Happy New Year! Bonne année!
I hope you had a fine time ringing in the New Year!
Every year in the week between Christmas and New Years, the Youth Parliament of Manitoba (TYPM) gathers at the legislature.
The YPM is one of the longest-running youth parliaments in the world, and young people gather from across Manitoba to introduce, debate and vote on bills.
The bills and debate are top notch! The young people are an inspiration to those of us who actually work there!
The Manitoba Liberal Caucus has built up a reputation for having the best lunch of all the political parties. We order from the East India Company, and Dr. Jon Gerrard, MLA River Heights and I were there to talk to the young people and take questions.
I spoke about the challenges for each of them in how they can show leadership, even if they are not in a dedicated leadership role. For leaders to succeed, they need people around them who can stand up and deliver difficult news, and leaders need to be willing to hear them.
They asked what our top three issues were. My top one was the economy - creating good steady jobs and opportunity. The second one is the environment - that we leave a better province and planet to future generations. The third was reconciliation - that we have an obligation to each other to better share in the fruits of the land we all love.
If you know a young person who would like to get involved, find out more on their website at https://www.ypmanitoba.ca.
Il y aussi une Parlement Jeunesse Franco-Manitobain (PJFM), voici leur site web: https://www.pjfrancomanitobain.org
RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR
I attended an event at the Punjab Centre, where I ran into Terry Duguid, MP Winnipeg South.
Then, it was off to a New Years’ Celebration in St. Boniface at the Champlain Community Centre.
St. Boniface has so many amazing, engaged and community-minded folks, and the Champlain Community Centre is no exception.
They had pizza, drinks, bouncy castles, and entertainment inside where it was warm, and outside where it was -23, they had skating, a bonfire, and fireworks.
I had my year-end interview with Radio Canada - Voici mon entretien pour la fin de l’année avec Radio-Canada.
FEDERAL TRANSFER PAYMENTS
Brian Pallister often says that he is getting “no help” from the Federal government. It just isn’t true.
Since 2015, transfer payments to the Manitoba Government have increased by nearly $1-billion.
Under the Harper Conservatives, Manitoba’s transfer payments were cut by 15%.
Alberta and Quebec each went up by 9%.
After the biggest financial crisis in decades, the Harper conservatives tried to balance the books by shifting costs to the provinces who don’t have the same resources as the Federal government.
It would have been more effective, efficient, and fair for the Federal government to take the lead and help provinces and people, but instead the Conservatives did the opposite.
Manitoba suffered a “one-two punch” from the Federal Conservatives and the Manitoba NDP.
One of the major changes was one that Brian Pallister voted for himself. He voted with the Conservative government to change the federal health care and social service funding formula from 2014 onward.
Instead of being funded based on need, it shifted to per capita funding.
The result? Every province but one lost millions in funding.