Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Here's the link to the Video - Shine

Mark Penner "Cyclist: and Maiko Watson new video "Shine

New video. Awesome is the word. Check out and share if you like.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More Update in community facilities

August 26, 2014


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Winnipeg Community Infrastructure Program Providing Benefits for Communities: Minister Blady

The Manitoba government is investing more funding for public and not-for-profit community facilities to rehabilitate, upgrade and expand many of Winnipeg’s popular recreation options and create more green spaces for local families, Healthy Living and Seniors Minister Sharon Blady, on behalf of Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief, minister responsible for the City of Winnipeg, announced today.

“We are providing long-term, recreational and wellness benefits for communities,” said Minister Blady.  “These projects are providing opportunities for children and families to engage in recreational activities, giving them a positive outlet for their energy and providing a focus for family entertainment.”

As part of more than $630,000 announced today, the province is supporting the Westwood Community Child Care Inc. with $36,990 toward kitchen renovations.  The renovations will include new cabinetry, a triple sink, a separate hand-washing station, an upgraded floor surface and a reconfigured layout to allow for more storage.

“The renovation of our kitchen will improve our program in many ways,” said Tracy Bijl, executive director, Westwood Community Child Care Inc.  “We use this space, not only for cooking and as a snack/lunch room but as a vital part of our program.  Whether it’s presenting science experiments, turning the space into a haunted house or having an after-school dance off, this space is part of what makes our centre a community.” 

Other organizations in west Winnipeg receiving funding include the Westwood Presbyterian Church, The Oaks Neighborhood Association, Westwood Community Church, WRENCH, Council of South Sudanese of Manitoba, Artspace, Sunshine House Inc., Knox Centre, Royal Canadian Legion St. James #4, Deer Lodge Curling Club, Deer Lodge Community Centre, Taking Charge Inc., West Central Women’s Resource Centre and the Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club.

The second application intake for the Winnipeg Community Infrastructure Program began on Apr. 14, making grants available for projects that will provide long-term recreational and wellness benefits to communities, Minister Blady said.  Projects involve rehabilitation, improvement or expansion of existing community assets such as athletic facilities, community centres, parks and cultural facilities.

The second application intake has closed and more projects will be announced shortly, the minister said.

The minister noted since the $7.5‑million, three-year program launched last year, the province has committed nearly $6.5 million toward more than 140 projects to upgrade community centres, parks, trails, bike paths, arenas and gyms in Winnipeg.

For more information about the Winnipeg Community Infrastructure Program (WCIP), go to:

High Quality Child Care in Manitoba

August 27, 2014


Families in the St. Andrews area will have greater access to the affordable, licensed child care with the construction of a new 40-space centre near the local school, Housing and Community Development Minister Peter Bjornson, on behalf of Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today.

“By increasing child care options, more parents in the region will be able to go out to work, attend school, support their families and thrive in their communities,” Minister Irvin-Ross said.  “We are funding more licensed child-care spaces in Manitoba because it’s a priority for families.”

The minister said the new spaces will be created with an investment of almost $2 million for a
stand-alone child-care centre, to be located next to St. Andrews School.  Construction is expected to be completed in mid-2015.

“The board of directors of St. Andrews Child Care is very excited to bring licensed child care to the St. Andrews area,” said Shelly Marques, director, St. Andrews Child Care Inc.  “The addition of 32 preschool and eight infant spaces will definitely have a positive impact on the community.  This will complement our Rivercrest location and allow us to continue serving families in the communities between Winnipeg and Selkirk.”

Provincial legislation now requires child-care centres to be included in schools when a new school is built or is undergoing major renovations.

The budget for child care in Manitoba is more than $152 million, which reflects growth of more than 184 per cent since 1999, the minister said.  There are more than 660 licensed centres across Manitoba, with almost half located in schools, and more than 400 licensed home-based child-care homes.

Manitoba maintains the second-lowest regulated child-care fees in Canada, the minister said.

The Manitoba government recently launched Family Choices 2014, a new five-year plan to create more high-quality child care for Manitoba families including:
investing in more than 5,000 new and newly funded spaces;
  • continuing to build and expand at least 20 early learning and child-care centres in schools with $25 million in additional funding;
  • supporting higher wages for early childhood educators through regular operating grant increases, including a two per cent increase for wages starting in January 2015;
  • developing a special, new wage-enhancement grant specifically to support long-term early childhood educators working in centres;
  • increasing supports for licensed, home-based child-care providers;
  • improving the online registry and child-care website to make them more parent-friendly; and
  • establishing a commission on early learning and child care to look at ways to redesign Manitoba’s system to better meet the needs of families and guide future plans.

More information about Manitoba’s plan to expand child care is available at:

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Aboriginal Communities get a helping hand to break down barriers

August 22, 2014


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Manitoba Works! Helping Provide Northern Employers with Skilled Workers to Grow Businesses: Premier Selinger

The Pas—A new community-based program is helping Aboriginal people overcome barriers to employment, and the challenges in finding and keeping good jobs in The Pas, Premier Greg Selinger announced here today.

“Our Manitoba Works! Cooperative Work Experience pilot program in The Pas is helping local people learn new skills, find good jobs and realize their full potential,” said Premier Selinger.  “It is also helping fulfill the labour needs of northern employers who need skilled workers to grow their businesses.”

Manitoba Works! is a cooperative work experience program that connects Aboriginal job seekers with employers that need skilled workers.  The province works with community service providers who provide training and job placement services, said the premier, adding it also includes comprehensive, ongoing supports for both the worker and the employer, a key to long-term job success.

“This program enhances employment and training opportunities and increases future development in our communities,” said William J. Lathlin, deputy chief, Opaskwayak Cree Nation.  “We look forward to our continued relationship with FireSpirit and the Province of Manitoba.”

The pilot program in The Pas is offered in partnership with FireSpirit, a First Nation-owned company that provides a range of employment services that facilitate training and jobs for people in northern communities as well as providing services to employers looking to increase the Aboriginal workforce. 

“We are proud to be a partner in the Manitoba Works! project in The Pas and as the primary service provider we are very pleased with our project results to date.  Parents with young children, whom we focus on recruiting into our program, in cooperation with Training and Employment Services and Manitoba Employment and Income Assistance, have significant skills and resilience,” said Lawrence Daniels, president and CEO, FireSpirit.  “We have been humbled by the experiences of our clients, by the results they are achieving finding employment and by the personal prosperity they are creating in our area.  This success belongs to our clients and the families they are now working to support.”

Manitoba Works! is also being piloted at three other sites in the province including at Opportunities for Employment, the Momentum Centre and Reaching E-Quality Employment Services in Winnipeg.

“More than 131 participants have already benefited from the four pilot programs including youth, persons with disabilities and parents with young children, and up to 141 additional individuals are expected to participate in the pilot programs,” said Premier Selinger.  “This is a significant part of the government’s skills strategy which builds towards increasing Manitoba’s labour force by 75,000 workers by 2020.”

