Hoping Community Places Program is retained

By James Allum, MLA for Fort Garry-Riverview

As published in The Sou'wester January 17, 2017

From schools to community centres, curling clubs, athletic fields to Legions, where so much of our community life takes place you will find the legacy of the Community Places Program.

Since its inception community leaders have depended on the Community Places Program to build and enhance the capacity of programs and facilities.

The Community Places Program has helped these leaders transform our urban and rural infrastructure in Manitoba. In Fort Garry-Riverview, there are many examples of this program in action.

Look around you — schoolyards have been upgraded to include fitness facilities available to the community.

At one school, the students and staff gather each morning for a brief walk on the fitness track. Outdoor classrooms were installed where students learn about the natural world and the environment. Some classrooms include gardens for lessons about growing food.

Aging buildings which house Legions, curling clubs, churches and community centres have received new roofs, kitchens, flooring and even critical exterior repairs.

The organizations which depend on these buildings are given a new lease on life. The facilities are more efficient to use and more attractive as rental facilities to provide much needed revenue.

Through the Community Places Program, Fort Garry Lions Football Club was able to make upgrades to the athletic field and the Manitoba Paddling Association was able to install a universal access ramp.

Through its years of operation, the Community Places Program has increased community capacity in untold ways.

Sports teams, Legion members, daycare children, school children, and residents of the community who need a safe and convenient place to exercise or teach their children how to ride a bike or play basketball are all the beneficiaries.

These benefits are not "extras." It is essential for people at all stages of life to have convenient community access to well-maintained public spaces.

It is my sincere hope that an effective Community Places Program is retained by the present government.

If you would like to get in touch with me you can call my office at 204-475-2270, or email me at James.Allum@leg.gov.mb.ca