Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Edmonton fights racism

Education Minister Nancy Allan and Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh announce the province’s Thrive! Strategy for Manitobans with autism spectrum disorders

June 28, 2011


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Initial $1-million Investment will Provide More Preschool Support, Outreach for Rural and Northern Manitoba: Mackintosh
The Manitoba government is launching a five-year strategy called Thrive! to support Manitobans affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh and Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today.
“Autism spectrum disorders affect Manitobans in many ways, and our services and supports need to do the same,” said Mackintosh.  “Manitoba is nationally recognized for its initiatives and we have already invested 800 per cent more in autism services since 1999.  But there is more we can do to support people with autism and their families.”
The Thrive! strategy will be supported with an initial investment of $1 million and will offer a range of services and supports.  Thrive! builds on consultations between the province and community stakeholders and provides a framework for moving forward to meet the needs of people with autism, said Mackintosh.
“Thrive! will guide the way for us to develop new and innovative supports,” said Allan.  “We want to see a continuum of services in the school system and ensure there is a wide range of supports for students and parents.  We will continue to work closely with the autism community to best meet the needs of those with ASD.”
In the short term, Thrive! will offer additional assistance including:
  • $585,000 for applied behaviour analysis (ABA) to provide more children with early intervention services once they are diagnosed.
  • $250,000 to introduce rural and northern outreach services for families.  Building on a service available in Winnipeg, families in rural and northern Manitoba will soon be able to access more information and support for therapies and play-based learning strategies.
  •  $8,000 for a Connections program for parents.  This initiative will bring parents together in a supportive group environment to share information about raising a child with ASD.
  • $160,000 for expert behavioural consultation for the next school year for children with ASD who have completed the school-age ABA program.
“This is a significant step toward the objective of supporting Manitobans affected by autism spectrum disorder, and the professionals who work with them,” said Anne Kresta of Asperger Manitoba.
“We particularly applaud the effort to support people at stages right from timely diagnosis through education and community involvement,” added Kim Campbell of Autism Manitoba.
"We are excited about the announcement of the five-year autism strategy because it re-emphasizes the government’s commitment to applied behaviour analysis therapy as an important part of the support for Manitobans with autism spectrum disorder,” said Guy Mercier, president of Manitoba Families for Effective Autism Treatment.  “This document also provides a future road map for better support for rural families and a view to lifelong supports for families as well as a child with autism.”
Mackintosh said, over the next five years, the province will work closely with the ASD community to develop priorities and options to address the needs of children, youth and adults affected by ASD including:
  • accommodating all children waiting for ABA,
  • introducing an autism support worker certificate program,
  • approving the Thrive! fund to support innovation,
  • launching ASD-specific adult services for the first time including life-skills networks as well as education and employment programs,
  • a Thrive! scholarship,
  • a communication services centre to help people access the latest technology,
  • public awareness,
  • new supports for parents, and
  • improved online navigation tools.
ASD refers to a group of developmental characteristics that affect a person’s verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction.  People are affected in different ways and the effects may range from mild to severe.
One out of every 165 children in Canada is affected by ASD.  Manitoba currently provides services to about 1,700 children affected by ASD with an investment this year of more than $32 million.
The Thrive! five-year plan is available online at
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

New CBC reality contest to focus on Canadian music

Posted: Jun 6, 2011 4:39 PM ET

Last Updated: Jun 6, 2011 4:39 PM ET

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CBC plans a new TV talent show, called Cover Me Canada, in which emerging bands will reinterpret music by iconic Canadian artists.
The public broadcaster issued a call on Monday for online performance auditions for the show, slated to air this fall on CBC-TV.
Unsigned musicians and groups aged 12 and up are eligible to compete by offering up a rendition of one of four Canadian songs: Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot, Run To You by Bryan Adams, Life is a Highway by Tom Cochrane or Black Velvet by Alannah Myles.
The finalists will compete live on television for a $100,000 cash prize and a recording contract for their first original single, to be released by Universal Music Canada. Competitors also have the chance to win hearts and minds across the country.
"CBC is providing a platform for the best emerging musicians from across the country to cover Canada's greatest songs, and a chance for Canadians to rediscover the songs that we love and feel proud to call our own," Kirstine Stewart, executive vice-president of English services at CBC, said in a release.
Host and judges are to be announced in coming weeks, CBC said.
Let Go of Fear and Become Unstoppable

Written By Jafree Ozwald and Margot Zaher

Where do feel stopped and blocked in your life because of fear? What dreams would you have manifested if you were fearless and unstoppable? Eliminating fear can open up the doors to an incredible new life because you begin to take action on your dreams and start doing what you truly desire! So really...what is fear? Fear is an emotional response that happens when we imagine or believe that something or someone is going to hurt us.

"Look within, see the Infinite Self. Then there will be an end of the world and its miseries." ~ Ramana Maharshi

Fear provides the valuable service of keeping us safe from physical dangers such as tigers, and jumping in front of a truck. It activates our adrenaline glands so that we can fight or take flight. However, fear becomes harmful when we begin to overreact to situations that have no real danger. For instance, many people fear public speaking, making a new friend or trying out new foods, when neither one of these things are going to kill them. In fact, when you start to look forward to doing the things you want to do yet are afraid of doing, you will see a whole new amazing world manifest before your very eyes.

"See the perfection in the seeming imperfection that seems to be." ~ Lester Levinson

A great acronym for F.E.A.R. is "False Evidence Appearing Real". Fear is an illusionary experience based on an imagined scenario. For instance, when you were a kid did you ever imagine that the "boogie man" was inside your closet or under your bed? Didn't you start feeling scared and begin to strain your ears to hear any strange noises? Your imagination causes you to experience fear. If you confronted your fear by getting out of bed and turning on the light, your fear would magically disappear. The reality behind every situation in life is that you have nothing to fear. You are an immortal infinite soul who cannot die. Who you truly are cannot be threatened by anyone or anything in this world! Once you let this knowledge sink deeply into your body, you will truly be unstoppable in anything you wish to be, do or have manifest.

 Here are 4 amazing steps for letting go of fear:

1. Determine how much pain this fear is causing you in your life.
What are you missing out on because of this fear? What will your life look like if you continue to operate out of a place of fear? What negative consequences could occur in 5 years from now if you continue to let fear control you? Write down your answers to these questions.

2. Establish the benefit of overcoming this fear.
What could you create in your life if you overcome this fear? How would your life be better if this fear no longer existed? What would you do, accomplish, or experience if this fear was completely absent? Write down the answers to these questions next to your answers above.