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New Chief in Manitoba

August 26, 2014


Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn has announced Dr. Megan Bergman will be Manitoba’s new chief veterinary officer and will lead the province’s animal health and welfare, food safety and biosecurity programs.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Bergman to lead our chief veterinary office, where her experience and expertise will help guide our work protecting animal and human health,” said Minister Kostyshyn.

Bergman graduated with a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002 and then entered clinical practice in Manitoba.  In 2006, she joined the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and served in both veterinary and management positions, most recently as Manitoba’s regional director.  Bergman has led or been involved in regional and national responses dealing with avian influenza, anthrax, anaplasmosis and bovine tuberculosis.

Manitoba’s chief veterinarian, the chief veterinary office, the department’s food safety division and other stakeholders work together to protect animals, food and people.  The chief veterinary office is responsible for:
responding to all concerns about animal care and welfare,
  • supporting biosecurity efforts,
  • leading disease surveillance and response activities,
  • collaborating in veterinary public health issues,
  • conducting food safety inspections in provincially licensed facilities,
  • maintaining traceability and premises identification systems, and
  • connecting farmers, processors and others with information and resources on these issues.

For more information about the work of Manitoba’s chief veterinary office, visit:

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Monday, August 25, 2014

People with invisible Disabilities get a break

More equitable system for Handi-Transit users


A voluntary resolution of a human rights complaint has resulted in Handi-Transit’s application and assessment process and written materials undergoing a number of changes.  These changes acknowledge chronic episodic disabilities, specifically referencing pain and fatigue as impacting mobility. 


Modifications to the application form and website took place as a result of a shared effort to resolve a human rights complaint. Complainant Diane Driedger alleged that Handi-Transit did not adequately accommodate people with episodic conditions when they applied for Handi-Transit or appealed its decision.


The Manitoba Human Rights Commission, Handi-Transit and Diane Driedger reviewed the application and assessment process to ensure that this group of individuals was not disadvantaged. 


As a result of the voluntary settlement discussions with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, the changes have made the process more transparent, equitable, and accessible than it was at the time when the complaint was filed.


“This is an important step for the transportation industry to acknowledge that pain and fatigue are symptoms of many invisible disabilities,” Executive Director Azim Jiwa says.  “A settlement like this increases awareness of episodic disabilities and their impact on society and individuals.”


Individuals with diagnosed intermittent pain have periods of good health which are interrupted by periods of illness or disability. Often it is difficult to predict when these “episodes” of disability will occur or how long they will last.  An increasing number of Canadians are living with lifelong episodic disabilities.


Examples of chronic intermittent pain disabilities are: HIV/Aids, multiple sclerosis, lupus, cancer, diabetes and fibromyalgia.


For more information please contact

Patricia Knipe

Manitoba Human Rights Commission



Friday, August 22, 2014

Invitation to have your say

August 22, 2014


Manitobans will have a chance to share views and weigh in on health care priorities to help health regions shape future goals by becoming part of a local health involvement group, Health Minister Erin Selby announced today.

“We all have personal experiences within the health-care system.  It’s those experiences we can draw from to help shape and develop strong regional plans to ensure health care needs are being met in communities across this province.  Not only right now, but for years to come,” said Minister Selby.  “We want to hear from patients and families about ways to address community health issues and develop a stronger health care system.”

Effective Sept. 2, under the Regional Health Authorities Amendment Act, Manitoba’s five health regions will be responsible for developing health involvement groups and each region will have at least four groups made up of a minimum of 10 members.

Group terms can vary in length from one to three years and members can be re-appointed for one or more additional terms.  Groups will also be required to meet four times per year and provide reports back to regional board.  The findings will be shared annually with the minister.

“It’s vital that Manitobans are involved with the health-care system to ensure safe, quality health care is available where and when it’s needed,” said Jan Currie, board chair, Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety.  “These groups will involve the public in planning health-care services which will help improve the patient experience and enhance safety for patients throughout the health-care system.”

“Patients are the centre of this initiative and I’m looking forward to discussion that helps individuals provide strategic advice to enhance services in their communities,” said the minister.

Manitobans wanting to apply or get more information about the health involvement groups can visit: or contact your local regional health authority office.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Whistleblower Legislation - Review of Public Interest Disclosure Act

August 11, 2014


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Government welcomes Recommendations form Review of Public Interest Disclosure Act: Minister Howard

The Manitoba government has made the report on the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act (PIDA) available following a review of the legislation, Finance Minister Jennifer Howard, minister responsible for the Civil Service Commission, announced today.  The review was conducted by Dianna Scarth, former executive director of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.

“We believe that people should feel that they are able to bring forward concerns when they see wrongdoing without the fear of reprisal,” said Minister Howard.  “We were the first province to bring in stand-alone legislation to protect whistleblowers and we welcome these recommendations which will allow us to make the legislation even stronger.”

PIDA was proclaimed in April 2007.  The act facilitates disclosure and investigation of significant or serious wrongdoing in or relating to the public service, and protects people who make disclosures from reprisal.

The report contains a total of 10 recommendations made in the context of the evolution of whistleblower protection legislation across Canada since 2007.  The recommendations fall within four major areas:

  • recommendations to ensure all employees receive adequate education programs and that designated officers are adequately trained;
  • recommendations to create a central process to ensure that all bodies covered by PIDA have effective measures in place to provide them with support when creating procedures and interpreting the act, and to track and gather data related to internal disclosures among all departments, bodies or organizations, and make it available to the public;
  • recommendations that would clarify and amend procedures relating to the ombudsman’s responsibilities under PIDA; and
  • recommendations to strengthen the protections available to address allegations of reprisal by giving the ombudsman the authority to investigate and take immediate action to address acts of reprisals.

In addition to recommendations, the report found that overall PIDA has functioned effectively and that its procedures and protections were carefully considered and appropriate for the time the legislation was drafted and proclaimed.  The report also notes that PIDA is  comprehensive, stand-alone legislation which sets out clear definitions of wrongdoings and provides options for employees.

Minister Howard committed today to providing all government employees with annual updated info on whistleblower protection.

“We recognize that as whistleblower protection in Canada evolves, we need to build on the solid foundation we already have here in Manitoba.  Ensuring all employees have the tools they need is a big part of that,” said Minister Howard.  “We will be reviewing these recommendations and consulting with stakeholders to see the best way to update our legislation.”

The full report can be viewed online at

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Resource Officers, firefighters honoured

August 19, 2014


– – –
Staff Dedication to Public Safety, Community Recognized: Minister Mackintosh

Manitoba has created two new awards, the Minister’s Conservation Officer Community Service Award and the Wildland Fire Fighter of the Year Award to honour public service efforts both on and off the job, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh announced at an awards ceremony at the Legislative Building today.

“We have incredible employees and many of them put in extraordinary efforts to make Manitoba a safer and great place to live, work or visit and we felt it was time to better recognize these efforts,” Minister Mackintosh said.  “We are proud of all our staff, but some contributions go above and beyond and these achievements need to be celebrated.”

These new awards recognize exemplary public safety efforts but also pay tribute to volunteer work in the community whether through efforts with service groups, sports teams or other community involvement.

