MLA Report - Oct. 26, 2018

Northerners should be proud of Manitoba’s growing tourism profile

Congratulations to Volker Beckman of Thompson Spirit Way and Keith MacDonald of the Boreal Discovery Centre, and all their members, volunteers and supporters, for securing funding through the Two Wolves Brewing craft brewers in British Columbia. Five cents from every can of beer sold will be donated to enhancing the wolf and tourism experience in Thompson. Thanks to the donors, sponsors and attendees for supporting the Two Wolves beerfest promotion in Thompson last weekend. It was an enjoyable evening celebrating not only the accomplishments of these organizations, but their vision for the future.

On the subject of tourism, our province’s profile is rising internationally. Manitoba has been named one of the top 10 regions in the world on renowned travel company Lonely Planet’s list of the best places to visit in 2019. Our province is ranked eighth among the top 10 destinations worldwide, and it’s the only Canadian location on the list. And because the northern lights, polar bears and whales of the Churchill area have been cited by Lonely Planet as some of Manitoba’s attractions, this ranking is an achievement in which our northern region can be proud.

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Separately, our government’s Child and Family Services legislative review committee recently presented more than 60 recommendations to the Manitoba Minister of Families. This committee is the first one to review this legislation in the past 15 years, and we are pleased to see the number of children in the care of Child and Family Services (CFS) in Manitoba has decreased for the first time in that same period. This is an encouraging sign that our province is on the right path with the CFS transformation we launched in 2017 to deliver better outcomes for children and families.

Our reforms are going to keep children in their homes, in their families and in their communities. With the four CFS authorities, we are creating new protocols to limit the time an apprehended child spends in emergency care before family reunification or a transfer to longer-term placement. Our Child and Family Services Amendment Act will reduce the number of Indigenous children in the system through customary care, which recognizes the role of their communities in raising them while preserving their cultural identity. Caring for children in Manitoba is a collective responsibility, and we will continue to work with Indigenous leaders, community partners, agencies, authorities and families to improve the system.

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