3. Embrace your fear fully.
The key to moving through fear is to face the fear and see the truth that lies beneath it. We've found that people do not manifest negative situations once they have no emotional resistance to it. This technique allows you to transcend your emotional attachment to the fear and free you from it forever! First, we suggest that you do this exercise in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Sit back in a chair and close your eyes and start to imagine the worst thing that could happen. Imagine your greatest fear manifested and watch how you react, what you would say, and what the end result actually is. Allow yourself to fully feel all of the feelings associated with the situation and just rest deeply in the very CENTER of that fear for 5 minutes. Remain in the feeling as long as you can until it dissipates. You may want to get some support around this process and do it with a trained professional or good friend if your fear is very old, deep or strong. Once you fully allow yourself to feel the fear, you will start going beyond it. Once the core of your fear is found and relaxed into and through it, you will naturally experience a release and may get a glimpse of soul that you are that never dies.

4. Make a "Fear List" of things you want to do, yet are afraid of doing...and go do them! One by one, go through this list and actually DO one thing on the list each month. You'll experience more success by starting with the fears that are smaller before moving on to bigger ones. Some common fears are fear of public speaking, fear of calling someone to apologize, fear of making a mistake, etc... If you truly want to feel unstoppable for the rest of your life, do one fear on your fear list every month for one year and you'll see an amazing new you is born!

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the decision that something else is more important than fear." ~Ambrose Redmoon

We have a proven technique that will release ANY fear from your body in the 90 Day Manifesting Program. In this ebook program you will learn how to raise your vibration to such a high place that it truly is impossible for fear to enter your body in the future. This high vibrational experience will show you how you can easily let go of ANY fear and live the life of your dreams!

Dramatically shift everything that isn't working in your life and start manifesting what you truly desire with our 90 Day Manifesting Program! It is guaranteed to transform your life!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Justice Minister Andrew Swan and Ka Ni Kanichihk Executive Director Leslie Spillet, speaking about expanded initiatives to help keep vulnerable kids out of gangs and lives of crime

June 23, 2011


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Turnabout and Lighthouses Offer Alternatives to Crime, Complement Increased Number of Police Officers
As a complement to increasing the number of police on the streets, the province is expanding the successful Lighthouses and Turnabout programs to offer positive alternatives for young people who might be lured into crime or joining gangs, Justice Minister Andrew Swan announced today.
“These programs help children and youth make good choices and build healthier, safer lives,” said Swan.  “Lighthouses and Turnabout make young people less vulnerable to negative influences, giving them positive alternatives to using drugs and alcohol, joining gangs or dropping out of school.”
Lighthouses provide funding to schools, friendship centres and other community facilities to provide free, supervised recreational, educational or social after-hours activities organized by and for youth.
Five new Lighthouse sites bring the total number to 71.  They are:
  • St. Theresa Point,
  • Sandy Bay First Nation,
  • Sioux Valley First Nation,
  • Wabowden, and
  • Elwick Village in Winnipeg.
The province is investing $49,000 to develop a wraparound pilot project for children and families referred to Turnabout.  The wraparound process will be used to support children with complex needs and their families by developing individualized care plans that are community-based and culturally appropriate, the minister said. 
As well, the province will provide $125,000 to Ka Ni Kanichihk, a community-based social service provider, to pilot a mentorship program for Turnabout children.  Trained mentors will spend time with a child and their family, connecting them with positive alternatives such as culturally based supports and activities, school-based supports, free recreational activities offered by the City of Winnipeg and other community resources.
Under the current federal Youth Criminal Justice Act (and the previous Young Offenders Act), children under 12 can’t be charged with committing a crime.  Therefore, the Manitoba government created Turnabout as the only provincewide program in Canada that works to get young people who are too young to be charged back on the right track said Swan.  Turnabout operates with the co‑operation of police agencies who notify the program when someone under 12 breaks the law. 
Before Turnabout, there was no standardized way to track or deal with children under the age of 12 who were coming into conflict with the law.  Turnabout provides the community, law enforcement, child welfare and school systems with a consistent way to deal with children too young to be charged for acts that might otherwise be prosecuted.  It helps support families while preventing a child from having further involvement with police, which improves community safety, said the minister.
Since its launch in 2002 to May 31, 2011, Turnabout has received 1,899 referrals for incidents ranging from shoplifting, mischief and arson to assaults, break-ins and weapon offences.  A review of children involved in Turnabout from 2003 to 2010, showed almost 80 per cent of the children assisted by the program had no further clashes with the law after turning 12.
Lighthouses and Turnabout are part of Manitoba’s youth gang reduction strategy, a three-pronged approach that balances prevention with investments in improved policing and tougher laws.  Swan said, since 1999, the province has launched many anti-gang initiatives including:
  • providing funding for police, which has more than doubled since 1999 to $126 million including support for 777 RCMP officers across the province, 153 officers in Winnipeg and 14 officers in Brandon;. 
  • supporting GRASP (the Gang Response and Suppression Plan), which intensively enforces court-ordered bail and probation conditions of certain high-risk adult offenders believed to be at the core of many violent incidents;
  • adding three new police officers to expand the School Resource Officer Program by September 2012 for a total of 12 covering 17 high schools and 68 elementary and junior-high schools;
  • increasing by 165 per cent the budget for prosecutions since 1999 including the addition of 58 Crown prosecutors with another 43 to be added by 2016;
  • establishing a gang unit in prosecutions, resulting in 1,404 convictions and guilty pleas since November 2003; 
  • providing support to the Manitoba Integrated Organized Crime Task Force;
  • establishing a provincial witness protection program; and
  • establishing a gang intelligence unit in Manitoba Corrections.
The province is also investing $1.5 million over three years to support the City of Winnipeg’s recreation facilities to enhance programming in the inner city, Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux announced today.
“This commitment of provincial funding will help keep city-run recreation facilities in the core area open for longer hours, offering young people a safe environment for healthy and creative fun right in their own neighbourhoods,” said Lemieux.
The investment will help enhance programming in several neighbourhoods including north and south Point Douglas/Lord Selkirk Park, Centennial/West Alexander/Central Park, West Broadway/River Osborne and William Whyte/Dufferin.
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Manitoba’s Minister of Local Government Ron Lemieux and Federal Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews announce Funding at ground breaking for seniors housing project in St. Anne, Manitoba.