The new Conservation Officer Community Service Award is presented to:

Randy Woroniuk, a regional field supervisor who retired in 2013. Woroniuk served as a natural resource officer for more than 31 years in the Virden, Wabowden, West Hawk, Bissett and Riverton districts as well as in the Gimli regional office.  Woroniuk coached numerous community sports teams, served as a first responder, emergency services co-ordinator, councillor, school trustee and mayor of Bissett. He is still involved in the Interlake Parish Council and Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Parish Council.

Woroniuk also spends countless volunteer time co-ordinating an ice fishing derby and canoe trip for air cadets and serving as a mentor for young hunters by teaching them the rules, proper hunting conduct and ethics.

The first-ever Wildland Fire Fighter of the Year Award is presented to:

Scott Wishart, a seasonal fire ranger in Cormorant.  Wishart has been with the fire program since 1984 and has worked in almost every position available, from fire fighting to administering wildfire training courses to thousands of people over the past 25 years.  Wishart’s wilderness skills and his physical strength are widely known throughout the region and he’s been named ‘king trapper’ at the Northern Manitoba Trappers festival five times. Wishart leads by example. 

In addition to the time he spends as an advisor to the Cormorant town council, he is the local Cormorant Trappers Association president and provides meat to the community as well as offering vegetables from his large garden.  Working with his own children, he takes local teens to a family camp and teaches them how to live off the land in a traditional lifestyle.  These efforts, his humble hard-working attitude and his perfect safety record make Wishart a most deserving recipient of the first-ever Wildland Fire Fighter of the Year Award.

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August 20, 2014


– – –
Modernizing Equipment will Improve Diagnostic Services in Manitoba: Minister Selby

The Manitoba government is investing $11.9 million in new diagnostic equipment to replace aging equipment nearing the end of its service life, Health Minister Erin Selby announced today.

“Modernizing health equipment is a priority to ensure that health-care facilities continue to offer the best possible care to Manitoba’s families for years to come,” said Minister Selby.  “By replacing old technology, we can make our diagnostic services even better.”

Equipment purchases will include:

  • a multi-detector scanner, portable ultrasound machine and dual-detector radiography suite with ceiling-mounted patient lift at Health Sciences Centre;
  • a CT scanner and C-arm at Concordia Hospital;
  • a CT scanner at Misericordia Health Centre;
  • a gamma camera at Brandon Regional Health Centre;
  • conventional radiographic systems in Glenboro, Flin Flon and Minnedosa;
  • a mass spectrometer and portable ultrasound scanner at St. Boniface General Hospital;
  • radiography suites in Eriksdale and Neepawa;
  • new computed radiography equipment which enhances the X-ray machines in Dauphin and Swan River;
  • an ultrasound scanner at Victoria General Hospital; and
  • a high-resolution digital ultrasound system at St. Boniface Cancer Care.

“Diagnostic Services Manitoba is proud to offer imaging services to Manitoba’s rural communities,” said Jim Slater, CEO.  “The equipment upgrades allow us to continue providing safe, quality results that matter to patients and their physicians to help diagnose and treat health concerns.”

The minister noted that since 1999 the provincial government has invested more than $145 million in new and replacement diagnostic equipment and services across the province.  These investments have resulted in better services for Manitobans, for example, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans alone have increased from 10, 622 in 1999 to 70,410 in 2013.

For more information on diagnostic services in Manitoba, visit

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 12, 2014


Today, the Manitoba government unveiled a monument at The Forks in honour and recognition of missing or murdered Aboriginal women and girls in the province, Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson announced today.

“This is a very important day for families of Manitoba’s missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls as we unveil a monument in their honour and recognition,” said Minister Robinson.  “Manitoba continues to support families who have tragically and violently lost a loved one in a very tangible and symbolic way with the installation of this monument and we continue our community partnerships on this most critical issue.”

The monument aesthetically, symbolically and physically represents and honours Manitoba’s missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls, the minister noted.

“Many families have no place to honour, grieve or celebrate their loved one. This monument offers such a space to families and community seeking to honour Aboriginal women and girls who were sadly taken from their families,” Minister Robinson said.

“Ka Ni Kanichihk is proud to partner with the Government of Manitoba on the development of this monument which stands as a testament to the need and benefit of community engagement and government partnership,” said Leslie Spillett, executive director, Ka Ni Kanichihk.

The monument, the first of its kind in Canada, marries both community and government partnership on the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls while serving as an educational and public awareness mechanism to engage all Manitobans, Canadians and visitors in this most critical issue, Minister Robinson adde

Mayfair New Recreation Centre Ready to be Used

Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief, minister responsible for the City of Winnipeg (at mic) was joined by City Councillor Jenny Gerbasi (left), Mayor Sam Katz (far right) and local children for the official opening of the new Mayfair Recreation Centre

August 13, 2014


– – –
New Space Offering Play Space, Family-oriented Programming

Fort Rouge area families can now enjoy more recreation opportunities in a new state-of-the-art building for family enrichment services and programs at the Mayfair Recreation Centre, Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief, minister responsible for the City of Winnipeg, and Mayor Sam Katz announced today.

“This facility supports volunteers and community leaders who work to give families a sense of belonging in their neighbourhoods and provides young people opportunities to discover and grow their talents,” said Minister Chief.  “By working together on projects like these, we are building a city where the future is bright.”

The Building Communities Initiative II (BCI II) provided $1.5 million to the project, cost-shared equally by the city and province.  The City of Winnipeg also provided $800,000 from its capital fund.  Events at the site will include free-play programming and a variety of community-led activities by groups such as Winnipeg Harvest, Families Forward Pre-School Program, which is a provincially funded Healthy Child program, and Healthy Babies Group organized by the Women’s Health Clinic.

“Mayfair Recreation Centre serves the community by providing a safe place for youth and families to share in teaching and learning in the community kitchen, enjoy sports and recreational activities, and by providing much-needed space to community groups that support safe and healthy living,” Mayor Katz said.  “The City of Winnipeg is proud to partner with the Province of Manitoba to bring this invaluable neighbourhood facility to life.”

The new 3,600-sq.-ft., fully accessible facility is made of custom pre-fabricated concrete panels and includes a community kitchen, multi-purpose/skate change area, multi-purpose activity space, basketball nets and storage for Winnipeg Harvest.  Its design and construction has resulted in a Manitoba Hydro Power Smart Designation. The asphalt courts will be resurfaced and rink lighting will be added.  The skate bench in the multi-purpose space is made from reclaimed elm trees.

The BCI II partnership is a multi-year, cost-shared capital initiative developed jointly by the Manitoba government and the City of Winnipeg.  The goal of the funding is to support community revitalization through improvements to local infrastructure in targeted older neighbourhoods and contribute to the vitality, safety and health of communities throughout the city.

Phase One of BCI II provided a total of $10 million between 2010 and 2014.  Of the 38 approved projects under the first phase, 35 have been completed, with the remaining three to be completed in the 2014 construction season.

Phase Two of BCI II will provide an additional $10 million between 2013 and 2015.  An additional 46 projects have been approved under Phase Two, with 10 completed and the remaining to be completed in the 2014 and 2015 construction seasons.

