Throne Speech Presents Smart, Strategic Vision for Growing, Inclusive, Prosperous Manitoba: Premier Selinger

As reported by Manitoba Government News Services

November 16, 2015

In the 2015 speech from the throne, the provincial government outlined a targeted and forward-looking plan to invest strategically to meet the needs of Manitoba families now and into the future, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.

“Our province is growing and we need to make sure that we plan strategically now for this growth,” said Premier Selinger. “Manitoba works best when we all work together and we are a province where everyone belongs. That is why our throne speech focuses on the needs of families like speeding up the rush-hour commute, improving health care, supporting families and building modern, greener cities.

“The speech outlines an inclusive, forward-looking vision that provides Manitobans with a clear choice for the future. Our plan focuses on the priorities and values of all Manitobans, in helping children and youth succeed, creating affordable child-care spaces for families, helping seniors, addressing poverty and more supports for victims of domestic violence, as well as protecting the environment and restoring the health of Lake Winnipeg. Our plan rejects cuts to front-line services that some have called for and takes a progressive approach to ensuring that families can continue to prosper while making Manitoba their home.”

The premier outlined highlights of the speech:


Investing in an Inclusive Province and Creating Good Jobs

The premier noted Manitoba leads the country in job growth and maintains one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. To build on this momentum, the throne speech committed to:

  • extending the province’s core infrastructure plan by three years to investing $10 billion beyond 2020 for strategic infrastructure projects throughout the province;

  • initiating a plan to move rail lines out of Winnipeg to provide new options to address aging infrastructure, help families save time on their daily commute and reimagine urban renewal in Manitoba’s capital city;

  • supporting the City of Winnipeg with a $1-billion new partnership over the next five years to build and renew Winnipeg including upgrading and paving roads in every neighbourhood, benefiting Winnipeggers by the city and province partnering together;

  • working the City of Winnipeg on the Waverley Street underpass and easing traffic congestion on Marion Street so that families spend less time stuck in traffic;

  • replacing the Louise Bridge, extending the Chief Peguis Trail westward and widening Kenaston Boulevard;

  • completing the southwest leg of the rapid transit corridor connecting the University of Manitoba to downtown Winnipeg and investing in more electric busses;

  • new funding for new and existing recreation centres for families;

  • working with the federal government to lift the cap for immigrants and refugees, and strengthen settlement services to help the province continue to grow through immigration, while ensuring newcomers have access to specialized supports including language and skills training;

  • investing and creating new roads connecting First Nation communities along the east side of Lake Winnipeg and building Freedom Road to Shoal Lake 40;

  • forging new partnerships with Indigenous communities, business leaders and educators to provide more opportunities to Indigenous youth;

  • providing stable, predictable and long-term funding to municipalities that will allow future community planning and development; and

  • launching a new Growing Communities Infrastructure Fund to help rural and northern communities build and renew roads, sewer, water and community centres that families use every day.


Protecting the Environment

The throne speech commits to continued investment and protecting communities through:

  • investing in flood protection and mitigation efforts that protect the environment and Manitobans in all communities throughout the province;

  • committing a full one-third cost share to upgrade Winnipeg’s waste-water treatment plants, increasing the province’s share by nearly $100 million;

  • ensuring the health of Lake Winnipeg is protected by ensuring Winnipeg’s waste-water treatment plants meet and comply with the highest standards;

  • taking new action to protect wetlands and wildlife, and restore the health of Lake Winnipeg by requiring the reduction of nutrient loading in new legislation;

  • expanding protected areas and investing more in the provincial parks that families enjoy;

  • creating new programs to help Manitobans save money on energy bills while protecting the environment;

  • partnering to implement a new curb-side composting system in partnership with the City of Winnipeg; and

  • enshrining the right of every Manitoban to a healthy environment in a new environmental bill of rights.


A Vibrant and Exciting Manitoba

The throne speech outlines a plan to foster and encourage innovation in tourism, arts and culture by:

  • supporting the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s new Inuit Art Centre, which will house the world’s largest collection of Inuit art;

  • creating a new Strategic Innovation Plan to fuel hi-tech jobs and support local entrepreneurs;

  • partnering with Travel Manitoba and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce to launch a new tourism investment plan that will create jobs and more destinations for visitors and families;

  • providing more funding to arts and culture, and developing a new strategy to help Manitoba’s dynamic creative industries grow and compete;

  • continuing to grow and develop the thriving local craft beer industry; and

  • committing to invest in the further development of Assiniboine Park.

  • Investing in Children, Youth and Communities

The throne speech commits the government to investing in better opportunities for young Manitobans to succeed by:

  • committing to creating 12,000 more affordable child-care spaces in order to make sure parents who need a child-care space will have one through expanding and developing more child care- centres into schools, colleges and universities;

  • building a new school in Brandon’s south end to help to meet the needs of a growing population;

  • redeveloping the North Hill Assiniboine Community College Campus;

  • introducing a customary care system in partnership with Indigenous partners to ensure each child can grow and thrive safely in their home community;

  • providing more funding for more social and affordable housing;

  • keeping post-secondary education affordable and increasing up-front supports;

  • doubling the number of women apprentices in the skilled trades;

  • enhancing the First Jobs Strategy to help more students gain rewarding careers;

  • creating a new trades centre in Manitoba’s north that will help workers take advantage of the good jobs created by Manitoba Hydro and northern companies.


Investing in Even Better Health-care Services

To ensure that Manitobans get even better access to timely, publicly funded and high-quality care, regardless of their physical need, where they live or their income, the throne speech outlines a plan to modernize front-line health care by:

  • supporting a new state-of-the-art CancerCare Manitoba facility;

  • investing in the expansion of the Women’s Health Clinic;

  • building a brand new Pan-Am Clinic, in partnership with the Reh-Fit Centre;

  • creating a new breast milk bank to enable women to safely donate and access breast milk;

  • furthering access to midwives and post-partum supports;

  • enhancing supports for fertility treatments for Manitobans that want to become parents;

  • developing and expanding supports for youth seeking mental health supports;

  • enhancing funding to senior centres and working with provincial partners to develop more housing for seniors, as well as new personal care homes;

  • creating new hospice beds in partnership with Jocelyn House Hospice;

  • supporting a new chair in palliative care at the University of Manitoba;

  • ensuring families who need to care for their loved ones will have the time away from work they need without facing financial consequences; and

  • continuing to invest in community-based strategies to expand the local production of healthy foods across Manitoba’s north to prevent diseases like diabetes.

“Manitoba families face difference visions for our province,” said Premier Selinger. “Rather than policies of deep cuts and privatization that could hurt families, this forward-looking plan is strategic and grounded in the values and priorities of Manitoba families to build the kind of prosperous future we want to see for our province over the next five years.”

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