June 20, 2011


STE. ANNE—The Governments of Canada and Manitoba today announced $7.8 million in joint funding for Villa Youville, a new affordable housing project. The 24 units will enhance housing quality and accessibility for seniors in Ste. Anne. Celebrations took place at a groundbreaking ceremony.
The project involves the demolition of an existing obsolete personal care home and its replacement with twenty-four units of affordable, supportive housing. Twelve of the new units will be rented on a rent-geared-to-income basis, and the remaining at Median Market Rents for the area. In addition to working with existing infrastructure and service supports, this project introduces supportive housing into the community of Ste. Anne.  The project will use geothermal heating and cooling and includes a chapel, and expanded kitchen and dining room funded through community fundraising.
The announcement was made by the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety and Regional Minister for Manitoba, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Honourable Ron Lemieux, Manitoba Minister of Local Government on behalf of the Honourable Kerri Irvin-Ross, Manitoba Minister of Housing and Community Development.
“Our government’s Economic Action Plan is delivering for seniors here in Ste. Anne and in communities throughout the country,” said Minister Toews. “At Villa Youville, the construction of these units is creating jobs, a great way to get our local economy moving. More importantly, it means that lower-income seniors will continue to have access to quality affordable housing that meets their needs.”
“Our goal is to bring affordable, accessible housing to seniors in our province,” said Minister Lemieux. “The construction of Villa Youville means more seniors can continue to live independently, remain in and contribute to the community they call home. Today’s announcement will help alleviate the growing demand for seniors housing by providing seniors in the Ste. Anne area with more affordable housing options.”
The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to an overall investment of $176 million for the creation of affordable housing under the amended Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Program Agreement. Federal funding for the units in this announcement was made available through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the government’s plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs during the global recession. Provincial funding for these units was provided by Manitoba Housing through HOMEWorks!, the Province of Manitoba’s long-term housing strategy and investment plan.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides $400 million, over two years, to build new rental housing for low-income seniors. Overall, the Economic Action Plan includes $2 billion for the construction of new and the renovation of existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.
Today’s announcement builds on the work of the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative to support seniors in leading active, socially engaged, independent lives that contribute to healthy aging. The goal of the initiative is to make Manitoba the most age-friendly province in Canada by working with the communities and the federal government to enhance the programs and services that benefit the well-being of all seniors.
Through Manitoba Housing’s Long-Term Housing Strategy, HOMEWorks!, the Province of Manitoba, with the financial assistance of the Government of Canada, is contributing $378 million over two years for housing initiatives in Winnipeg and across the province.  HOMEWorks! supports ALL Aboard, Manitoba’s Poverty Reduction strategy by increasing the supply of quality, affordable housing for low-income Manitobans. In 2009, the province committed to creating 1,500 new affordable housing units by 2014.  As of March 31, 2011, the province had committed funding for 707 new affordable housing units.  More information about HOMEWorks! is available at
Canada’s Economic Action Plan builds on the Government of Canada’s commitment in 2008 of more than $1.9 billion over five years, to improve and build new affordable housing and help the homeless. As reported in Budget 2011:  A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth, more than 14,000 housing projects are completed or underway across the country, helping families and individuals, including seniors and persons with disabilities, find suitable and affordable housing while putting Canadians back to work.
More information on this and other measures in Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government’s plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit
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June 20, 2011


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$2 Million Renovationa and Expansion of Women's Health Services
Winnipeg–Manitoba Health Minister Theresa Oswald today officially opened the newly renovated maternity units at St. Boniface Hospital, part of a $2 million project to renovate and expand maternity and gynaecology services at St. Boniface Hospital.
“Women and families have spoken clearly about their wishes to have appropriate space while going through the challenges and joys of childbirth, and we believe these renovations go a long way to meeting these needs,” Minister Oswald said.
The first two phases of renovations to St. Boniface Hospital’s mother child units include:
  • Increase in the number of postpartum (after birth) maternity beds from 27 to 30
  • Increase in the number of postpartum private maternity rooms from 3 to 23; and
Phase three, currently underway, includes the relocation of the gynaecological in-patient unit, and development of 5 additional private rooms which will also benefit women and their families.
The new Mother Child units at St. Boniface Hospital began accepting patients during the second week of June.
“Obstetrical volumes in Winnipeg have increased significantly over the past five years and are projected to continue to increase,” Lori Lamont, WRHA Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer said. “These new spaces along with the new birth centre and beds at HSC allow us to more fully meet this demand and do so in a manner that respects choice and privacy for women and their families.”
“Women have been telling us that our birthing spaces were in great need of modernization for several years,” Dr. Michel Tétreault, President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital, said. “Private rooms are a welcome service for women, and will allow more space for family support during the woman’s stay in hospital. We are grateful to the Province of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Health Region for their support of the women and child health programs at St. Boniface Hospital.”
The new expanded maternity ward at St. Boniface complements other important birthing and women’s health projects in Winnipeg, including a new birth centre in South Winnipeg expected to open this summer and a new Women’s Hospital at Health Sciences Centre for which construction is anticipated to start shortly.
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The Province of Manitoba is issuing this release on behalf of the Government of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

June 20, 2011


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Easy Access to Registry, Positive Parenting Program: Mackintosh, Rondeau
A comprehensive, one-stop tool called that helps make the world’s toughest job easier and Canada’s first provincewide online child-care registry were launched today by Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh and Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau.
“No duty is as important or as tough as parenting and there are times when it seems that it’s only getting tougher,” said Mackintosh.  “We created to be a one-stop shop for helping parents and we expanded the online child-care registry, making it available to parents provincewide.”
The online child-care registry makes it easier for families to find licensed child care in Manitoba by entering information about their child and their requirements in a single place, Mackintosh explained.  Their names will be added to the wait list of as many child-care facilities as they have selected.
The online tool:
  • allows parents to easily and quickly explore a variety of licensed child-care options in their area,
  • allows parents to learn more about the child-care providers they are considering,
  • helps parents keep track of all the child-care providers they have registered with,
  • helps parents keep their contact information up to date, and
  • allows licensed child-care centres, homes and nursery schools to see the most up-to-date list of children waiting for care so they can fill any openings.
The system is based on a model that has been used successfully in Sudbury, Ont.  Extra features and functions have been specifically added to suit Manitobans.  Soon to come will be an online route calculator to make it easy for parents to find licensed centres close to their work or school.
Parents can register online at, follow the link on call 1-888-213-4754 (toll-free). provides parenting and child development information that reflects best practices in health and child and adolescent development.  It includes important links to
Manitoba-based public education and public-health campaigns and provides this information in a straightforward way, Rondeau said. offers:
  • information about Manitoba-based programs, worldwide services and supports;
  • more than 3,000 links to helpful and trusted sites that will provide parents with practical and reliable topics arranged by seven age categories and stages of parenting;
  • links to the latest product recalls;
  • “Ask the Expert” with Manitoba professionals answering questions for parents; and
  • links to Twitter and Facebook for sharing via social media.
“This new website is an excellent complement to our Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) and other initiatives that put children and families first,” said Rondeau.  “It’s one of many easy-to-use tools that we provide to help parents effectively manage children’s behaviour and create a loving and caring environment for their families.”
In addition to the online assistance, parents can get help by phone from the Positive Parenting Program by calling 1-877-945-4777 (toll-free).  This summer, the Triple P line will expand its hours to serve parents 12 hours a day, Rondeau added. covers parenting challenges such as breastfeeding and crying babies, bullying, chores, nutrition and parent-teen conflict.  It provides a link to the province’s Triple P website for help with child behaviour and will evolve as new information becomes available and in response to suggestions from parents and professionals, Rondeau said.
The site highlights the work of well-known Manitoba cartoonist Lynn Johnston, whose For Better or Worse cartoon strip captures the funny, trying and bittersweet moments of family life.
“I am happy to have been able to contribute to,” said Johnston.  “This new website is colourful, easy to navigate and a great resource for Manitoba parents.  As a former resident of northern Manitoba, I am particularly pleased and honoured by Manitoba’s generous contribution to Frontier College’s Aboriginal Summer Literacy Camp.  Enhanced literacy holds out the promise of enriched lives for children and parents, and prosperity for the entire community.” will run on a $70,000 annual budget, with initial site development and marketing costs of $200,000. The province will contribute $5,000 a year for four years to the Frontier College Summer Literacy Program for Children in exchange for Johnston’s assistance.
The online registry is being launched at a cost of $1.575 million and will operate on an annual investment of $150,000.