Phase Three of BCI II will provide an additional $3.8 million.  Sixty per cent of the funding for this phase is provided by the City of Winnipeg and 40 per cent is contributed by the Province of Manitoba.  Twenty-seven projects have been approved to date and will be completed in 2014 and 2015.

BCI II projects include improving athletic fields, playgrounds, skate parks, spray and splash pads, basketball and tennis courts, lighting, seating, pathways in parks and upgrades of community centres.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

More resources for cancer patients in the North

Alan McLauchlan, Mayor of The Pas, Health Minister Erin Selby, Helga Bryant, chief executive officer of the Northern Regional Health Authority, Doug Lauvstad, board chair, Northern Regional Health Authority and Dr. Sri Navaratnam, chief executive officer and president of CancerCare Manitoba announce new cancer hubs will soon be operating in The Pas and Thompson

August 11, 2014


– – –
New Hubs to Open Later this Year in The Pas, Thompson

THE PAS—Cancer patients and their families in northern Manitoba will have enhanced cancer treatment and care when new cancer hubs open in The Pas and Thompson later this year, Health Minister Erin Selby announced here today.

“When someone is faced with a cancer diagnosis, it’s important they have quick access to treatment and information,” said Minister Selby.  “The new cancer hubs will be made up of care providers working together to help people across the north get the care they need, when they need it and closer to home.”

The Northern Regional Health Authority Regional Cancer Program hubs will be located in Thompson and The Pas.  Community cancer program hub services will continue to be offered in Flin Flon and will link to the regional hub services in The Pas and Thompson.

The expanded services will include two full-time nurse navigators, who will work out of The Pas and Thompson.  Additional services will be provided by a psychosocial oncology clinician, family physicians with a specialty in oncology, as well as a clerk and a community liaison.  It will cost up to approximately $770,000 annually for the front-line staff to support cancer patients in the region, the minister noted.

“Efforts to make this difficult journey for patients and families experiencing a cancer diagnosis smoother and barrier-free are greatly enhanced with the nursing and social worker supports the hubs provide,” said Helga Bryant, chief executive officer, Northern Regional Health Authority.  “We will welcome these new resources and the support they will provide once they are established in Thompson, The Pas/Flin Flon and outlying communities throughout the region.”

All front-line staff will receive training from CancerCare Manitoba and will support patients at critical points throughout their treatment, Minister Selby said.  The experts who staff cancer hubs will work with local health-care providers and patient navigators to co-ordinate quick diagnosis, treatment and followup for patients, she added.

The hubs will better co-ordinate care and offer some services close to home, reducing costs for patients who might have otherwise had to travel to Winnipeg to receive diagnosis or treatment, the minister said, adding that CancerCare Manitoba expertise will be more accessible to patients and health-care providers across the region.

“Through the IN SIXTY project, CancerCare Manitoba and Manitoba Heath, Healthy Living and Seniors have increased resources to provide meaningful support to the First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities to improve access and understanding of cancer services across the cancer spectrum, from prevention, screening, early diagnosis to care, palliative services or survivorship,” said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and CEO, CancerCare Manitoba.  “Working with local primary care providers and the Northern Regional Health Authority, we will improve the cancer journey for those who sometimes face geographic and cultural obstacles to care.”

The minister noted the hubs are part of the $40-million IN SIXTY initiative, which aims to improve the cancer patient journey by moving patients from suspicion of cancer to treatment in 60 days or less, while ensuring quality compassionate care for patients and family.

IN SIXTY is a partnership including the Manitoba government, CancerCare Manitoba, Diagnostic Services of Manitoba, Manitoba e-Health, regional health authorities, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers and other health-care providers.

The new hubs will build on work done to open hubs in western and southern Manitoba to improve access to cancer care services including hubs in Brandon, Dauphin, Selkirk, Steinbach and at Boundary Trails Health Centre.

For more information on the IN SIXTY initiative, visit

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Bahia-Watson-Liza Paul - Pomme Ladies making Waves at Edinburg Fringe Festival

Great Festival Province - Manitoba - to get an injection of Cash

August 4, 2014


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Icelandic Festival First to be Recognized for Outstanding Achievement: Premier Selinger

GIMLI—Gimli’s Icelandic Festival is the first event to be recognized through Celebrate Manitoba, a new program to honour long-running festivals that showcase Manitoba’s history, artistry and cultural diversity, Premier Greg Selinger announced here today.

“This renowned festival is celebrating its 125th year of sharing the Icelandic culture that shaped the Gimli region so their selection as the first honourees in this program is both appropriate and well-earned,” said Premier Selinger.  “Islendingadagurinn has been around since 1890 and is still a major highlight in Manitoba’s impressive summer festival calendar.”

The Celebrate Manitoba program was created to officially recognize cultural festivals that have celebrated the province’s heritage for 50 years or longer, the premier noted.  Designated festivals will receive an official Celebrate Manitoba certificate after 50 years and festivals celebrating 100 years or more will receive a commemorative plaque.

“We have many festivals that set new standards of excellence in honouring our rich cultural heritage, showcase our diversity and celebrate multiculturalism,” said the premier.  “These festivals spotlight the creativity and artistic talents of Manitobans, while supporting local economies, generating tourism and raising our provincial profile regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Eligible annual events are cultural, community or arts festivals that:

  • provide reasonable confirmation of long-running operation of more than 50 years,
  • demonstrate significant community partnership and engagement, and
  • demonstrate the respectful preservation and sharing of culture through their activities.

For more information or to nominate a festival, contact the Arts Branch of Manitoba Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection at 204-945-3847 in Winnipeg or visit

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Your Views are Wanted

August 7, 2014


Manitobans are encouraged to share their views about small-scale food production and processing at three upcoming public consultations or through an online survey, Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.

“Small-scale production, processing and direct-farm sales open new markets for farmers and entrepreneurs across the province,” said Minister Kostyshyn.  “We want to hear from Manitobans about their business ideas, potential opportunities, challenges they face and their understanding of the role of government, while keeping food safety our top priority.  I encourage everyone with an interest in direct-farm sales, locally produced and processed food to participate.”

The consultations are being led by the Small Scale Food Manitoba working group, which was announced by the Manitoba government this past spring and is led by Dr. Wayne Lees.

In addition to consultations with industry groups and other stakeholders, the following public consultations will be taking place:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the St. Norbert Community Hall, 3450 Pembina Hwy.;
  • Wednesday, Aug. 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the St. Viators Parish, 307 Whitmore Ave. E, Dauphin; and
  • Thursday, Aug. 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Classroom A of the Brandon Ag Centre, 1129 Queens Ave., Brandon. 

Manitobans unable to attend these sessions can submit their views through an online survey available at  Online submissions will be accepted until Sept. 15.

The minister said the goals of the Small Scale Food Manitoba working group are to:

  • describe the small-scale food production and processing sector in Manitoba including the types of food produced, the areas of the province where this production and processing takes place, the economic and social impact of this sector and why entrepreneurs engage in small-scale production/processing;
  • characterize the benefits of small-scale food production and processing in Manitoba;
  • lead conversations across Manitoba to assist established, new and potential small processors and direct-farm marketers to move forward and take advantage of market opportunities; and
  • ensure food safety remains the top priority for all Manitobans.


