Press Release – Library Grants



Four area libraries receive 2018-19

technological grants from Province


Riding Mountain MLA Greg Nesbitt said libraries in Minnedosa, Rapid City, Rivers and Russell have received funding under the 2018-19 Rural Library Technological Sustainability Grant program.

“Library systems serve as critical information hubs for their communities and regions through access to current technology,” said Sports, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox in a letter to recipients. “This grant program is designed to assist your library system to continue to maintain and upgrade your resources for patrons.”

Technological grants were awarded to Minnedosa Regional Library ($3,625.24), Rapid City Regional Library ($2,071.56), Prairie Crocus Regional Library in Rivers ($2,071.56), and Russell and District Regional Library ($2,589.45).

“I commend your board and municipal partners for supporting public library service for all residents in your service area,” said Minister Cox.


Greg Nesbitt

MLA Riding Mountain


Under The Dome

As promised, our government is fixing Manitoba’s finances
Our government is making strong progress in fixing the province’s finances, and the Office of the Auditor General has now reaffirmed our responsible approach to fiscal management and prudent budgeting.
In a new report on public accounts, the Auditor General’s office confirms our government’s position that there are risks associated with consecutive deficits and increasing debt. The report also reflects the effective measures we are taking to respond to the massive deficits and debt that were left behind by the previous NDP administration following its 17 years of mismanagement and out-of-control spending.


The Auditor General’s analysis shows the NDP mismanaged the province’s finances, resulting in eight consecutive deficits. In most of those years, the actual deficit significantly exceeded the budgeted deficit. Manitoba’s deficit was projected to climb to $1.7 billion by 2019 if left unaddressed. Meanwhile, the provincial debt under the NDP doubled to $22 billion in just eight years.
After forming government more than two years ago, we have continued to hit and even outperform our budget targets. The Auditor General has noted that under our Progressive Conservative government in 2016-17, the actual deficit was lower than the budgeted deficit. In a measured way, we have now reduced the projected 2017-18 deficit to $726 million, which is $114 million lower than budgeted. And we are projecting a $521-million deficit for 2018-19.
The report from the Auditor General is only the latest independent acknowledgment that our government is on the right path. Global credit rating agency DBRS Ltd. recently endorsed our approach to decreasing the deficit by $105 million to $140 million per year in what it calls a “responsible fashion without jeopardizing service delivery.” As well, credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings has stated that our government “has made meaningful progress toward its goal” to balance the budget during our second term.
The Auditor General further acknowledges that our focus on
summary accounting, in using a single budgeting and reporting
framework for the whole of government, improves transparency
and helps ensure public services are consistently and properly
The previous government regularly missed its financial targets
and overspent its budgets, though our government has hit our
budget targets and reduced the deficit for two straight fiscal
years. We are making real progress for Manitobans with better
fiscal practices that are putting our province on a path to
sustainability. This is essential to protecting the services that
Manitobans value and rely on.
Greg Nesbitt is the Member of Legislative Assembly for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be reached at 204-759-3313, toll-free 1-844-877-7767 or by email at

Under The Dome

Emergency radio upgrade long overdue in this province
To better protect Manitobans and assist public safety organizations in dealing with emergencies, our government is significantly upgrading the province’s public safety communications with a digital radio system.
The new digital two-way mobile radio system will replace the outdated FleetNet service long used by Manitoba’s firefighting, ambulance and police services and the very high frequency (VHF) radios used by conservation officers and forest fire crews. Our government is investing $380 million in the new technology, which will enhance radio range and clarity, provide expanded coverage over a more secure network and improve the safety of first responders while they work to protect Manitobans.
Bell Mobility has been awarded a contract for the work following a tendering process, and will implement the system over the next three years to give public safety organizations across Manitoba the advanced technology for much greater safety and security. Bell Mobility will deliver the service and own and operate the system’s towers, radios and antennae, as well as other related infrastructure.
The new digital system will include radios equipped with GPS, which can track first responders’ locations for their safety, and will use an advanced radio encryption to keep police operations
secure. The equipment will be compatible with systems outside Manitoba to allow for co-ordination during emergencies.
The system will provide expanded coverage in northern Manitoba with five additional telecommunications towers, and new mobile tower units will bring further coverage where it’s needed on an emergency basis.
It’s our duty to ensure the safety of Manitobans. Effective and reliable communications technology is critical for saving lives, protecting first responders and keeping Manitoba’s communities safe, including in rural and remote areas. This is exactly what we are doing.
Our government’s investment in this new digital radio system will allow our province’s public safety organizations and crews to remain safe while they protect Manitobans, and will ensure vastly improved, strong and reliable communications for these organizations for decades to come.
Greg Nesbitt is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be reached at 1-844-877-7767, 204-759-3313 or by email at