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June 17, 2011


More than 360 people were nominated and formally recognized today at the 13th annual Manitoba Service Excellence Awards for their exceptional contributions as part of their work for the Manitoba government and their communities, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
“Manitoba’s workers provide important services and information to residents and communities and these award recipients are an inspiration to us all,” Selinger said.  “The recipients are nominated by their co-workers which are a testament to their abilities in working together for the greater good.”
A total of 331 government employees and 33 non-government staff were honoured for their special efforts.  This year, there were 41 nominations in seven categories.  This year’s recipients are:
  • Community Service Award -Sean Brennan, Manitoba Justice.
  • Innovation Award -  Manitoba Student Financial Aid Information System.
  • Leadership Award -Janet Fontaine, Manitoba Health.
  • Service Excellence Individual Award -Wayne Hildebrand, Manitoba Water Stewardship.
  • Service Excellence Team Award -CentrePlace Manitoba Team (Vancouver 2010 and Paralympic Games).
  • Partnership Award -enhanced telehealth capacity for child and adolescent mental health consultation to the north.
  • Premier’s Career Achievement Award -Shaunda Rossington, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.
“Each and every day, these exceptional individuals or teams demonstrate their creativity and determination and their efforts make a huge contribution to society as a whole,” said Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk, minister responsible for the Civil Service Commission, adding recipients are nominated by co-workers for their outstanding contributions as government employees and community volunteers.
The Manitoba Service Excellence Awards were established through Service Quality Partners and were presented for the first time in 1999.
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Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary for the Federal Minister of Finance. Gilbert Park tenants Patricia Cook , Rhonda White, Corey Mohr, Community Facilitator, Nor’West Co-Op Community Health Centre and Kerri Irvin-Ross, Manitoba Minister of Housing and Community Development. Governments of Canada and Manitoba a provide funding for renovations to Manitoba Housing Properties

Friday, June 17, 2011

June 17, 2011


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74 New Spaces at Victory School
Manitoba continues to fulfil its commitment to support families and is building on the successful partnership with schools under the five-year Family Choices strategy with the creation of a new 74-space early learning and child-care centre at Victory School in Winnipeg, Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.
“The future of early learning and child care in West Kildonan just got a little brighter with the expansion of Sunny Mountain Day Care Centre to this location on the grounds of Victory School,” said Mackintosh.  “We think the partnership of early learning and child-care centres with schools creates a great advantage for children and their parents.”
Sunny Mountain Day Care Centre will be a building at Victory School, with spaces for 20 infants and 54 preschool aged children.  The $1.5-million project is being built through the Family Choices Building Fund, which to date has focused on the use of surplus school space for child-care centres.  This new Sunny Mountain site on Victory School property will be the start of a new approach for addressing the need for more child care, Mackintosh said.  The Seven Oaks School Division will own the building and partner with Sunny Mountain Day Care as the operator of the new centre.
“We’re pleased to partner with the province on this project and look forward to expanding the child-care options for parents in the area,” said Brian O’Leary, Seven Oaks School Division superintendent.  “This is a first and we’re excited to help develop a project that partners with schools in a way that will result in a brand new, purposely built, child and family-friendly centre.”
Sunny Mountain Day Care Centre Inc. operates three child-care centres in the Seven Oaks area including school-based centres at Governor Semple and Belmont schools and a centre at 1965 Main St.
Since its introduction in April 2008, Family Choices has committed funding for 5,600 more child-care spaces with a goal of 6,500 by 2013, Mackintosh said, adding it has also supported the building of 54 new child-care sites, exceeding its goal of 35 new sites.  Family Choices can be viewed at
 Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh presents Debra Page of Sunny Mountain Day Care Centre with the centre's first book at the announcement of their new 74 space child care centre to be built at Victory School
June 17, 2011


– – –
$6.5 Million for Support Services, Training Resources, 139 New Spaces Under Family Choices Strategy
The province is investing $6.5 million in four large resource centres in Winnipeg’s north end to help families and new Canadians build strong communities with 139 new child-care spaces, early learning, job training and support services, Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.
The announcement took place at Makoonsag Intergenerational Children’s Centre, the first of the four new family resource centres.  Makoonsag, meaning Many Little Bears, is a new and distinctive early learning and child-care centre under construction that will soon offer students and community members a special place for children to thrive and grow, Mackintosh said, adding it will offer 52 new child-care spaces.
“Makoonsag and the other unique centres will help people in the north end unleash their full potential and open doors to brighter futures,” said Mackintosh.  “We know that quality early learning and child care let parents enter the workforce knowing their children are in safe, stimulating and caring environments.  We also know that by offering job training, education and other supports in holistic settings, parents and new Canadians will be better prepared for jobs that will let them support their families and thrive in their community.”
Makoonsag, which is co-ordinated by Urban Circle Training Centre, and the other three family support centres have been developed to respond to community needs and will offer their own unique range of other services and supports.  These projects include:
  • Manidoo Gi Minni Gonaan in Lord Selkirk Park will have 47 new child-care spaces, a family resource centre and a new early childhood development centre. 
  • Eagle Wing Early Education Centre includes 16 new spaces, for a total of 44.  The centre is part of SISTARS, an organization that offers a community wellness room.
  • Anne Ross Day Nursery in Mount Carmel Clinic will see an expansion of its early learning and child-care program by 24 spaces in the next two years, for a total of 64 spaces.  Mount Carmel Clinic provides important primary care and other supports to the surrounding community.
“Manitoba Housing is investing $2 million in this child-care super centre as part of a transformation of our housing communities to strengthen not only our housing stock, but also on-site resident services and supports.  This is an investment in stronger families through greater opportunities for the children and parents of Lord Selkirk Park.  This, in turn, benefits us all,” said Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross.
“The province is pleased to support Urban Circle Training Centre in its efforts to provide an important new and exciting community resource on Selkirk Avenue,” said Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux.  “This project complements the efforts of Manitoba’s Winnipeg Regeneration Strategy, which supports inner-city revitalization through improving physical, social, economic and environmental conditions.”
“Project Makoonsag is the vision of our elders Stella Blackbird, Stan McKay and Ann Thomas Callahan, who see Makoonsag as an opportunity for families to learn together in the circle of life as they did traditionally before the fracturing of the family as a result of the residential school experience,” said Eleanor Thompson, director of development for Urban Circle Training Centre.  “Elders, parents and other Aboriginal role models will be an integral part of the children’s daily experience.  The elders believe that it is time to reclaim our community for our children as they are our future.”
Since its introduction in April 2008, Family Choices has committed funding for 5,600 more child-care spaces with a goal of 6,500 by 2013.  It has also supported the building of 54 new child-care site, exceeding its goal of 35 new sites.  Family Choices can be viewed at
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June 17, 2011


