The recent Speech from the Throne opened the third session of the Province of Manitoba’s 40th Legislature with a strong emphasis on education, training, and jobs being created “The Manitoba Way” – grounded in collaboration, and “guided by compassion and inclusivity.”
While jobs are essential for the well being of all Manitobans, Canadian CED Network – Manitoba (CCEDNet – Manitoba) members are focused on ensuring these opportunities are available to individuals, families, and communities who are dealing with various barriers to accessing them.
As the throne speech said, “Training and jobs are two sides of the same coin,” recognizing that investment in education, skills building, and training are essential for effective job creation and attainment. CCEDNet – Manitoba members also understand that employment development strategies are most effective if people and communities have basic needs met with adequate supports in place.
This is why food security, access to safe and affordable housing, basic income, health care, and access to affordable child care are essential to achieving the stated provincial target of “increasing our workforce by 75,000 by 2020.”
Some highlights from the Speech from the Throne:
- Expanding the work of Aki Energy (CCEDNet member) to create jobs in First Nations communities installing home geothermal heating systems;
- Expanding and strengthening early childhood education programs for Francophone and rural communities, and the continued creation of new child care spaces throughout Manitoba
>> See CCEDNet- Manitoba’s resolution on Child Care
- Enhanced access to portable housing benefits that support transitions into training and employment
>> See CCEDNet – Manitoba’s resolution on Ensuring Basic Assistance Rates Meet Basic Needs
- A commitment for 1,000 new social and affordable housing units over the next three years
>> See CCEDNet – Manitoba’s resolution on Affordable and Social Housing
- Passing the historic “Accessibility for Manitobans Act” that will remove barriers for people living with disabilities
>> See CCEDNet – Manitoba’s resolution on Accessibility-Rights Legislation
- Expanding the Pay As You Save (PAYS) program for energy retrofits to include rental units
>> See CCEDNet – Manitoba’s resolution on Reducing Utility Bills for Low-Income Manitobans
- Exploring equity-based crowd sourcing as an opportunity to raise capital
>> See CCEDNet – Manitoba’s resolution on the CED Tax Credit
While these are important steps, there is much more to do. Rental allowances remain far below market rates, there is an insufficient supply of affordable housing, and inaction on expiring operating agreements for co-operative housing threatens to remove affordable units from the market leaving current residents without housing options.
The Speech’s heavy emphasis on jobs would have been bolstered by a stated commitment to co-op and social enterprise development strategies as these are proven vehicles for creating good, stable jobs for Manitobans. The Province could also have committed to leveraging its significant purchasing power to support the creation and growth of jobs for people with barriers to employment.
All of this could contribute to accomplishing the Province’s ALL Aboard: Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion Strategy, which continues to lacking targets and timelines for achieving results.
CCEDNet – Manitoba will continue to work with our members and the Province to address community priorities for building fair, inclusive, equitable, and sustainable communities and economies.
Click here to read the full Speech from the Throne
Download CCEDNet’s response as a pdf
If you can any questions about our resolutions, our priorities, and our perspectives please contact us: