Congratulations to the Thompson King Miners atom AA hockey team on its first-place Munn Cup tournament win last weekend. It’s nice to see the tradition of the Munn Cup still going strong and celebrating 49 years of youth hockey in Thompson. This year saw 18 teams of nine- and 10-year-old boys and girls coming to compete from communities all over northern Manitoba. Thanks to the Thompson Minor Hockey Association, organizers, sponsors, volunteers and City of Thompson employees for making this tournament possible, and to the coaches, players, spectators and Norman Northstars for making it memorable.
On the subject of sport and recreation, I’m pleased to announce that our Manitoba government has approved a grant of $11,400 to the Boys & Girls Club of Thompson under the Community Support Small Grant Program to promote, engage and encourage youth in the community to become more active.
Our government’s efforts to improve the well-being of children and their families are seen, as well, in other important ways. As part of our plan to reform the child welfare system and provide stronger support to kids and families, we are introducing a block funding model for Child and Family Services authorities in order to provide stable funding. Through the new model, authorities and agencies will receive predictable funding up-front on a three-year term. This strategy will bring better results for children and families by allowing agencies to focus more on early intervention, prevention, community-based support and kinship options.
The new approach builds on engagement sessions held by Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and the Southern Chiefs Organization, ongoing discussions with child welfare authorities, broader legislative review consultations on child welfare reform and evaluation of a block funding pilot project. In addition to improving financial accountability, efficiency and decision-making, block funding will provide authorities, agencies and communities with more control over culturally appropriate child and family support and services in northern Manitoba and throughout the province.