Earlier today Manitoba’s Lieutenant-Governor Janice Filmon read the Speech from the Throne opening the legislative session. It was a historic address as for the first time Manitoba has a female Lieutenant-Governor, Premier, Speaker and Clerk. Before reading the speech Lt. Gov. Janice Filmon thanked MLAs and Manitobans as she anticipates this will be her last Throne Speech. She was appointed to the role in June of 2015.
In her first Throne Speech since becoming Premier, the Honourable Heather Stefanson laid out her priorities for the province. Highlights from her “Path To Progressing Together” plan include:
- Work with indigenous leaders, elders, and families to help put reconciliation commitments into action;
- Target the nursing shortage by increasing training opportunities, with a goal of creating an additional 400 seats;
- Introduce a winter homelessness strategy;
- Implement a seniors strategy so people can stay in their homes and communities;
- Improve the K-12 education system and better prepare students;
- Encourage further collaboration between advanced education and training institutions and employers;
- Aim to partner with the federal government to boost immigration and the provincial nominee program;
- Proceed with a venture capital framework;
- Create an energy policy framework to explore technologies that can reduce emissions and stimulate economic growth.
It is a short sitting of eight days with the legislature scheduled to rise on December 2nd. To allow for social distancing, two-thirds of MLAs will be in the chamber with the rest participating online. Two MLAs recently tested positive for COVID-19, NDP and Official Opposition Leader Wab Kinew, and PC MLA Doyle Piwniuk. Thankfully both haven’t experienced any severe symptoms, and we wish them well in their recovery.
Over the past couple of weeks Manitoba has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases, and is averaging between 100-200 positive cases per day. Vaccinations for youths aged 5-11 start this Thursday in Manitoba.
On December 10th the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench will hear Shelly Glover’s case against the PC Party of Manitoba (Originally scheduled for December 23rd, the hearing date was recently moved up). Glover was one of two entrants in the recent race to replace Brian Pallister as PC party leader. In her affidavit, Glover says the total vote count fluctuated on the October 30th election day and ballots weren’t secured. She is asking the court to declare the results invalid and for there to be a new election.
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