Winnipeg, Manitoba – The Governments of Canada and Manitoba today announced almost $19 million in joint funding for renovations to social housing throughout Manitoba. The 7,623 renovated units will enhance housing quality and accessibility for low-income residents in 42 communities across the province.
The funding for the 7,623 housing units will be used for the replacement of exterior components such as roofing, siding, windows and doors, and interior components such as flooring, drywall, doors, kitchen and bathroom cupboards, counters and fixtures such as tubs, sinks and showers. The investment will significantly extend the life of these structures. Some of the units in today’s announcement also received federal/provincial funding allocated for the renovation of social housing in 2009-2010.
The announcement was made by the Honourable Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Housing and Community Development and Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
“This federal-provincial partnership to renovate existing affordable housing will provide jobs, a better quality of life for many Manitobans and a stronger provincial economy,” said Minister Irvin-Ross. “This work is part of a long-term comprehensive renovation and retrofit program which includes significant funding to help ensure we have affordable social housing that lasts well into the future.”
“Our government is committed to investing in communities and helping Canadians who need a hand-up,” said Parliamentary Secretary Glover. “Extensive renovations to projects throughout Manitoba mean that these buildings can continue to provide affordable housing to our residents for years to come.”
In addition to the new renovation projects announced today, the Governments of Canada and Manitoba also celebrated the completion of the Gilbert Park, Lord Selkirk Park and Central Park projects. Benefiting from almost $12 million in joint funding, the three communities have benefitted from 710 renovated units for individuals and families with low incomes.
The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to an overall investment of $176 million for the creation of affordable housing under the amended Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Program Agreement. Federal funding for the units in this announcement was made available through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the government’s plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs during the global recession. Provincial funding for these units was provided by Manitoba Housing through HOMEWorks!, the Province of Manitoba’s long-term housing strategy and investment plan.
The Government of Canada wants to improve the quality of existing social housing for low-income seniors, single parent families, recent immigrants and Aboriginal households. Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides $850 million under the Affordable Housing Initiative to provinces and territories for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing. Overall, the Economic Action Plan includes $2 billion for the construction of new and the renovation of existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.
Through Manitoba Housing’s Long-Term Housing Strategy, HOMEWorks!, the Province of Manitoba, with the financial assistance of the Government of Canada, is contributing $378 million over two years for housing initiatives in Winnipeg and across the Province. HOMEWorks! supports ALL Aboard, Manitoba’s Poverty Reduction strategy by increasing the supply of quality, affordable housing for low-income Manitobans.In 2009, the province committed to creating 1,500 new affordable housing units by 2014.  As of March 31, 2011, the province had committed funding for 707 new affordable housing units. More information about HOMEWorks! is available at
Manitoba Housing supports and revitalizes neighbourhoods across the province by providing a variety of quality, affordable, accessible housing options for Manitobans of all ages and incomes. This year alone, the province is investing $144 million on housing and housing related capital projects, This investment provides immediate jobs, community development and an increase to the provincial Gross Domestic Product through directed and induced effects that result in an additional $132 million boost to the provincial economy in economic spin offs and the creation of over 2600 person years of employment. By working together with other levels of government, Manitoba Housing is building communities across the province.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan builds on the Government of Canada’s commitment in 2008 of more than $1.9 billion, over five years, to improve and build new affordable housing and help the homeless. As a result of the Action Plan, more than 14,000 social housing and First Nations housing projects are completed or underway across the country. These projects are helping families and individuals, including seniors and persons with disabilities, find suitable and affordable housing while putting Canadians back to work.
More information on this and other measures in Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government’s plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at:
To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit
June 16, 2011


A first report from the chief provincial public health officer on the health status of Manitobans, including recommendations to strengthen prevention of diseases and injuries and to reduce health inequalities, was tabled in the legislature today by Health Minister Theresa Oswald.
“I want to thank Dr. Joel Kettner and his team for their good work in assessing our health status and making recommendations on how to improve the health ofManitobans,” said Oswald.  “This report contains valuable information and helpful recommendations that will serve as a guide for all of government so we can continue to work together to improve our prevention strategies.”
Titled Priorities for Prevention:  Everyone, Every Place, Every Day, the report describes a range of health problems that affect Manitobans and gives advice onpriorities forprevention.
The report recommends the government should assess the effects on health and health inequalities when considering major decisions, policies, legislation and other actions.  Recommendations focus on co-ordinating and strengthening existing prevention strategies and developing new ones.
An initial implementation team will be created to review the recommendations and advise government on the first steps of their implementation Oswald said, adding this team will consist of representatives from Manitoba Health, including the Office of the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, Manitoba Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors, and Healthy Child Manitoba.  The team will also advise on options for engaging multiple governmental departments, in addition to appropriate individuals and organizations, in the co-ordination of prevention strategies.
“This report reinforces our understanding that health and health care does not only happen in the doctor’s office.  Health begins in the home and other places where people live, grow, learn, work and play,” said Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau.  “Manitoba was the first province to create a department focused on healthy living and we will use this report to guide our work in the months and years ahead.”
Under the Public Health Act, the chief provincial public health officer is required to submit a report on the health status of Manitobans at least every five years.
The full report is available online at
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June 16, 2011