Under The Dome

PC government remains firm on promises made to Manitobans
During our spring legislative session, which concluded on Monday, June 25, our Progressive Conservative government took several important steps as part of our commitment to fix Manitoba’s finances, repair our services and rebuild the economy.
Budget 2018, which we introduced in March, brings real progress for families in reducing the deficit by $319 million, delivering the largest tax cut ever seen in Manitoba and keeping our government on schedule toward reducing the provincial sales tax to seven per cent by 2020, as we have promised. The budget makes Manitoba’s largest-ever investment in health care and increases funding for the education and families departments, while ensuring we further upgrade our infrastructure.
We are bringing improved planning efficiency to rural municipalities with the Planning Amendment Act, while allowing municipalities to use an evidence-based approach to ensure fair opportunities for development and growth. With separate legislation, our government is also cutting red tape by consolidating the licensing
system for heavy trucks, and we are allowing municipalities to set speed limits on their roads.
As well, we are improving safety on Manitoba’s streets and highways through licence suspensions for the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving. And to prepare for the upcoming federal legalization of the recreational use of cannabis, we are imposing tough sanctions for driving under the influence of drugs.
Our Manitoba government is going further to deal with Ottawa’s planned cannabis legalization, by prohibiting the smoking and vaping of cannabis at outdoor public places such as sidewalks, restaurant patios, parks, school grounds and beaches. This restriction builds on our provincial legislation that bans vaping and smoking cannabis at enclosed public places.
We have given better parental leave options to new parents while extending leave provisions for Manitobans caring for critically ill members of their families. We have, in addition, taken firm steps to decrease the number of Indigenous children in the Child and Family Services system through community-based prevention and customary care, which recognizes the role of Indigenous communities in raising kids while preserving their cultural identity.
We are better protecting whistleblowers in the provincial public sector, as we also restore accountability by ensuring the public disclosure of employment contracts within the provincial government and the disclosure of severance payments to political employees.
When the legislative session resumes this fall, our government will continue debate on our plan to strengthen conflict-of-interest rules for MLAs and on our Wildlife Amendment Act, which would better regulate night hunting to improve public safety.
We remain committed to making Manitoba the most improved province in Canada. The legislative steps we have taken in this past spring session have kept us firmly on that path.
Greg Nesbitt is the Member of Legislative Assembly for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be reached at 204-759-3313, toll-free 1-844-877-7767 or by email at

Under The Dome

Due to the blackout on government announcements during
the recent St. Boniface by-election, I was unable to write a
column that detailed some of the good things that have
happened in the Riding Mountain constituency.

I am pleased to announce that several projects have been
funded in the constituency by the Department of Sport,
Culture and Heritage over recent weeks.
The Beef & Barley Festival, held every October in Russell,
was awarded an operational grant of $2,069 under the
Community Festivals and Events program.
Two area regional libraries received operational grants.
Minnedosa was awarded $36,423, while Rapid City received
The Classic Garden Inc. in Birtle received funding of $404
to support Spring Classes at the Theatre.
The Shell Valley Romanian and Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Cemetery was awarded $5,097 under the Heritage Grants
Phase 1 of the Open Air Museum on Russell’s Main Street
was granted $10,000 under the Heritage Grants Program.

Green Team funding was awarded to nearly every town and
municipality in the Riding Mountain constituency for
grounds maintenance, conservation, community
beautification and childrens and youth recreation projects.
A total of $78,336 from the Department of Municipal
Relations was divided between the Binscarth Park and Pool,
Cardale Sports Committee, Little Saskatchewan River
Conservation District, Minnedosa & District Recreation
Commission, Municipality of Russell-Binscarth, Oak River
Community Association, Prairie View Municipality, Rural
Municipality of Ellice-Archie, Rural Municipality of
Oakview, Rural Municipality of Yellowhead, Rossburn
Recreation Commission, Town of Minnedosa, Riverdale
Municipality and the Riverdale Recreation Commission.