For more information or to register for the public consultations,  or call 204-821-5322.

There are more than 250 food-processing companies in Manitoba, making it the largest manufacturing sector in the province, Minister Kostyshyn noted.

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Employees work is recognized with increased cash

August 7, 2014


– – –
Improved Wages Would Recognize Valuable Work of Employees: Minister Irvin-Ross

The Manitoba government is enhancing funding for support worker wages at agencies that offer valuable residential services for adults with intellectual disabilities, Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today.

 "We are investing an additional $6 million over three years so that agencies offering residential services for adults with intellectual disabilities can raise the wages of their workers,” Minister Irvin-Ross said.  “These agencies require the new funding so they can continue to attract and retain employees who do important work with adults who have complex needs.”

The fund will permit residential agencies to raise starting wages in each of the next three years to between $13 and $14 an hour by 2017, Minister Irvin-Ross said, adding the changes will start this year.

A committee comprised of agency, union and government representatives will offer guidance in establishing the wage enhancement fund, the minister said, noting this will include developing new standards for training, reviewing agency administrative structures and ensuring the efficient use of funds by agencies.

“Reviewing and increasing wages would create more equitable incomes for workers across the province,” Minister Irvin-Ross said.  “This will especially benefit smaller and rural residential agencies that have historically been unable to offer wages that are competitive with larger agencies.”

This wage enhancement fund is similar to one developed for Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care.  That fund has been successful in ensuring better wages and training among early childhood educators working at child-care centres across the province, the minister said.

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Women's World Cup Mascot


FIFA mascot Shueme stops by the Legislative Building on Wednesday, August 6, to say hi to Sports Minister Ron Lemieux. Winnipeg will be one of the Canadian cities hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup next summer. There will be seven games played at Investors Group Field in June and July.READ MORE

Bits N bytes - Winnipeg

Folklorama 2014 August 3-16
Enjoy the beauty and diversity of our city of Winnipeg
Manitoba firefighters head to British Columbia and Northwest Territories to help battle forest fires.
Steve Ashton, minister of Infrastructure and Transportation (centre), Steve Topping, Executive Director, regulatory and operational services (left), and Doug McNeil, deputy minister, Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation (right) give daily flood update
Peter Bjornson, provincial minister of Housing and Community Development, and Candice Bergen, federal Minister of State for Social Development, signed an agreement on July 29 to jointly invest $104 million over five years to help create more affordable housing for individuals and families across the province.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Judge hired in Manitoba

July 22, 2014


Attorney General Andrew Swan today announced the appointment of a new judge to the provincial court.  Catherine Hembroff of The Pas has been appointed to the court in Thompson.

“Judge Hembroff has been living in northern Manitoba for almost two decades, practising criminal law as a Crown attorney and taking part in a number of community activities,” said Minister Swan.  “Her extensive experience and expertise will be a valuable asset in her new role.”

After receiving her law degree from the University of Manitoba in 1994, Hembroff began working as a provincial Crown attorney in 1995, serving in The Pas and other northern communities.  In 2008, she became the supervising senior Crown attorney in The Pas.  She has made regular presentations at legal conferences and has worked with justice committees, elders and others to make improvements to the court system in the region.

Hembroff is involved in her community as a board member of a local preschool and has volunteered with a number of local organizations including Girl Guides of Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society, and local museums and festivals.  In 2006, she received a commendation from the Governor General of Canada and in 2004 she received a rescue commendation from the Lifesaving Society.

Hembroff was selected from a list of candidates recommended by an independent judicial nominating committee, chaired by Chief Judge Ken Champagne.  This committee also included three community representatives, representatives of the Law Society of Manitoba, the Manitoba branch of the Canadian Bar Association and a provincial court judge.  The appointment is effective immediately.

An official swearing-in ceremony will be scheduled as soon as possible.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014


– – –
Updated Legislation Would Strengthen Consumer Rights: Minister Lemieux

Manitoba condominium owners and buyers will have stronger consumer protection through a proposed new condominium act, Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux announced today.
“We recognize the growing popularity of condo ownership as a housing option, and the new condominium act strengthens consumers’ rights when buying condominiums and provides better consumer protection for Manitoba condo owners,” said Minister Lemieux.  “These protections will benefit new and existing condo owners now and for years to come.”
The proposed new condominium act would ensure Manitoba condo buyers would have better protection through measures such as:
  • extending the cooling-off period to seven days from 48 hours;
  • enhancing cancellation rights, that would allow buyers to cancel if any material changes are made to what was promised before they move in;
  • creating enhanced disclosure of items such as the cooling-off period and cancellation rights;
  • requiring developers to conduct a reserve fund study before selling any units that are converted from apartments so the buyers would have a clear view of the building’s condition before they buy;
  • ensuring unit owners would have a voice on the developer’s board; and
  • giving buyers a projection of anticipated operating costs for the first year that owners would pay common expenses and would require the developer to pay the difference if real costs exceed the estimate.
Current condo owners, condo corporations and condo boards would also benefit under the new proposed act by:
  • providing better information through a reserve fund study that would let unit owners know what large repairs may be needed in the near future; 
  • having better management as boards would be better able to enforce bylaws and rules through fines for non‑compliant owners; and
  • introducing new requirements that would also ensure directors of boards, including developers’ boards, must act in the best interests of the condo corporation.

“We are thrilled by the positive innovations and improvements contained in the proposed condominium act,” said Robert Giesbrecht, chair, national government relations committee, the Canadian Condominium Institute.  “Many of our members have been advocating for these changes for some time and we are pleased that Manitoba’s condominium laws are being modernized and strengthened.”

It is estimated there are about 50,000 Manitobans living in condominiums.  Condominium corporations will receive notification of the changes by mail and be given time to make the necessary changes if needed.  The proposed legislation would take effect Feb. 1, 2015, Minister Lemieux said.

For more information on many topics and a plain language explanation of the major changes in the proposed legislation go to

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Cottage Lots

June 19, 2014


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136 Lots Added to the First-come, First-served Cottage Lot Program

Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship advises that on June 26 Manitobans will have the first opportunity to select from new first-come, first-served cottage lots available across the province.

Following the eastern area lot selection meeting and the 2013 cottage lot draw, 126 lots in existing subdivisions are now available for purchase or lease through the First-come, First-served Cottage Lot Program.  The new additions include 49 lakefront, nine lake-view and 23 provincial park lots.  In addition, 10 lots not claimed after two or more cottage lot draws and returned to the province will be made available for sale or lease.

Since the program began in 2009, 142 lots have been sold or leased.

Manitoba residents can apply in person from June 26 to July 9 at 200 Saulteaux Cres. in Winnipeg or by mail as of July 10.  Non-Manitoba residents can apply starting on Oct. 24.

