It was my pleasure to welcome Manitoba Justice Minister and Attorney General Cliff Cullen, along with associate deputy justice minister Scott Kolody and RCMP Chief Supt. Rob Hill to Thompson this week to announce our government’s latest measures to increase access to justice in the north and to protect Thompson families. We are investing more than $11 million in infrastructure and public safety initiatives. Minister Cullen announced that design work is underway for renovations of the Thompson Provincial Building and court offices, which will involve an addition of a courtroom, a child-friendly courtroom, a chamber for judges, a separate small courtroom for justices of the peace, holding cells and a waiting and interview area for victims including child witnesses. On top of adding capacity, the project will revitalize courtrooms and expand an administration area, allowing more efficient case processing and better working conditions.
Our government is also providing $70,000 through Manitoba’s criminal property forfeiture fund for specialized equipment for the RCMP, so officers can more quickly process cash seized by the Thompson detachment. As well, the funding will support improved communications for the explosive disposal unit when it responds to critical incidents.
For health care, we are investing in capital projects including a roof replacement at Thompson General Hospital and its administration building, pharmacy and security upgrades, operating room door replacements, lighting improvements, a courtyard concrete replacement and nurse call system upgrades at the hospital and at Northern Spirit Manor.
And last week, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox approved a provincial grant of $7,092 to the Thompson Nickel Days board in support of the upcoming Nickel Days that will run from June 20-23. Through the hard work of president Wendell Fitzpatrick, board members, sponsors and volunteers, this promises to be another exciting celebration for northerners.