Prairie View Municipality has received $1,500 under the
Dutch Elm Disease Management Program administered by
the Department of Sustainable Development.

Several residents and former residents of the Riding
Mountain constituency have been appointed to boards by the
Provincial Government.
Harold Reid of Brandon was appointed to a two-term on the
board of Manitoba Hydro. Reid, who grew up in Isabella, is
a Chartered Professional Accountant with Sensus
Partnership of Chartered Accountants.
David Klassen of Russell, a licensed funeral director with
Braendle-Bruce Funeral Service, was appointed to a threeyear
term as a member of the six-person Funeral Board of
The Board is committed to enhancing funeral and cemetery
services within a fair, ethical and transparent marketplace.
Bryan Purdy of Winnipeg, who is the son of the late Ron and
Margaret Purdy of Shoal Lake, was appointed to a one-year
term on the board of directors of the newly-created Crown
corporation Efficiency Manitoba.
The mission of Efficiency Manitoba is to reduce power costs
Manitobans pay and to deliver improved energy saving
programs, in a cost-effective manner.
Jim Irwin of Lake Audy is one of eight members appointed
to the Expert Advisory Council for the Climate and Green
The panel will advise the government on implementing the
Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan.

Work continues on curve realignment, passing lanes and
paving on Highway 10 just south of Minnedosa. The project,
which began in 2016, is expected to be completed later this
Highway 16 from Newdale to Basswood received another
layer of asphalt earlier this spring tro complete work on the
stretch between Newdale and the junction of Highways 16
and 10.
Work is underway to pave Highway 83 north for 17.4
kilometres from the junction of Provincial Road 482. Also
included is a thin lift overlay of pavement on Provincial
Road 592 heading into Inglis. A hill on PR 482 is being cut
down and intersection improvements are being done on the
turnoff to the Asessippi Ski Area.

Greg Nesbitt is the Member of Legislative Assembly
for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be
reached at 204-759-3313, toll-free 1-844-877-7767 or
by email at

Under The Dome

Planning Amendment Act will bring greater efficiency to rural planning
Our government is listening to Manitobans while governing in partnership with them. After consulting residents and municipalities in the Riding Mountain constituency and across the province, we are making changes to improve rural planning legislation that we introduced earlier this spring.
Our new changes to Bill 19, the Planning Amendment Act which brings greater efficiency to rural municipal planning, will require municipalities to continue posting public notices in their local newspapers. We have decided to keep this requirement in place after many Manitobans and their local governments told us at recent committee meetings that our initial proposal to change the public notification process is not what municipalities want.
In fact, more than 20 Manitoba municipalities made it clear that our initial version of Bill 19 would have adversely affected their local communities. We are listening to local governments about their needs for communication with their residents, and have amended the legislation accordingly.
The previous NDP administration did not carry out these kinds of consultations with Manitobans when it forced amalgamations of rural municipalities without any concerns about local opinions or conditions.
Our government and Manitoba municipalities will continue to post planning notices in local newspapers, though we are modernizing the public notification process by making the provincial Manitoba Gazette free and accessible online.
The Planning Amendment Act will also modernize local planning in rural areas and make it more efficient by removing regulatory burdens, and by allowing rural municipalities to use an evidence-based approach in ensuring fair opportunities fordevelopment. The new legislation updates the zoning approval process to provide municipalities with options to set thresholds for conditional-use hearings for livestock operations, based ontheir needs.
As well, Bill 19 allows proponents of livestock operations and aggregate quarries to appeal local government denials of conditional-use applications to the Municipal Board, ensuring evidence is used in these decisions.
We are improving Manitoba’s regulatory framework by consulting and working with municipalities and industry. The newly improved Planning Amendment Act strengthens our Progressive Conservative government’s commitment to giving municipalities a fair say on issues that affect their local development and growth.
Greg Nesbitt is the Member of Legislative Assembly for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be reached at 204-759-3313, toll-free 1-844-877-7767 or by email at