More information on new inventory, program rules and guidelines for the First-come, First-served Cottage Lot Program is available at

Focus is on Income assistance Participants finding good jobs

June 19, 2014


– – –
Manitoba Works! and Rent Assist Programs Will Help Meet Growing Demand for Skilled Workers, Reduce Poverty: Minister Oswald

The Manitoba government is introducing two new programs that will help employment and income assistance participants find good jobs while continuing to grow the province’s skilled workforce, Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.

“Employers have told us that more skilled workers are necessary so they can expand and grow, while community advocates have told us that greater supports are necessary to help those in need,” said Minister Oswald.  “Manitoba Works! and Rent Assist will help low-income Manitobans succeed at work and increase their income, while also helping Manitoba’s economy meet the growing demand for skilled workers.”

Through the Manitoba Works! Co-operative Work Experience Program, community-based organizations will help more than 250 employment and income assistance (EIA) participants to overcome barriers to employment and the challenges in finding and keeping good jobs, the minister said.  The program is currently being piloted at four sites in the province including Opportunities for Employment, the Momentum Centre and Reaching E-Quality Employment Services in Winnipeg, and FireSpirit in northern Manitoba.

“The Manitoba Works! program gave me an opportunity to develop new skills and get a good job,” said Karl Anderson, employee, Shoppers Drug Mart.  “At the same time, it’s helped me develop confidence and understand what I have to offer an employer.  I’m really excited about my future, thanks to Manitoba Works!”

A defining feature of Manitoba Works! is the co-operative work experience that links individuals with employers who need skilled workers, Minister Oswald said.  Community service providers, after providing training and job placement services, will continue with comprehensive supports for both the worker and the employer, to ensure that once a link to employment is made, individuals will have every opportunity to continue to realize their workforce potential, she added.

“We commend government for taking this innovative approach to helping employers, particularly when hiring individuals who face challenging barriers to employment,” said Amir Baksh, owner, Winnipeg Shoppers Drug Mart.  “Manitoba Works! is a win-win endeavour that will address skill shortages and help individuals who are having difficulty finding a job to realize their full potential.  We are thrilled to be a part of it.”

Manitoba Works! is part of the provincial skills strategy, building towards the government’s goal of increasing Manitoba’s labour force by 75,000 workers by 2020.

Minister Oswald also announced details on Manitoba’s Rent Assist program, a new financial benefit available to both social assistance recipients and other low-income Manitobans.  Rent Assist will replace the current EIA shelter allowance and RentAid programs.

“We know that just raising welfare rates can create poverty traps, where those trying to make the transition from welfare to work may be worse off working than on welfare,” said Minister Oswald.  “That is why the Rent Assist program increases benefits for both social assistance recipients and low-income workers.  It is portable and will follow people into jobs, promoting transitions to employment, and goes hand-in-hand with Manitoba Works! and the enhanced efforts to connect individuals to good jobs and financial independence.”

Individuals on EIA living in private rental accommodations will receive increases of between $50 and $70 per month for shelter costs.  Single individuals, for example, will now receive $435 dollars per month, compared to the previous $365 per month.

Minister Oswald also reiterated the government’s commitment that rates will increase over a four-year period to 75 per cent of Median Market Rent (MMR) for EIA participants.

Individuals outside of EIA will receive a maximum of $270 per month with benefits gradually declining as recipients increase their earnings.  A new Rent Assist calculator will be available online in July to help Manitobans determine if they are eligible for Rent Assist and their estimated benefit amount, the minister said.

“Community stakeholders asked for an increase in shelter benefits for those on social assistance, and we are very pleased the government has responded with a benefit that will help not only those on social assistance, but low-income Manitobans more broadly,” said Kirsten Bernas, research and policy manager, the Canadian Community Economic Development Network.  “For those who are able to work, a good job with the right supports provides a path out of poverty and promotes social inclusion.  Rent Assist will make this path an easier one for people to take, while providing more low-income Manitobans with greater access to affordable housing.”

Manitoba Works! and Rent Assist are part of Manitoba’s Strategy for Sustainable Employment and a Stronger Labour Market.  For more information, visit:

Manitoba Service Excellence Award

June 20, 2014


Exceptional contributions by provincial employees in the service of the public and government were recognized by Premier Greg Selinger today at the 16th annual Manitoba Service Excellence Awards.

“The Manitoba government’s plan to steadily grow the economy and create good jobs is working in large part because of the strong efforts by the Manitoba civil servants who design, manage and deliver the programs and services that keep this province moving forward,” said Premier Selinger.  “I extend my sincere congratulations to all the recipients of this year’s awards.  I would like to thank all provincial civil servants for the hard work they do and their commitment to serving the people of Manitoba.”

The awards recognize excellence in workplace performance and community service.  They include an award for cross-sector teams of provincial government and external partners such as public-sector, volunteer or community-based organizations, whose efforts foster excellence in meeting public needs and improved programs and services for Manitobans.

Awards were presented for the following:

  • Premier’s Career Achievement Award – Irvin (Issie) Frost, Manitoba Justice;
  • Leadership Award – Jon Gunn, Manitoba Municipal Government;
  • Service Excellence IndividualAward – Susan Turbett, Manitoba Jobs and the Economy;
  • InnovationAward –General Child and Family Services, Building Futures Team;
  • Service Excellence TeamAward –Manitoba Municipalities Online Implementation Team; and
  • PartnershipAward – Subdivision Review – Joint Technical Advisory Committee.

The Manitoba Service Excellence Awards were established through Service Quality Partners and were presented for the first time in 1999.

Awarded the distinction of being one of Manitoba’s Top Employers for 2013 and 2014, the Government of Manitoba is one of the province’s largest employers with over 14,000 employees, the premier said, adding provincial employees make up a talented, highly skilled and professional workforce that reflects the diversity of the people of Manitoba.

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Bits and Bytes Manitoba News

Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum, Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief and Winnipeg School Division Board Chair Suzanne Hrynyk pictured with the Eagles Singers Drum Group from R.B. Russell Vocational High School. Minister Allum today announced new tutoring supports for academic skills and upgrades to shop classes at the high school

Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald announcing the Manitoba Works! Co-operative Work Experience Program, along with the new Rent Assist Program. Joining the Minister are (L to R): Karl Anderson, Shoppers Drug Mart employee; Amir Baksh, owner/operator of two Shoppers Drug Mart locations; Shawn Mahoney, Executive Director, Opportunities for Employment; and Kirsten Bernas, Research and Policy Manager, Canadian Community Economic Development Network Manitoba

Health Minister Erin Selby (left), announced that the second of three mobile clinics will begin seeing patients this fall in Southern Health – Sante Sud. The Southern Health–Santé Sud mobile clinic will gradually introduce services first in the communities of Dominion City and Woodridge, followed by Plumas, Langruth and St. Ambroise, the minister said. Kathy McPhail, CEO Southern Health–Santé Sud and MLA Thomas Nevakshonoff are seen here with the Minister during the announcement

Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh, Rob Nedotiafko and Laureen Janusz from the department announce phase I of the zebra mussel treatment program is complete, and extensive monitoring will continue
 Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh and Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton announce Manitoba’s comprehensive Surface Water Management Strategy with representatives of Ducks Unlimited, Keystone Agricultural Producers and the Lake Winnipeg Foundation

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cultural Centres get boost

May 27, 2014


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Investments Help Strengthen Neighbourhoods, Create Opportunities for Families: Minister Bjornson

The Manitoba government is investing in recreational, cultural and learning opportunities for families in communities across Manitoba, with support of $2.9 million under the Community Places program, Housing and Community Development Minister Peter Bjornson said today.

