Friday, June 17, 2011

June 17, 2011


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$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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