and training through the following measures:
·         reforming the innovative tuition tax rebate so students can receive some assistance up front when they need it most in return for staying and working in Manitoba;
·         investing $310 million in new public schools and needed renovations to existing facilities;         
·         providing support to post-secondary capital projects throughout Manitoba including projects at the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, Brandon University, Collège universitaire de Saint‑Boniface, University College of the North, Assiniboine Community College and Red River College; and
·         committing to work with federal government and First Nations leadership to assist students on First Nations.
The throne speech commits to proceeding on plans for ensuring further enhancements to the province’s health-care system including:
·         announcing Manitoba’s intention to work with other provinces in the upcoming year to sue tobacco companies for their impact on the health-care system;
·         committing to establish a new tax credit to help women pay for the costs of fertility treatment;
·         proceeding on a new women’s hospital at the Health Science Centre site;
·         moving forward on a birthing centre for the south end of Winnipeg;
·         expanding primary care by proceeding on access centres for St. James and northwest Winnipeg;
·         building a cancer centre and the Westman Lab in Brandon;
·         providing a new emergency medical services station for West St. Paul; and
·         expanding provincial dialysis service with sites at Gimli and Russell, and Berens River and Peguis First Nations.
The speech also provides initiatives to help Manitoba families and enhance their quality of life including:
·         promoting more active lifestyles by phasing in an adult fitness tax credit modelled on the tax credit already provided for children;
·         helping Manitobans enjoy their summers more by offering more cottage lots and making capital improvements to provincial parks as part of the system’s 50th anniversary;
·         implementing a consumer protection action plan to enhance innovative measures already in place such as restrictions on payday lenders;
·         working with various organizations on a plan to help workers of an advanced age re-enter the workforce;
·         continuing consultations on the province’s disability strategy;
·         continuing investments in the province’s All Aboard poverty reduction strategy; and
·         fostering downtown development such as affordable infill housing in Winnipeg and redevelopment of Brandon’s Strand Theatre, utilizing innovative tax increment financing legislation passed during the last legislative session.
In addition to the commitment on helping the Winnipeg Police Service acquire a helicopter, the speech also introduced measures to help make the province safer including:
·         introducing new legislative tools to stop gangs, such as giving the province a stronger role in denying or revoking licences of businesses that are a front for gangs, creating a list of known gangs to simplify court proceedings and preventing the introduction of gang armoured vehicles in Manitoba;
·         hiring additional gang prosecutors;
·         providing new prevention tools to help parents discourage teens from joining gangs in the first place;
·         increasing protection for victims of domestic violence;
·         improving maintenance enforcement;
·         expanding Tracia’s Trust to help stop sexual exploitation of children; and
·         continuing leadership to confront the tragedy of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
As well as establishing a plan to respond to threats to the polar bear population, the speech also made new commitments to protect the environment including:
·         establishing new protected areas;
·         continuing support to restore Netley and Delta marshes;
·         introducing legislation to establish the Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Site Trust Fund;
·         modernizing the Sustainable Development Act;
·         moving forward with methane capture at Manitoba’s large landfills;
·         introducing building code enhancements to improve water and energy efficiency as a complement to already successful programs such as WaterSmart; and
·         including recycling of hazardous waste in a producer-led program that already includes recycling of paper and packaging.
The speech also made commitments to rural and northern Manitoba including:
        investing $545 million in roads and 28 bridges in 2010;
·         expanding farmers’ markets and extending the successful organics incentive;
·         streamlining services to municipalities;
·         providing technical support for municipalities on water and waste-water projects;
·         making further progress on a permanent east side road; and
·         moving forward on a $42-million plan to rehabilitate 18 orphaned mines.
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