“We know communities and neighbourhoods thrive when they have a range of healthy options for recreation, wellness and culture,” said Minister Bjornson.  “We are providing support to 227 community groups who will develop and maintain these important facilities.  The funding will also help leverage over $13 million in support from other sources.”

The Community Places program provides funding and planning assistance to non-profit community organizations to build, upgrade, expand or acquire projects.  Applicants contribute to project costs through local fundraising efforts, grants from other sources or donated labour and materials.

“This year’s projects include museums, playgrounds, multi-use and recreation facilities, child-care centres, libraries, community halls and seniors’ facilities,” said Minister Bjornson.  “The projects can include critical repairs such as fire-safety upgrades, energy-efficiency improvements as well as access upgrades for people with disabilities.”

Among the community groups approved for a grant this year are:

  • École Viscount Alexander School, Winnipeg – $15,000 for phase four of school field improvements including walking trails, bridges and landscaping;
  • the Exchange Community Building, Winnipeg – $40,000 for window replacement and energy upgrades;
  • the Ashley Neufeld softball complex, Brandon – $30,000 toward the installation of a field-irrigation system;
  • the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #11, Morden – $30,000 for renovations to make the washrooms more accessible;
  • Camp Massad, Winnipeg Beach – $25,000 to improve drainage and accessibility;
  • Rotary Park Interactive Play Trail, Thompson – $19,000 for construction of the trail;
  • the community of Waterhen – $10,000 for recreation centre/hall renovations to make the washrooms more accessible; and
  • the community of Lorette – $5,000 toward construction of soccer fields and outdoor rink amenities.

Since its inception, Community Places has provided more than $110million to support over 7,200 community construction projects provincewide.  These grants have leveraged an estimated $730 million in infrastructure improvements in both rural and urban communities.

More information on Community Places and a list of this year’s approved grants can be found at

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Get justice from Small Claims Court Easier

May 12, 2014


The Manitoba government is proposing changes to small claims court that would improve its ability to efficiently and effectively resolve monetary disputes valued at under $10,000, Justice Minister Andrew Swan said today.

“Small claims court helps Manitobans resolve their differences effectively and fairly,” said Minister Swan.  “These changes will result in a more streamlined and accessible system, while also supporting the important work of the province’s court officers.”

The proposed legislation would see the majority of these matters continuing to be heard by small claims court officers that would ensure access to justice can be achieved fairly, within a reasonable time frame and at a reasonable cost, the minister said.  Changes proposed under the Court of Queen’s Bench small claims practices amendment act today would include:

  • allowing court officers and judges to admit into evidence anything considered relevant to the matter;
  • recording all evidence given at a hearing so the transcript is available for an appeal, if one occurs;
  • requiring court officers or judges to issue a summary of their reasons for a decision, which will help inform whether appeals are granted; and
  • allowing appeals only on points of law or jurisdiction, with approval from the Court of Queen’s Bench to proceed.

Disputes involving the provincial government or a government agency would continue to be heard by a Court of Queen’s Bench judge instead of a small claims court officer.  In these matters, appeals would be heard by the Manitoba Court of Appeal.

Manitoba’s small claims court hears about 4,000 matters every year.  For more information about small claims court, visit

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Skip the Dishes to Create New Jobs

June 5, 2014


– – –
Training, Tax Credit Support for Sophisticated New Technology Secures Good Jobs, Training Opportunities for Manitobans: Minister Oswald

The Manitoba government and SkipTheDishes announced today the company will undertake a major expansion that will establish their national headquarters in Winnipeg and create 93 local jobs, said Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald and Josh Simair, founder and chief executive officer for SkipTheDishes. 

“Our government is focused on creating good jobs and training opportunities so young Manitobans have every opportunity to build their future here at home, and this partnership is a good example of what we’re doing with to achieve that,” said Minister Oswald.  “Josh Simair and his team at SkipTheDishes represent a new generation of tech-savvy entrepreneurs who are creating products and services people want, which is helping drive our steady economic growth.”

SkipTheDishes provides door-to-door delivery service from more than 500 restaurants across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, with an expansion into British Columbia currently underway.  The company uses a sophisticated proprietary algorithm dispatch system that enables it to process thousands of orders at performance levels that exceed industry standards ensuring food arrives on time and hot.  It also includes an easy online payment and tipping system.

The new Winnipeg-based jobs will include operations managers, dispatchers, marketing and graphics, IT operators and developers, human resources, administrative support and accounting. Pay will range from $30,000 to 90,000 per year. Delivery drivers are subcontracted and not included in the 93 new jobs announced today.

“Our Winnipeg corporate headquarters will support our algorithmic food-delivery dispatch technology – the key driver behind’s exponential growth and market-leading position,” said Simair.  “The support we’ve received in Manitoba for our growing Canadian technology company has helped us establish SkipTheDishes as a leader in the exciting space of online food delivery.”

The Manitoba government is supporting the SkipTheDishes expansion, securing its national headquarters in Winnipeg with an investment of $300,000 through the Industry Expansion and Workforce Development program.  This support will help the company restructure, train 93 new hires and 25 existing staff, and position it well for a sustainable future here in Manitoba, Minister Oswald said.  In addition, the province is providing $25,000 through the Commercialization Support for Business (CSB) program to help further develop the company’s proprietary technology and $77,000 through the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit program. 

“SkipTheDishes has worked very well for us at Shawarma Khan,” said Obby Khan, owner, Shawarma Khan Restaurant and the Green Juice Company, and SkipTheDishes client.  “An efficient delivery service is an important part of keeping my customers happy.  SkipTheDishes has made deliveries a snap, which has allowed me to focus on growing my business.”

SkipTheDishes was founded by brothers Josh and Chris Simair out of the need for better online food delivery in Western Canada.  The company currently employs over 40 people and works with over 100 food couriers to deliver foods from restaurants to customers in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Red Deer and now Calgary.

Simair said SkipTheDishes is very appreciative of the support received from Yes! Winnipeg including specific information on why Winnipeg was the best choice to locate its national headquarters and arranging key connections to secure workforce and suppliers, and support from the province.

Initial provincial support for SkipTheDishes came from the CSB program, which helps Manitoba businesses seeking to develop and commercialize innovative products, processes and expansion into new markets.  The program may help entrepreneurs at any stage of the business development cycle.

Based on advice received from businesses participating in the CSB program, Minister Oswald also announced changes to streamline the program and improve its ability to help businesses grow.  The program will:

  • ensure that 90 per cent of applications under Stream 1 (commercialization) will be processed within 21 days;
  • streamline the application review process with a single point-of-contact for business;
  • simplify the program by reducing the number of streams to four from seven;
  • double maximum funding under Stream 1 (commercialization) to $50,000 from $25,000; and
  • lift the 10 per cent in-kind contributions limit from the applicant business.