Under The Dome

Safety is the priority of night hunting legislation
The safety of Manitobans will always be our government’s main concern. For this reason, we have proposed legislation to better regulate hunting and make public safety a priority.
Bill 29, the Wildlife Amendment Act, would carefully balance constitutionally protected Indigenous hunting rights while regulating night hunting to ensure the safety of the public, the sustainability of Manitoba’s big game population and to reduce cruel practices used on animals.
On private land, the Wildlife Amendment Act would ban night hunting – a practice that has led to deaths and serious injuries in Manitoba. However, the proposed legislation would allow Indigenous hunters to exercise their right to hunt at night in designated areas by obtaining night hunting permits. The no-cost permits would focus the night hunting in areas where risks to landowners and their properties is minimized. As well, hunting at night would be permitted only if it does not threaten the viability of the species being hunted.
Some practices of hunting during nighttime hours would be better regulated. Specifically, spotlighting – the practice of shining a bright light into an animal’s eyes to paralyze it – would be tightly restricted, because blinding an animal at night for the purpose of killing it is not safe or sustainable.
To prepare this proposed legislation, our government held more than 20 consultation sessions over two years with Indigenous communities and representatives, rural municipalities, groups representing agricultural producers, the Manitoba Wildlife Federation and organizations representing hunters and outfitters. The issues of safe hunting, land access and shared management were raised throughout the process.
As a result, the bill would allow the province to create shared management committees that bring Indigenous communities, property owners, hunters and outfitters together to make recommendations for conservation and wildlife management in areas of concern. The legislation would include a process to foster understanding between Indigenous hunters and private landowners to improve access for Indigenous hunting on private land during the daylight.
While redefining night hunting, the Wildlife Amendment Act would also ensure our government increases resources and improves tools for provincial conservation officers to keep Manitobans safe from dangerous and illegal hunting.
We have introduced this important bill during the current legislative session to have it take effect in time for the next hunting season. The Wildlife Amendment Act would carefully balance the rights of Indigenous peoples with wildlife sustainability and create a safer, more ethical hunting environment for everyone.
Greg Nesbitt is the Member of Legislative Assembly for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be reached at 204-759-3313, toll-free 1-844-877-7767 or by email at

Under The Dome

Child-care spaces created in Rivers and Minnedosa
Because strong families are the foundation of Manitoba’s future, our government continues to improve child care in our province.
For years, families in Manitoba have had to struggle with a shortage of licensed, affordable and safe child-care spaces while wait lists have climbed into the thousands. We are listening to them. And as we recently announced, we are adding 780 new licensed child care spaces supported by $22.8 million in funding for construction in areas most in need across the province.
In the constituency of Riding Mountain, Riverdale Community Daycare will receive an estimated $900,000 in capital grant funding for the renovation of three classrooms in Rivers Collegiate. This expansion project will create 32 new child care spaces, including eight infant and 24 pre-school spaces.
Minnedosa Community Child Care Co-operative will receive an estimated $180,077 in capital grant funding for the creation of four new spaces for infants.
In addition, we have allocated $2.3 million annually in new operating funding over three years for 621 existing spaces at 63 child-care centres. This funding ensures these facilities will remain affordable for families and financially stable, so they can continue to offer early learning and child care in their communities.
These developments amount to a total of 1,400 new or newly funded child-care spaces with a $47-million investment over three years, through the recently announced Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
The 780 new childcare spaces are being created through 20 major capital projects in communities such as Rivers and Minnedosa where access to affordable child care has been challenging and with consideration of lower-income, lone-parent or French-language families. The new centres will serve as community hubs with 10 projects at schools or on school properties, and another 10 projects at active community locations.
Manitoba families know the importance of affordable child care. Working with the federal government, we are vastly improving access to affordable and quality childcare while reducing families’ wait times and meeting the needs of diverse communities. At the same time, our work is continuing on a broader provincial early-learning and child-care strategy.
Our government was elected on a promise to repair the services Manitobans depend on, and improvements to child care are among our highest priorities. It’s exciting to see the ongoing expansion of early-learning and child-care facilities and spaces across the province as part of our work to reduce wait times and meet the needs of Manitoba’s communities. We are taking significant steps to meet these goals.
Greg Nesbitt is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Riding Mountain. He can be reached at 204-759-3313, toll-free 1-844-877-7767 or by email at

