MLA Report - March 13, 2020

Fostering children’s success through literacy and nutritional programs

Last month I talked about the importance of education and the significant role it plays in promoting the physical, mental, and emotional health of children throughout Manitoba. The NDP also believes a province-wide nutritional program would help children in Manitoba have a healthy and more positive start to their school day.

Helping our children be successful is not only about ensuring they can read and write. It is also about providing the right environment that fosters their development by identifying and removing limiting factors. Studies have shown that a healthy and balanced diet is related to good and improved performance in schools.

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I had the pleasure of visiting 25 schools and day care centres during I Love to Read month. It was wonderful to see many students’ great excitement about reading and literacy. I was also encouraged that our teachers enthusiastically led through various programs centred on reading in fun and educational ways. 

I want to express my sincere gratitude to teachers, parents, and volunteers who participated in promoting literacy for children through various methods over the course of February. I know teachers are passionate about their students wellbeing and many, if not all, would agree with me that a universal breakfast program would make a positive difference in the lives of children. 

One of our budget asks to the finance minister was that he and his government support a universal breakfast program in the 2020-21 provincial budget to make sure every child in Manitoba has a healthy meal to start the day. We’ve calculated that for $30 million dollars we can provide a good meal for every kid in the province who needs it.

Sadly the premier and his Conservative government do not agree with our plan. When the premier was asked during Question Period about whether he would support a universal breakfast program he refused to answer the question directly, saying children should eat with their parents or go to school hungry. Evidently, the Conservatives are detached with the realities of the difficulties an average family experiences in Manitoba. 

The Manitoba NDP will continue to fight for government’s support of our children by including a universal breakfast program in our budget. We believe in supporting our families and children. 

If you support this or have any questions or concerns please contact me on 204-677-2744 or email me at Danielle.adams@yourmanitoba.ca.

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