“Entrepreneurs know what they need to succeed and we have listened,” said Minister Oswald. “We are reducing red tape and streamlining programs designed to help Manitoba businesses grow and create jobs.”

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Humans of Manitoba


Manitoba Grieves with Moncton for RCMP Officers' Deaths

June 5, 2014


Manitobans are grieving at the senseless murders of three RCMP officers in Moncton yesterday.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen officers and our hopes for a swift recovery are with the two officers who were wounded in the line of duty.

This is a stark reminder of the risks taken by law enforcement officers on a daily basis, as well as the commitment and sacrifices made by the RCMP and their families.  I would like to commend the efforts of the RCMP and first responders who are responsible for protecting the citizens of Moncton in what must have been, and continues to be, an unimaginably stressful situation.

We stand with our fellow Canadians to offer our support and our deepest sympathies to our friends in New Brunswick during this extremely difficult time.

Opportunities for Manitobans with disabilities

June 3, 2014


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Provincial Government, Red River College Mark Access Awareness Week with New Program to Create Education, Employment Opportunities: Minister Howard

A new pilot program at Red River College (RRC) this fall will provide individuals with intellectual disabilities new educational opportunities focused on successful transitions into good jobs, Finance Minister Jennifer Howard, the minister responsible for persons with disabilities, announced today.
“This new program is an excellent way to improve accessibility to education while supporting the government’s goal to grow the workforce by 75,000 workers,” said Minister Howard.  “Once students complete the program, they will be better positioned to take advantage of job opportunities and build a strong future here in Manitoba.”
The 20-student Transforming Futures program will begin in September 2014 and will include hands-on learning in career exploration, essential employability skills and full integration into RRC programming if a student chooses this option.
“Red River College’s vision aligns with the goals of this program:  to enable all students to build a career, enhance quality of life and contribute to Manitoba’s economic and social prosperity through exceptional applied education and research,” said Stephanie Forsyth, president and chief executive officer, Red River College.  “This is the largest college in the province, and we are uniquely positioned to deliver accessible, innovative programming for students with intellectual disabilities and, with the financial support by the province and support of community champions and private donors, this pilot project is ready for launch.”
A 2013 report from the Canadian Association for Community Living estimated that 70 per cent of adults with intellectual disabilities are unemployed or out of the labour force, and are also three times more likely than non-disabled Canadians to live in poverty.  RRC will be working closely with employers to ensure the program leads to successful job matches for graduates.
“At Bison Transport and the Jessiman Foundation, we are honoured to be supporters of the Transforming Futures program,” said Peter Jessiman, president, Wescan Capital Inc.  “This is one of the most innovative initiatives we have seen in years and we believe it will fundamentally transform the lives of its participants.  We applaud the Government of Manitoba for seeing and supporting the incredible potential of this program and, as a large Manitoba-based employer, look forward to the opportunity of having the graduates working in our organization.”

“We are working closely with employers and educational institutions to make sure that all Manitobans can benefit from the province’s low unemployment rate and steady economic growth,” said Minister Howard.  “Removing barriers and increasing accessibility to education is one key way to ensure Manitobans have the opportunity to take part and further strengthen the workforce.”

The Manitoba government is providing $266,000 to support the pilot program, the minister said.  Registration for the new program will begin June 9 and more information can be found at

Minister Howard added Manitoba’s commitment to disability inclusion recently became law.  The building blocks of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act are accessibility standards that apply to public and private sectors, and target the five areas of customer service, information and communication, transportation, employment and the built environment.

Consultations on the customer service standard will be held on Tuesday, June 17 by webcast and in-person from 1 to 4 p.m. as well asWednesday, June 18 (in-person only) from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Best Western Plus Airport Hotel at 1715 Wellington Ave. in Winnipeg.  Registration each day is at 12:30 p.m.

The minister made the announcements during Manitoba Access Awareness Week, celebrated annually to raise awareness of the barriers facing Manitobans with disabilities.  Individuals with disabilities, organizations and business are encouraged to find ways to prevent and remove barriers to a full and inclusive society.

Details about the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, consultations on the proposed customer service standard and Manitoba Access Awareness Week events are available at

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Expansion of Nutrition Program for Manitoba Sschools

June 5, 2014


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Providing New Funding to Help Provide More Healthy Food for School-aged Children: Minister Allum

The Manitoba government is strengthening its partnership with the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba (CNCM) by providing new funding to help support more nutrition programs for school-aged children across the province, Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum announced today.

“The council strengthens the health and well-being of children and youth in Manitoba schools through education, advocacy and nutrition program support,” said Minister Allum.  “This new funding will ensure they can continue to provide this important service.  Nutritious food helps to feed the mind and body, and by working together we can ensure it remains accessible in schools around the province.”

The Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba is a charitable organization based in Manitoba.  Since 2001, it has supported nutrition programs and raised awareness about the need for food and nutrition policies in schools.  Its work with the province has resulted in increased access to healthy food for school-age children and youth through breakfast and snack programs.

The additional $450,000 in new funding will help the CNCM to engage with high-need school nutrition programs and provide support that will allow for the development of new programs, the minister said.

“It’s because of this critical investment in daily nutrition that thousands of children and youth in Manitoba will be healthier and better prepared to learn, succeed and reach their full potential,” said Viola Prowse, executive director, CNCM.  “An additional benefit to communities is the positive relationships that are built between participants, school staff and volunteers.”

The province has been helping the CNCM to support 177 nutrition programs and 48 vegetable and fruit snack programs throughout the province since 2008 including:

  • 21 programs with First Nations and the Frontier School Division;
  • 78 rural programs (and urban outside Winnipeg);
  • 62 Winnipeg programs;
  • nine alternative programs;
  • seven summer learning and after-school programs; and

“This new funding will help ensure students start their days off right with healthy food to prepare them for learning,” said Healthy Living and Seniors Minister Sharon Blady.  “Through nutrition programs, more children and youth can experience a healthy approach to breakfast or snack foods and gain food skills and confidence that can also be shared at home.”

“Dalhousie School recognizes our important role in nutrition education and learning,” said Marina Wilson, principal.  “We support all of our families by ensuring students are given the opportunity to participate in our nutrition program for breakfast and snacks.  Nutrition and hydration are essential parts of the foundation for a student’s healthy living, growth and development for learning.”

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Government -updates

Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum, Health Minister Erin Selby, MLA Bidhu Jha and Louis Riel School Division Board Chair Hugh Coburn with Gr. 12 students from Collège Béliveau, where Minister Allum today announced new funding for 21 science labs in schools across the province


Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum, Health Minister Erin Selby, MLA Bidhu Jha and Louis Riel School Division Board Chair Hugh Coburn with Gr. 12 students from Collège Béliveau, where Minister Allum today announced new funding for 21 science labs in schools across the province

Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief and Councillor Mike Pagtakhan join students enjoying the new playground equipment at King Edward School.