Big names, achievements grace local history

By: Dave Chomiak, MLA for Kildonan

As published in The Times

June 18, 2013

When I travel outside of Manitoba, I am always struck by how many complimentary things people say about our great province. We grow up here and are taught not to brag about our history, but it is refreshing to talk about some of the amazing things about Manitoba and our community here in Kildonan.

Manitoba is a place of "firsts" in healthcare. We are home to the first homecare program and the first mental health emergency centre. In Kildonan, Seven Oaks General Hospital has created a new family medicine clinic as part of its Access to Care Campaign, so that we can continue to have access to some of the best health care in Canada.

We are the birthplace of Monty Hall, Fred Penner, Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, Fred Turner and Nia Vardalos. Many beloved fictional characters, including Winnie the Pooh, Snow White and James Bond, also have a Winnipeg connection. Furthermore, we saw some of our community’s future big names at Arts in the Park in Kildonan Park last month, where students from Seven Oaks School Division showcased their creativity through music, movies, dance, visual arts and drama.

Who knew that Bob Hope played his first round of golf at Kildonan golf club, or that the Marx brothers decided to become comedians while performing in Winnipeg? What about that we were the first place in Canada to ensure that half of our provincial judges were women? There are many treasures that remind us of our history right here in Kildonan, including McBeth House Centre. This century-old house is now used as a seniors’ centre and is receiving a Community Places grant for porch and foundation repairs.

We hear about oil production in Alberta, but not many know that up to 50,000 barrels of oil are produced in Manitoba every day. We are home to the testing facilities for all the major jet engine manufacturers — Rolls Royce, Pratt and Whitney and General Electric. We are one of Canada’s leading aerospace centres with Boeing, Standard Aero and Magellan. The world’s second largest mining drill manufacturing company, Cubex, also calls Winnipeg home.

These are just a few amazing things about our community, our city and our province. We are very fortunate to live in Manitoba. This province is a wonderful place to live, rich with an interesting history, great people and a bright future.