AMBM President and Reeve of the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie, Ivan Normandeau, issued the following statement on the occasion of Premier Heather Stefanson’s cabinet shuffle:
On behalf of Manitoba’s bilingual municipal leadership, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the ministers in Premier Heather Stefanson’s new cabinet.
This cabinet shuffle confirms the importance of the municipal-provincial partnership in building stronger and more prosperous Francophone and bilingual communities.
We would like to remind the Province of our intention to prioritize targeted measures that will accelerate economic recovery and address the challenges of the day in collaboration with its various departments.
Over the past few years, the AMBM has been working to expand its vision and ambitions in the coming years and to actively contribute to the creation of a more prosperous Manitoba through the development and implementation of major plans:
- Municipal Economic Recovery Strategy 2021-2024;
- Strategy to Support Economic Immigration for Manitoba’s Bilingual Municipalities 2022-2025;
- Integrated Rural Development Strategy for Manitoba’s Francophone Community (in collaboration with multiple partners).
In the context of this cabinet shuffle, I would like to recognize the following ministers in particular:
- The Honourable Andrew Smith, new Minister of Municipal Relations. Mr. Smith, we will continue the great work we started with your government to improve government services in both official languages for our Francophone and bilingual communities. Recently, we launched our new Municipal Maturity Model, which is specifically aimed at enhancing the delivery of municipal services in both official languages and will leverage municipal investment in this area. We will also continue to work on this important issue with the Honourable Rochelle Squires, Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs, and together we will be able to leverage new federal funding for bilingual municipalities to support their delivery of services in French through our new Municipal Maturity Model.
- The Honourable Jon Reyes, Minister of the new Department of Labour and Immigration. Mr. Reyes, you have been a long-time ally of the AMBM and our municipalities. I would like to reiterate our desire to continue this fruitful collaboration in line with the objectives of our immigration strategy by maximizing the leverage effects related to the role of our subsidiary, the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM), in terms of Francophone economic immigration and employability based on the local and regional economic fabric (talent in demand, entrepreneurship).
- The Honourable Kevin Klein, new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. Mr. Klein, with your collaboration, we intend to strengthen the partnership between our subsidiary Eco-West Canada (EWC) and the Province to build more sustainable and resilient communities with respect to climate change in a pragmatic and progressive manner. In fact, through our successful partnership with the federal government, EWC is increasing Canada’s investment in sustainable development in the province every year.
- The Honourable Jeff Wharton, new Minister of Economic Development, Investment and Trade. Mr. Wharton, in collaboration with your department, we are working to better equip our subsidiary, the CDEM, to operationalize the overall economic and community development vision of the AMBM and, by extension, its member municipal governments, and to strengthen its rural presence.
- The Honourable Eileen Clarke, new Minister of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations. Ms. Clarke, you have proven to be a valuable ally to the AMBM and our member municipalities in your previous role as Minister of Municipal Relations. You know our association and have always valued it. The channels of communication have always been open and productive between our organizations. Now that you are responsible for Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations, we look forward to continuing to work with you as this issue is of great importance to our bilingual municipalities and our Francophone and bilingual communities, which are a significant part of Manitoba’s proud Francophone Métis community.
In short, the renewal of Premier Heather Stefanson’s cabinet looks promising and we wish to reconfirm to her and to all ministers our full openness to continue the partnership with the current government by building on the added value of bilingualism to build ever stronger and more prosperous Francophone and bilingual communities together.
Information: Office of the Chief Executive Officer (O-CEO), 204-289-4077, [email protected].