News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 16, 2010

THRONE SPEECH OUTLINES BLUEPRINT TO KEEP MANITOBA MOVING FORWARD AS THE WORLD EMERGES FROM ECONOMIC DOWNTURN



Building Manitoba’s skilled and dynamic workforce, preserving and building on services for families such as health care, education and training, and enhancing public safety highlighted this year’s speech from the throne today during the launch of the fifth session of the 39th legislative assembly.
 
The speech, read by Lt.-Gov. Philip Lee, spoke of a province with a proud heritage and a bright future.  It touched on the fact that over the past year Manitoba has led the nation in job creation, investment and consumer confidence.
 
The speech outlined a number of new steps the province is taking in the area of innovation, trade and education.  These include:
·         elimination of the small business tax Dec. 1;
·         expansion of the Manitoba Innovation Council, with the goal of cutting red tape for entrepreneurs;
·         a new approach to trade promotion that will reflect the increasing importance of global trade links with Brazil, Russia, India and China, the so-called BRIC nations;
·         in co-operation with the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council, the creation of a Manitoba Youth Corps that will focus on mentoring opportunities and direct job experience for young people;
·         the launch of a broad consultation process to help parents help their children excel by utilizing things such as plain-language report cards, standardized in-service days and improving student attendance;
·         new initiatives to help combat bullying in schools;
·         an expansion of child-care spaces; and
·         a new pension plan for child-care workers to be implemented Dec. 1.
 
The throne speech committed to a number of new enhancements to the province’s health-care system including:
·         the establishment of quick-care clinics staffed by nurse practitioners;
·         a new ambulance helicopter;
·         a new primary-care health bus that will provide things like checkups and basic health education to remote communities;                                                                                         
·         new mobile units minimally invasive surgeries; and
·         legislation to cap health-administration costs.
 
To strengthen security for citizens and communities, the speech committed the province to introducing:
·         more community-based police;
·         more Crown prosecutors;
·         planning for new correctional facilities;
·         enhanced programs to keep kids in school and out of jail;
·         new legal tools to help communities shut down houses used for organized crime;
·         introduction of stronger laws to ensure that criminals are not benefiting from the supports offered to law-abiding citizens;
·         an enhanced effort to work with the federal government to bring in stiffer penalties for home invasions, carjackings and knife crimes;
·         the launch of a new program, modelled on the successful auto-theft initiative, to intensively track violent, high-risk offenders and keep them from reoffending;
·         new legislative tools aimed at giving victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation the ability to seek remedies from those who have recruited, harmed and profited from them; and
·         a new mental-health court.
 
The speech also provided initiatives to protect consumers and help Manitoba families enhance their quality of life including:
·         a series of measures designed to protect consumers when buying new homes, condominiums, vehicles and cell phones;
·         the establishment of an independent Tenant Advisor Office to lend assistance to renters and small landlords;
·         a long-term plan on housing security for seniors;
·         an enhanced suicide-prevention strategy;
·         an update of the ALL Aboard poverty-reduction strategy;
·         a new program to improve the infrastructure and programming of community centres throughout the province;
·         a new initiative to revitalize community centres in rural Manitoba; 
·         a further increase to the minimum wage; and
·         a plan to showcase Manitoba artists on the national stage in the spring of 2011.
 
In order that Manitobans can continue to enjoy a green and prosperous province, the throne speech committed to a number of measures including:
·         new protected areas in Northern Manitoba;
·         new nutrient reduction targets to improve the quality of water in Lake Winnipeg;
·         regulation of residential development outside of Winnipeg in order to ensure proper water and waste-water treatment;
·         improvements to provincial parks including repairs caused by recent bad weather;
·         expanded efforts to reduce greenhouse gases;
·         a strengthened Polar Bear Protection Act; and
·         measures to help beluga whales.
 
To improve the quality of life for people in rural and northern Manitoba, the throne speech committed the province to:
·         a new five-year plan for highways and bridges;
·         expanded drainage, especially in the Interlake;
·         a long-term redevelopment strategy for downtown Brandon;
·         work towards better access to Red Seal apprenticeship designation in rural and remote areas;
·         a new emergency ward for the Dauphin Hospital; and
·         construction of Westman CancerCare Centre and Flin Flon Clinic, provision of dialysis services at Gimli, Russell and Peguis, and ambulance facilities at Ste. Rose and Arborg which are now underway.
 
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