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James Allum, MLA Fort Garry - Riverview
June 10, 2013

Pembina Trails Walk 4 Water

Mr. Speaker, Manitoba is blessed to have many politically active young people who are dedicated to affecting positive change in our province.

Today, students from Vincent Massey Collegiate, Shaftesbury High School, Oak Park High School and Fort Richmond Collegiate came to the Legislative Building to present a petition to the House of Commons. They are urging the federal government to make every effort to partner with the Government of Manitoba and First Nations to develop and install clean water technologies in isolated communities.

Mr. Speaker, our young people are a credit to us. We live in a world where Facebook, Twitter and the internet provide us with an unprecedented access to information outside of our immediate community, and I am proud that our young people are taking advantage of these opportunities to promote social justice.

I am also proud of the many dedicated teachers who help our students develop an awareness of global issues and who guide them in their efforts to make a difference. These individuals also deserve to be congratulated for their hard work and commitment.

I want to let these students know that their calls for change are not falling on deaf ears. Indeed, we are partnering with the First Nations of the Island Lake region and the federal government to retrofit homes in Island Lake communities. Last year 100 homes were retrofitted, and this year the target is 218.

Additional federal funding would go a long way to hooking up more families to running water and reducing health and social costs. It would allow more families in those communities the access to running water that they need and would also provide additional training and employment in carpentry, training, plumbing and electrical work for people living in each First Nation.

Tommy Douglas once said, “Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world.” I would like to take this opportunity to commend some motivated Manitoba students for their courage and their drive to change our world.

Thank you.