Pushing for programs to be maintained

Over the past few decades, under different governments, a wide variety of Elmwood community organizations and residents have benefited greatly from provincial taxpayer-funded programs like Neighbourhoods Alive! And Community Places.

Elmwood organizations range from the many child daycares to neighbourhood churches; from community clubs like Chalmers, Bronx Park, Clara Hughes, and Melrose Community Clubs to the Elmwood Curling Club; from seniors’ groups like the Elmwood-East Kildonan Seniors Active Living Centre at 180 Poplar Ave. and Good Neighbours Active Living Centre at Bronx Park to playgrounds at 575 Larsen and parent councils like the one at Lord Selkirk School. All of these organizations and more have relied on these programming funds to help them with special community projects.

Here in Elmwood, this funding has meant important improvements to community spaces, like refurbished kitchens, new roofing, grandstands, rink lights, ice-clearing equipment, HVAC improvements, community gardens, upgrading water purification systems and help with ground maintenance. These are just a few examples out of a long list of a great variety of projects that have all made a difference in our community. In many instances, these community groups have undertaken private fundraising efforts in addition to government funding, to help fund these projects.

It’s important to note that program funds from Community Places and Neighbourhoods Alive! are submitted to professional staff for assessment, further ensuring residents are receiving value for their provincial tax dollars spent.

As many of you may have heard, the current government has decided to "pause" and review these programs, to "provide a measurable return on investment". There’s no mistaking that these programs, and all these projects have made a big difference in our community. Every year, there are many important project applications that aren’t approved because of the obvious limitations of funds available. The demands and need are constant. That being said, I will be pushing this government to maintain these types of supports to our community because they have made, and should continue to make, meaningful improvements for the growing needs of our community.

I would also like to say a big thank you to residents of Kildonan Horizon (505 Munroe Ave.) and their staff. As always, I enjoyed renewing acquaintances at my MLA "Tea Party" on Jan. 10. It was a great opportunity to report and discuss many of the important local issues at hand, and how they are impacted by Community Places and Neighbourhoods Alive! funding.

If you need any further information on this issue, please contact me at 204-415-1122 or email me at Jim.Maloway@YourManitoba.ca.