Under The Dome

Promise made, promise kept: ambulance fees further reduced
Manitobans in potentially life-threatening situations should not have to worry about whether they can afford an ambulance before calling for one. Our government is continuing to address this concern by further reducing ambulance fees by $85, as we work toward our goal to cut the fees to half of what they were under the previous NDP administration.
This latest reduction, which took effect on April 1, 2018, has brought the fee down to $340 from $425 – a decrease of 20 percent on the bill Manitobans pay for ambulance service. Customers now pay either $340 or the service provider’s pre-existing base fee, whichever is lower.
The new price is also part of our government’s average total ambulance fee reduction of $182 since 2016, when the average price for ambulance service in Manitoba was $522. This is a total decrease of 35 per cent in the fee in the past two years, bringing us more than halfway to our goal of reducing it by 50 per cent in our first term. Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living will continue to work with regional health authorities across the province to further reduce the fee during the next two years.
The fee reductions are part of our government’s commitment to more affordable and better, more-timely emergency medical services (EMS) for families throughout Manitoba. We are not only well on our way to lowering ambulance fees to half of what they were under the NDP, but we hired 29 new paramedics in 2017 and have created 60 more full-time paramedic positions across the province as part of our 2018 budget.
As our government moves forward in implementing the recommendations of the 2013 EMS Review, we will be able to better locate these services and match resources to get ambulances where and when they are needed.
We will also continue to work with our partners in the regional health authorities and with paramedics, as well as with other ambulance providers including municipalities and First Nations communities, to ensure consistent, reliable and affordable EMS care for Manitobans. Everyone in Manitoba deserves predictable and reliable ambulance services, right across the province.
Greg Nesbitt is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be reached at 204-759-3313, toll-free 1-844-877-7767 or by email at

Under The Dome

Plan is to make Manitoba the cleanest and greenest province
Our government’s Manitoba Climate and Green Plan supports our vision to make Manitoba the cleanest and greenest province in Canada, and we have proposed legislation to make this vision a reality.
The Climate and Green Plan Implementation Act provides a made-in-Manitoba blueprint for a prosperous green economy and for protection of our water and ecosystems, while addressing climate change. The legislation includes a flat carbon price of $25 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions, all of which will be returned to Manitobans in tax cuts during the next four years. The Manitoba carbon levy will be half of the federal carbon tax of $50 per tonne, will apply to fuel products and will be administered through the existing fuel tax system when it takes effect on Sept. 1, 2018.
Emissions limits for regulated industrial facilities will be part of the legislation, and operators will be held accountable if they exceed them. However, the Manitoba carbon levy will not apply to marked fuel products or specific uses of propane in farming, mining, commercial fishing and forestry. Certain operations of hospitals and municipalities will also be exempt.
All revenue from the levy will remain in Manitoba to be spent on Manitobans’ priorities, and will be fully recycled back to households over the next four years through tax relief that’s unprecedented in our province. With Budget 2018, we are raising the basic personal exemption on income tax by $1,010 in 2019 with a plan for another $1,010 increase in 2020, for a tax cut of $155 million. We are also raising the small business tax threshold to $500,000, delivering a $7-million tax reduction. And our government will return more than $300 million to Manitobans when we reduce the retail sales tax to seven per cent by 2020.
The Manitoba carbon price will achieve more reductions in emissions than the federal carbon tax and will stimulate innovation and jobs, balancing our environmental and economic realities. Our levy will create new initiatives including a $40-million Climate and Green Fund for projects such as energy efficiency, active transportation and wetland restoration, as well as an advisory council on adapting to climate change.
With Budget 2018, our government has also established the $102-million Conservation Trust for future green projects.
Keeping with our vision for a cleaner and greener province, our Climate and Green Plan will strengthen Manitoba’s economy and sustain our environment for generations to come.
Greg Nesbitt is the Member of Legislative Assembly for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be reached at 204-759-3313, toll-free 1-844-877-7767 or by email at