Premier Wab Kinew says the opening of a Southern Manitoba Cabinet Office is step one in a long-term plan of bringing more government support and services to the region, making a good quality of life and helping to grow the provincial economy. 

"Southern Manitoba is home to a ton of economic activity. There's tons of investment and capital pouring into the region. There's tons of jobs being created. There are high levels of immigration. Since our government believes that the economic horse pulls the social cart, it's really crucial for us to have a direct line in to our government for everybody who lives in southern Manitoba," explained Kinew.

The new office will be located in the Pembina Valley and will be staffed by Brandon Burley, the former mayor for the City of Morden, as the Southern Manitoba Cabinet Officer. He will act as a liaison between families, businesses and community organizations and the government.

"So, our first step is to ensure that Mr. Burley is there and visible and present so local leaders, community members, business leaders in the Pembina Valley, Steinbach and across Southern Manitoba can bring their issues forward," added the Premier. 

Kinew noted, appointing Burley to the role is just the first step in his government's effort to showing the people in Southern Manitoba that it is serious about working with them. 

Eventually, he says the plan is to bring in more provincial government services to the region. 

"Right now, as a quick example, an employer in the Pembina Valley will have to give staff a day off to take provincial nominees who are coming in through one of our immigration streams into Winnipeg so that they can get a provincial health card. How much more economic activity, how much more productivity would we increase if we brought the health cards closer to the people, instead of requiring the people to travel to the health cards?"

In a statement, Burley indicated he is grateful to work on behalf of the government in the region, noting Southern Manitoba will play a critical role in the future of our province.

“I am grateful to Premier Kinew for the opportunity to work on behalf of his government in southern Manitoba,” said Burley. “I believe in Manitoba and know that southern Manitoba will play a critical role in the future of our province. I will work hard to fairly represent all of southern Manitoba to the premier’s office, as he seeks to build a government for every Manitoban.”'


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