I am honoured to have been elected to be your representative and I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the support I received throughout the campaign. Thank you to all the volunteers who took part in data entry, canvassing and all of the other countless tasks that got us here. I shall be forever grateful to my campaign manager for helping and guiding me throughout this transition period. I would also like to acknowledge my family for supporting me throughout the campaign period and encouraging me in my endeavours.
As a lifelong resident of Thompson I know the community and surrounding areas on a deep personal level. I am proud to have helped hundreds of northerners in the decade I worked as a constituency assistant for MP Niki Ashton. I sat on the YWCA board in various capacities, a local daycare board for many years, and volunteered with the Thompson Ski Club – Mystery Mountain – because I saw the north as a vibrant and essential part of Manitoba that I wanted to contribute to.
My past experience has given me the privilege to learn about the priorities and concerns of the citizens in this constituency; it has also prepared me for my newly appointed role as the critic for childcare, housing, disability and poverty. During the first sitting in the legislature as your MLA, I pressed the government on reductions in the number of children receiving inclusion support funding. This is critically needed funding to ensure all children have equal access to quality childcare. We know the number of children diagnosed with exceptional needs is increasing, yet the number of children receiving funding is at a 10-year low under the Pallister government.
During this critical time in our community, the need for more affordable housing has become more apparent. I raised this issue to the minister of Indigenous and northern relations and will continue to advocate for all my constituents on this matter.
I can guarantee you that in my work as a Member of the Legislative Assembly I will always keep the North in the foreground. I look forward to travelling throughout the constituency to meet with more community members, listen to their issues, and represent their concerns at the provincial level. I will also hold the government to account on their cuts and privatization agenda that hurts us here in the North.
Stay tuned for the announcement of my constituency office opening and contact information. I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you!