A letter from Greg Selinger to Manitoba’s francophone community
Together, we have made great progress in promoting our Francophone community in Manitoba. I would like to share some of these accomplishments with you and your family.
With the adoption of legislation to grant it greater autonomy, we are proud to have designated our first Francophone university in Manitoba, L’Université de Saint- Boniface. This postsecondary institution that trains young Francophone and bilingual professionals now includes the Pavillon Marcel-A.-Desautels for health sciences and social services, officially opened at the end of June 2011. The opportunities for education and training offered by L’Université de Saint-Boniface will be of benefit to our young people’s future.
We are proud that Francophones and francophiles can now enjoy theatre in French at the new Cercle Molière theatre, a valuable asset that’s been added to the Centre culturel franco-manitobain and the Centre du Patrimoine to create a hub of culture and heritage. Along the same lines, the Jardin des sculptures adjoining the Maison des artistes visuels francophones promotes our local and national artists. La Maison Gabrielle-Roy has achieved a greater visibility, being a preferred destination for local, national and international visitors.
In the health sector, we have improved both our facilities and access to services. The St. Boniface General Hospital, which has always had a special role in the Francophone community, has become the cardiac centre of excellence in Manitoba. The St. Boniface Health Centre continues to offer high quality primary health care services to its clientèle and training to young health professionals. The Centre Albert Galliot in Notre Dame de Lourdes, a primary care centre which is the pride of its community, plays an important role in the wellbeing of Francophones in the Central region. And then, the multimillion dollar expansion and renovation of the Ste. Anne Hospital will provide greater and improved services to Francophone families in the South-East region.
Let me share our progress in the area of early childhood and childcare. We are continuing to move forward in establishing parent-child centres in the schools of the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine so as to offer resources to parents and children. Also, we are increasing childcare spaces for Francophone families. The addition of new spaces for Les Tournesols daycare at L’École Christine-Lespérance, the new Garderie Île-des-Chênes DayCare and the future construction of Le P’tit Bonheur daycare centre are in response to the growing needs for childcare services for the Francophone community.
Regarding economic development, we support the Association of Bilingual Municipalities of Manitoba (ABMM) and the Economic Development Council of Bilingual Municipalities of Manitoba (CDEM) in the areas of tourism, youth entrepreneurship, business and knowledge-based economy. As for commercial immigration and trade with Québec and Francophone countries, we support the work of the Agence nationale et internationale du Manitoba (ANIM). Centrallia 2010, a business forum for small and medium businesses, organized by ANIM and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, was a resounding success.
Let me share another success story: Francophone immigration to Manitoba. We have welcomed many Francophone newcomers and their families who enrich the diversity of our Francophone community and our multicultural community in Manitoba. The Accueil francophone offers welcoming and settlement services to Francophone immigrants and the not for profit community organization, L’Amicale de la francophonie multiculturelle, which we support, assists Francophone immigrant families in making their new home in Manitoba.
In the fall of 2011, the Bilingual Services Centre in Ste. Anne will join the other Bilingual Service Centres already established in the communities of St. Vital, St. Boniface, St. Pierre-Jolys, Notre Dame de Lourdes and St. Laurent. Citizens can access services in the official language of their choice in these designated regions. By the way, this single-window service model is an inspiration to other Francophone communities in Canada. In order to ensure that the citizens of these designated regions in Manitoba continue to access provincial government services, we are committed to introduce legislation guaranteeing a permanent role for Bilingual Service Centres on our francophone communities.
In closing, let me say that the Francophone community in Manitoba is dynamic and full of vitality. We’ll keep building and working to promote the Manitoba Francophonie.