The first report by the chief provincial public health officer on the health status of Manitobans has been tabled in the legislature and is now publicly available.
Priorities for Prevention:  Everyone, Every Place, Every Dayemphasizes the prevention of illness and injury as the most promising way to improve the health of Manitobans, reduce inequalities of health among Manitobans, and sustain the programs and services that contribute to health and well-being.
The report stresses that every Manitoban has a role to play in their own health and the health of others.  It is a matter of concern for all levels of government and their departments, private industry and non-government organizations, not just health departments and the health-care system.
The report considers many health outcomes and leading causes of illness, injury and death; risk factors and behaviours that influence health; other determinants of health such as education and income levels; and the physical and social environments of the places where people live, work and play that affect health.
The five main sections describe the health status of the general population; pregnancy and the newborn; children and youth; adults; and seniors.
Conclusions include:
  • Most of the causes of premature deaths, injuries and illness can be prevented or delayed.
  • Health status is associated with many determinants of health; for most measures, health status is worse for Manitobans who are Aboriginal, live in low-income areas and live in the north.
  • Prevention is a shared responsibility and opportunity for all Manitobans, and can be best achieved by a balance of improved living environments and personal behaviours.
The recommendations are intended to build on initiatives and strategies already underway by governments, by health and other sectors, private industry and other non-government organizations, and by families and communities. 
The recommendations are organized into five categories:
  • recommended health goals for all of government;
  • recommended priorities for prevention strategies regarding health outcomes, health-related behaviours and activities, and the determinants of health and settings of everyday living;
  • recommended approaches for prevention strategies;
  • recommended structures and other elements to co-ordinate, develop, implement and evaluate prevention strategies; and
  • recommended actions to enhance the capacity of the health system to implement prevention strategies.
The recommended approaches for all prevention strategies are:
  • major decisions, policies, legislation and other actions should consider their impact on health and health inequalities;
  • all citizens and organizations should be engaged in promoting health;
  • the important role of families and local communities should be recognized and supported;
  • to promote healthy living, the social determinants of health should be distributed more equitably and there is a need to create healthier settings and places of everyday life; and
  • the capacity of the health system to implement prevention programs and services should be strengthened.
The information contained in the report is intended to encourage action to improve health for all Manitobans, particularly for those that have been disadvantaged.
The chief provincial public health officer is required under the Public Health Act to report on the health status of Manitobans at least every five years.  The full report can be viewed online at  Comments on the report can be submitted to
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 15, 2011


The creation of Manitoba’s first-ever research chair in the immunobiology of infectious disease at the University of Manitoba will further develop the province’s internationally-recognized expertise in infectious disease research, Premier Greg Selinger announced today with GlaxoSmithKline Inc. President and CEO Paul Lucas and University of Manitoba President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. David Barnard.
“Manitoba is an international leader in infectious disease research,” said Selinger.  “This new research chair builds on Manitoba’s world-class infectious disease research cluster and uniquely positions our province as the Canadian centre of excellence in the study of emerging infectious diseases.”
The $3 million investment for the Chair in the Immunobiology of Infectious Diseases will help focus existing research at the U of M in the areas of immunology, infectious diseases, systems biology and public health while continuing to build Manitoba’s reputation as a global leader.  The Province of Manitoba is investing $500,000, the University of Manitoba is investing $1 million and GSK’s Pathfinders Fund is providing $1.5 million.
“As a leader in infectious disease research, this funding will help us to attract leading talent to our top research programs in these areas,” said Barnard.  “The research breakthroughs that are happening right here in our own province demonstrate the value of investment in public and population health research.”
“The GlaxoSmithKline Pathfinders Fund for Leaders in Canadian Health Science Research fosters medical innovation in Canadian universities, and helps schools like the University of Manitoba attract and retain leading talent – ultimately strengthening Canada’s place as a world leader in innovation.” said Lucas.  “GSK believes that innovation is the only way to ensure healthcare system sustainability.  Together, through these partnerships, we are proud to be playing a role in strengthening Canada’s healthcare system.”
“We are pleased to work with the University of Manitoba in support of this important position,” said Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak.  “This funding supports critical scientific research that is directly linked to innovation, productivity and economic growth.”
A world renowned researcher in infectious disease will be recruited to fill the Chair and will study the increased prevalence of infectious diseases that originate in animals but are transmitted to humans.  Global warming and climate change may play a role in this increase.
As the provincial government’s primary research support initiative, the Manitoba Research and Innovation Fund has provided over $90 million in research and innovation support to Manitoba’s scientists and entrepreneurs since its creation in 2003.
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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this release on behalf of the University of Manitoba, GlaxoSmithKline and the Government of Manitoba.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 13, 2011


– – –
Radio and Television Commercials Begin Today: Selinger
Manitobans will see and hear new television, print and radio spots supporting the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) and the ability of farmers to have the right to decide the future of their own grain marketing agency, Premier Greg Selinger announced today at the CWB’s head office in Winnipeg.
The campaign was launched following the federal government’s indication that it will dismantle the CWB in 2012.
The new campaign will focus on highlighting the importance of the CWB to farmers and the provincial economy.  It begins today and will run for three weeks.
“The CWB is important to so many Manitobans, providing grain growers with an effective and reliable way to sell their grains along with employing hundreds of people in Winnipeg,” said Selinger.  “We’re very concerned with the message the federal government is sending to farmers and we won’t just let them pull the plug on the Canadian Wheat Board.”
“As farmers, we have the right to determine the future of our marketing agency,” said Allen Oberg, a producer who chairs the CWB board of directors.  “We pay for the CWB, we run it, we should decide what happens to it.  We are grateful for the leadership being demonstrated by the Manitoba government on this issue.  Manitoba farmers can be assured that their provincial government is standing up for their rights.”
The CWB head office employs over 400 people in Winnipeg and supports 2,000 indirect jobs in the city, said Selinger.  Last year, CWB gross revenues were among the highest in its history at $5.2 billion.  It also is the single-biggest user of the Port of Churchill, shipping 600,000 tonnes of wheat last year alone.
“It’s not only the farmers who will take a hit.  Losing a proven and successful grain-marketing system would mean our provincial economy will see job losses that will affect many communities,” the premier said.  “It’s time for all members of the legislature to stand up for the CWB, for farmers and for jobs.  We need to push the federal government to reverse its decision immediately.”
Manitobans can sign a petition to support the provincial government to urge the federal government to reverse its decision, the premier added.  The petition is available at all Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives GO offices and online at
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June 14, 2011


Fourteen Manitoba schools, their students and communities will benefit from new and renovated gyms as part of the first phase of the province’s five-year, $50-million Active Schools Fund, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today.
“We all know how important it is that young people lead active, healthy and happy lives,” Allan said.  “Our five-year plan will give young people greater opportunities to be involved in sports and active lifestyles that will last a lifetime.”
Starting in 2011-12, projects under the Active Schools Fund will be implemented in three phases, the minister said.  New gym construction projects to begin over the next two years include seven elementary schools:  École Bonaventure in Selkirk, George Fitton School in Brandon, Arborg Early Middle Years School in Arborg, Lord Nelson, LaVerendrye and Queenston schools in Winnipeg, and École St. Georges in the Division scolaire franco manitobaine (DSFM).
Schools that will see expanded, renovated or upgraded gym facilities in the next two years include Nordale, Howden and St. Avila elementary schools and Dakota and Fort Richmond collegiates in Winnipeg, Swan Valley Regional Secondary School and Morden Collegiate.
Beginning in 2013-15, the second phase of the plan will include W. C. Miller Collegiate in Altona, Kelvin High School, Vincent Massey Collegiate and Laura Secord School in Winnipeg, and Green Acres School in Brandon.  Further assessment will be conducted and construction is estimated to begin in two to four years, said Allan.  Phase three will focus on additional projects recommended by school divisions for consideration.
Since 2000, the school capital construction program has seen the construction of 27 new gyms and five gym additions.  This is equivalent to adding 170,000 square feet of gymnasium space to schools across Manitoba, the minister said.
“I am very proud of our government’s commitment to Manitoba schools.  We have invested more than $737 million in public school capital projects since 1999,” said the minister.  “In partnership with school divisions, we have built 18 new schools and 13 replacement schools, as well as completing extensive renovations and additions to dozens of existing schools."
The Active Schools Fund builds on the successful implementation of mandatory physical education in Manitoba high schools introduced in 2008 as a result of recommendations from the Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures Task Force and will support students in attaining physical education/health education graduation requirements, said Allan.
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Education Minister Nancy Allan played basketball with students from Fort Richmond Collegiate after announcing the list of school gyms to be built or renovated under the first phase of the new Active Schools Fund.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Winnipegger Maiko Watson in 88 Days of Fortune's -Wylin on the Island Festival

