Manitoba Throne Speech 2019

A full copy of the throne speech can be found here:


  • Beginning in the 2020 tax year, the Provincial Sales Tax on professional fees related to the preparation of wills and tax returns will be eliminated;
  • The Provincial Sales Tax will also be removed from personal services over $50, including salon services;
  • Probate fees will also be eliminated as of July 1st, 2020; and
  • Vehicle registration fees will be reduced by 10 per cent starting on July 1st, 2020.
  • eliminate the education portion of property taxes over 10 years starting 2020
  • Partners in Economic Growth (PEG) initiative will be launched with regional and sector partners selected to focus on the province’s areas of economic strength, including agriculture, aerospace and technology.
  •  eliminate provincial regulatory barriers that restrict the ability of our farmers to produce food for local markets, and free consumers to connect directly with local producers.
  • eliminate Sunday and holiday shopping restrictions while preserving the right of municipalities to maintain retail hour restrictions in their communities if they so choose
  • A new $20 million Manitoba Mineral Development Fund will be established to encourage resource development in northern Manitoba
  • Funding for tourism promotion will be increased by 25 per cent, with five per cent of tourism related revenue devoted to promoting Manitoba tourism and investments, including a strategy to attract more major events
  • enhanced Manitoba Film and Video Tax Credit
  • highway construction budget will be increased from $350 million to $400 million over the next four years.
  • The Public Sector Construction Projects (Tendering) Act will be re-introduced to level the playing field so that contractors are not forced to hire unionized labour
  • complete the Lake Manitoba Outlet Channel
  • $407 million has been added to the province’s rainy-day fund
  • replace the Civil Service Act with The Public Service Act
  • $2 billion Health Care Guarantee
  • create 200 new nursing positions by 2023
  • $3.4 million women’s health initiative will be launched
  • a new acute medical sobering facility staffed with mental health professionals capable of treating up to 20 patients at a time, supportive recovery and a 24/7 drop-in centre
  • 12 new treatment and waiting spaces for those suffering meth psychosis and other serious addiction and mental health issues
  • 20 New Schools Guarantee will mandate the construction of 13 new schools over the next ten years in addition to the seven schools already committed
  • 1,510 additional school-based child-care spaces will be added as part of the 20 New Schools Guarantee
  • $25 million Teachers’ Idea Fund to support innovative solutions brought forward to streamline operations by teachers, and improve educational outcomes
  • extend leave protections to all survivors of sexual violence, regardless of whether or not they were in a domestic relationship with the perpetrator. Survivors will be able to access 10 ad hoc days, and a continuous period of up to 17 weeks, to obtain victims’ services, seek legal assistance or relocate
  • implement `Clare’s Law’ in Manitoba, ensuring that women can access information about their partner’s past history of domestic violence and empowering women to leave potentially abusive situations.
  • A Municipal Audit and Accountability Program will also be established to provide third party value-for-money audits for municipalities that desire to improve services without raising taxes
  • introduce a $25 million energy efficiency retrofit program for existing homes and commercial buildings
  • The ethanol requirement will be increased to 10 per cent, and the biodiesel requirement to five per cent, of fuels in 2020
  •  allow restaurants to deliver wine directly to customers. Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries will be directed to exempt Manitoba craft distillers, cideries and brewers from product mark-ups for craft products produced and sold on-premises (personal edit – WOOHOO!)


it is cold, we know
in this thin skin
we carry ’round with us
it is cold beneath the sheets
like linen in winter
that has not seen a body
it is cold

i would gather the books
and all the written word
and set them ablaze
to keep us warm
but while ink and paper
set spark to the great fires
they are not sufficient
in and of themselves
so we will lie frozen
but together


is it freeing?
is it weightless?
to know that against the infinite
my measure is nothing?

that i am not really here,
and never was,
and never will be?

i am a dream of the sleeping universe
lost upon awakening
despite a grasping at faint and fading,
less than a spirit
haunting an empty house

if there is nothing,
there is nothing to fear,
and i fear nothing.

in a silent not unpleasant fog

i am in the back seat
i am five
and i am quiet
a listener
while my mind drifts
in a silent not unpleasant fog

i am in the back seat
i am 18
and i am quiet
a wonderer
dreaming of the world
while it races past
fast forward

i am in the back seat
i am 35
and i am quiet
leaning face against window
amazed by snow and my face
melting into the ice
leaving an impression

i am in the back seat
i am 51
and i am quiet
puzzling at changes in my self
and the startling sameness within
as if i have always been here

i am five
i am 18
i am 35
i am 51

i am all these ages
and i am none
all at once
my ghost adds to itself
while my machine runs down
but my small voice is unchanged
quiet in the backseat
in wonder at the passing world
yearning for a reaching branch
that i might climb into the dark and sacred branches
of a living tree
or a dying tree
to become whatever i might be next