Month: December 2019

Day 4 of Winter Session 98

During the past 3 days, we have had the privilege to meet and discuss with the members from the Liberal, Progressive Conservative and New Democratic parties of Manitoba. During these meetings, members and ministers posed questions relating to each parties policies and political stances on environment, budgets and local issues. A common theme throughout the lunches were  how each party planned on balancing social and economic deficits. The party representatives also shared their personal stories detailing how they got involved in politics, and their personal priorities and interactions with the public. The representatives also gave heartfelt advice to members concerning their futures in politics and other endeavours, even encouraging the members to volunteer for their local MLA’s. This experience provided insight into how parties operate and how each member works within the party and in the community.

On Day 3 (or rather Night 3), a group of us young parliamentarians stretched our political involvement beyond the confines of the house. What was intended to be a quick, non-partisan, apolitical, game of Catan became a heated political drama. For those not familiar with the game, it’s goal is to stretch your civilization across an island, and gain control over its resources. Seven unassuming colours soon morphed into flags of Canada’s political parties. Green for the Greens, Blue for the Conservatives, Red for the Liberals, Orange for the New Democrats, Purple for People’s Party, brown for the Christian Heritage Party, and White representing the Bloc Québécois. Members, such as the red player, often represented parties with views contrary to their own. Every single move needed to be explained by a political rationale and each player filled the shoes of the party leader (often having fun with impersonations).  As well as being a fun way to spend a Saturday, it was also an effective way to empathize with different perspectives. Every one of us went to sleep with a lasting memory of friendship, fraternity, and fundamental disagreements.

Day 3 of Winter Session 98

Today cabinet stepped back in multiple ways. We started the day with breakfast and conversation in the legislature, which allowed our ministry of labour a much needed sleep-in, with former MLA’s followed by a very candid question and answer session. The ‘bear pit’ is fantastic because we get a lot of nuance and honesty from the legislators which is sometimes difficult for acting members to reach. Most notably, the majority of the legislation that was debated was written at session by members of the backbench. “I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited to present my bill, or I was writing my speech… no one will ever know which” said Ana the member from Bruce-Grey-Owen-Sound after her bill on eco-burial passed without amendment.

Day 2 of Winter Session 98

As we got to know each other better, on this our second day at session, I had the opportunity to ask several backbenchers what they were most enjoying so far. Their answers, I’m sure, will surprise and delight. One member remarked that listening to the creative inaugural speeches of their colleagues. Another stated that sending and receiving notes in the house was a thrill. A final member remarked that seeing the bills final state after amendment was truly glorious.

First Day of the 98th Winter Session

Today was our first day of the 98th winter session. We had the honour of being joined in the house by Anne Thompson who was our first ever female Premier, although today she was graciously performing the role of clerk. This is notable primarily because she did so in a house that, for the first time ever, is led by an all female executive/board of directors. In our first question period Alexa (the Minister of Finance) was, rather cruelly, asked a multitude of fantastic questions on her bill. As I write our backbenchers are, with the help of the registrar general, hard at work on private members bills exploring a variety of topics. We are so excited to see what they have written!

Website Re-Design

Our website re-design was launched on December 15, 2019 to:

  • Make our home page more interactive,
  • Improve responsiveness on mobile devices, and
  • Improve navigation across our pages.

We’re always looking to make our website more user-friendly, so please contact us at any time with feedback!