A group of 21 artists of several genres have gotten together again for the second annual festival where artists get to show their stuff and get paid for it.  This is one of the ways these artists are using to get their gigs and  art out to the general public without waiting for handouts and opportunities for those who are more fortunate than they or who pulls the purse strings. Some of those strings are brutal and make all kinds of judgements of what art deserves to be funded and what do not meet their criteria.
This is an enterprising initiative that ought to be supported.
The event "Wylin on the Island" in Toronto last Sunday 11th was well attended and from all accounts people had a great time in spite of the weather.

Read all about the group and their various activities throughout the year. Be sure to give your support  to the small guys and gals out there.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Oh those pesky critters

Most people in Manitoba have had to deal with critters in their roof, in their gardens and in their kitchens. And we hate them with a vengeance. As soon as we see any mice droppings, we are up for a battle. We run to Poulin and get the deadliest forms of poisons or stuff to take mice onto sheets of sticky paper. We want them gone. Then there is the raucous in the attic by squirrels who move in and then decide to have late nights or early morning parties much to our chagrin. These things are horrible. If you have money, you call the specialists to get rid of them or change your eaves trough to make them critter proof but for those who cannot find the money immediately, they have to try the home made remedies.
Here's an article that might give you some perspectives and tip on this problem

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

June 8, 2011


– – –
New Tools, Partnership with Sport Manitoba to Prepare Children for Success in School: Selinger
Manitoba is introducing mandatory play-based curricula and expanding physical activity options for children in licensed child-care centres and nursery schools, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
“All parents want to give their kids the very best start possible and today we’re taking new steps to help parents do just that,” said Selinger.  “Our innovative Early Returns program will bring proven play-based learning methods to Manitoba’s child-care centres and we’re giving care providers more training to help get our kids physically active.”
Early Returns is based on the latest research on early childhood learning that shows learning through play is the best way to give children a head-start in developing healthy social, emotional, cognitive and physical skills, Selinger said.  Early Returns is flexible and will allow each child-care centre to maintain its own values and cultural diversity within the curriculum, and will also support children with special needs, he added.
Child-care centres that offer preschool or nursery-school care for children between two and five years of age will be required to implement an early learning and play-based curriculum that meets provincial standards, or ensure their existing curriculum meets the standards.   
In addition, the province is providing $40,000 to Sport Manitoba to help early childhood educators incorporate play-based and developmentally appropriate physical activity into their daily programming.  This expansion will increase the number of child-care centres that have access to the Sport Manitoba physical education program by about 60 to about 75, the premier said.
“Childhoodobesity and rising inactivity among children threatens the future health of Canada,” said Jeff Hnatiuk, president and CEO, Sport Manitoba.  “Physical literacy gives children the tools they need to take part in physical activity, both for healthy life-long enjoyment as well as sporting success as they grow older.”
As part of an ongoing commitment to support early childhood development, a further $200,000 will be allocated to 26 parent-child coalitions throughout the province to provide ongoing support to community-based programs for families with young children, Selinger said.  This new funding brings the total investment for parent-child coalitions to more than $2.5 million.
Recognizing that parents are the most important and most lasting teachers in a child’s life, parent-child coalitions create opportunities for parents and children to participate together in early childhood experiences that promote children's successful transition to school, the premier said. 
Coalition partners encourage a broad range of services and programming for young children and their families, based on the priorities of positive parenting, nutrition and physical health, play-based learning and community capacity.
“These new early learning initiatives will allow us to give parents a hand and help lay the foundation for successful and active kids, which benefits all Manitobans,” Selinger said.
Early Returns is part of Family Choices, Manitoba’s five-year initiative for early learning and child care and will be supported by further training, mentors and assistance from Manitoba’s Early Learning and Child Care program, Selinger said.  Support from this team will continue to be provided under Early Returns with a commitment of $200,000 in new funding.
The complete version of the Early Returns curriculum framework is available at  Licensed child-care centres and nursery schools are expected to meet the requirements by December 2011.
Since its introduction in April 2008, Family Choices has committed funding for 5,600 more child-care spaces with a goal of 6,500 by 2013.  It has also supported the building of 54 new child-care sites, exceeding its goal of 35 new sites.  Family Choices can be viewed at
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Premier Greg Selinger is joined by (r) Erin Selby, Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy and students from Shamrock School as the Province marked Environment Week and the UN International Year of Forests with an additional $1.23 million to plant an extra 1 million trees in the Trees for Tomorrow campaign.
June 7, 2011


– – –
Extra One Million Trees Available for Planting: Premier
The Manitoba government, in acknowledgment of Canadian Environment Week, will provide an additional $1.23 million to plant an extra one million trees for the successful Trees for Tomorrow campaign, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
“Planting trees is good for people, wildlife and our environment,” said Selinger.  “This is the UN International Year of Forests and we are proud to raise awareness of our efforts to sustainably manage, develop and conserve all the different types of forests in Manitoba including the world’s last intact southern boreal forest on the east side of Lake Winnipeg.”
As part of the Manitoba government’s plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, Trees for Tomorrow was launched in 2008.  The province is now committed to plant more than six million trees in Manitoba by 2012.  So far, Manitobans have planted or been provided with almost three million hybrid poplar cuttings and conifer seedlings.
Most of the seedlings are grown at the province’s Pineland Forest Nursery in Hadashville and provided by the province, with the Manitoba Forestry Association assisting in the delivery of the program.  The program contributes to the UN’s Billion Tree Campaign and also offsets local carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, said Selinger.
In 2010, a total of almost 1.4 million trees were planted or provided by the Trees for Tomorrow program.  In addition, many plantations and shelterbelts were established on woodlots and other private lands throughout Manitoba.  A large number of trees have been given away to the public and last year major tree-planting initiatives such those at the floodway in Winnipeg and Fort Whyte Alive were completed.
 Any landowner who is interested in planting trees on their property can visit the Trees for Tomorrow website at contact the Manitoba Forestry Association.
Depending on the parcel of land and on the plan developed, Trees for Tomorrow could provide free seedlings, site preparation and tending for the young trees.
Also in acknowledgment of Canadian Environment Week, premier announced the province is launching Manitoba’s new air-quality website.  The site provides information on locations where air quality is measured on a continuous basis using the air-quality health index for sites where it is reported and other online information.
“Clean air is essential to our health,” said Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie.  “The province is committed to making sure air-quality information is easily available to Manitobans and that we take the steps necessary to keep our air clean.”
More information on Trees for Tomorrow can be found under Forestry Branch at, Green Manitoba’s Sustainable Development Initiatives Directory at and at the Manitoba Forestry Association’s website at under Programs.
Manitoba’s new air quality website can be found at
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Monday, June 06, 2011

June 6, 2011


– – –
Manitoba's Backyard Makeover Continues with Beach, Campsite Expansions: Premier
Birds Hill Provincial Park will undergo a major makeover over the next five years that will significantly improve the popular outdoor adventure and camping destination for Manitoba families, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
“Birds Hill Park is a great getaway for families to easily escape the city for a day or two,” said Selinger.  “We know how much Manitobans love getting outdoors to relax and enjoy our fantastic summers and these improvements will allow more families to have an even better experience at the park.”
The Birds Hill Provincial Park makeover is the largest single-park investment in the government’s plan to invest $100 million in provincial parks over the next five years, Selinger said.  An estimated 730,000 people visit Birds Hill Park every year, making it the busiest park in the provincial park system.  Development plans over the next five years will address some of the areas of heaviest demand on the park, including the campground and beaches.
The Birds Hill Provincial Park redevelopment plan includes:
  • expanding the campground to include approximately 100 new fully serviced campsites, modern washrooms and new play areas;
  • expanding the existing lake and beach area to accommodate more visitors;
  • expanding and improving beach amenities such as new concessions and play areas, new beach volleyball and tennis courts, additional picnic areas and pathway connections, and new washrooms;
  • constructing a new visitor centre, which will welcome people to Birds Hill Park and introduce visitors to the recreational and educational opportunities within the park and offer information about the Manitoba provincial park system; and
  • upgrading roadways and buildings.
The approximate cost for the Birds Hill Provincial Park redevelopment is $22 million over the next five years, the premier said. 
“Our investment ensures more families than ever can enjoy Manitoba’s most visited provincial park,” said Selinger.  “The government is committed to ensuring our park system is one of the best in Canada.  We have a lot to be proud of and it’s time to show the world our backyard.”
The Manitoba provincial park free entry program is in effect for the third consecutive year to ensure that all families have access to the province’s natural outdoor playground, he added.
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June 6, 2011


Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby joined students, parents and community members at the Peaceful Village classroom in Gordon Bell High School today to see first-hand one of the projects supported by the $4-million Bright Futures Fund.
“The Peaceful Village supports students and helps them graduate from high school with the skills they need to better their lives through post-secondary education and training,” Selby said.  “I look forward to seeing how this fund continues to change the lives of young people who might otherwise not think they have post-secondary education within their reach.”
The Peaceful Village program, started in 2008, is intended to reduce the number of immigrant and refugee students who leave school between junior high and high school by providing culturally relevant and targeted programming.  The program is based at Gordon Bell High School (grades 9 to 12) and Hugh John MacDonald School (grades 7 to 9) and includes tutoring, mentoring, elders and family/caregiver involvement, cultural mentorship in the arts, passion projects and other components designed to help students succeed.  The program encourages the families and caregivers of students to become involved in community activities connected to the program.
In 2010-11, Bright Futures supported 30 participants at Hugh John MacDonald and 50 participants at Gordon Bell High School.
“The Peaceful Village is a powerful example of what can happen when partners work together for the benefit of youth and their families,” said Suzanne Hrynyk, chair, Winnipeg School Board.  “We are very pleased to see how the Peaceful Village helps newcomer students and their families to achieve success in their new country.”
“Part of the success of the Peaceful Village partnership comes from helping newcomer families communicate with program staff, build relationships within the school community, take an active role in their children’s education and receive extra support for their own learning goals as new Canadians,” Selby said.   “This is a made-in-Manitoba solution that helps students and their families become leaders in their communities, work through social and economic challenges, and empower them to succeed in college or university.”
“The Peaceful Village is a program that benefits greatly from the wisdom shared by families who come to Manitoba from all over the world,” said Alysha Slone, program co-ordinator.  “Through the families’ involvement, the program helps to create space for new and culturally responsive educational strategies to enrich the schooling experiences of newcomer youth.
We are incredibly grateful for the support we receive from Manitoba Advanced Education and Literacy and we see this kind of support as evidence of the government’s commitment to education that is deeply connected to community development.”
Programs and services have expanded over the past three years to include village kitchens, gardening co-operatives, English-as-an-additional-language classes for families on Saturdays, theatre and music programs, and family-entry meetings that have created and maintained communication links with parents and guardians in the program.  The Peaceful Village has also established and expanded a language bank that today includes Arabic, Farsi, Nepalese, Swahili, Mandarin and Dinka.
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Friday, June 03, 2011

June 3, 2011


Premier Greg Selinger presented 10 Grade 12 students from across the province with the Premier’s Healthy Living Award for Youth, at a ceremony held today at the Legislative Building.
“Our award winners share a common thread – a willingness to help others, outstanding leadership qualities and a dedication to healthy living,” said Selinger.  “Their efforts are helping to build stronger, healthier communities throughout Manitoba.”
This year’s recipients of healthy-living awards are:
  • Jordan Beer, Springfield Collegiate Institute, Oakbank;
  • Grant Burch, Stonewall Collegiate, Stonewall;
  • Melissa Campbell, Stonewall Collegiate, Stonewall;
  • Sara Catellano, West Kildonan Collegiate, Winnipeg;
  • Gurpreet Chahal, Sisler High School, Winnipeg;
  • Natalie Dearborn, École communautaire Réal-Bérard, Saint-Pierre-Jolys;
  • Veronica Fieldhouse, Glenlawn Collegiate Institute, Winnipeg;
  • Shayla Hickie, Morris School, Morris;
  • Kevin Nikkel, St. Paul’s High School, Winnipeg; and
  • Naomi Sawchuk, Vincent Massey Collegiate, Winnipeg.
Each participant received a medal and certificate for their achievements, as well as a letter of congratulations from the premier.
“These young citizens are outstanding role models for other children and youth,” said Selinger. “They make our province a better place to live and they are truly inspiring.”
The Premier’s Healthy Living Award for Youth builds on the existing Manitoba Youth Leadership Scholarship Program that recognizes Grade 12 students who have engaged in meaningful volunteer activities that promote leadership, citizenship and healthy living in their schools and communities.
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