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When I was appointed government whip this past August, I received many messages of congratulations followed by the question, “But what does the whip do?”
I am honoured to be entrusted with this new role and look forward to working alongside each member of the Manitoba government caucus when the legislative session resumes in early October.
In essence, it is the whip’s responsibility to ensure the caucus moves forward as a cohesive team with legislative business during the session. This includes members participation in committee meetings, monitoring attendance and voting in the chamber, and allocating roles for speaking and debates. The government, official opposition and any recognized opposition caucus each has the opportunity to appoint a whip.
The government whip should maintain the confidence of the caucus leadership and members through knowledgeable and steady-handed guidance. Communication is the key to this role. With the help of those who have come before me and assistance from my hard-working staff and colleagues, I’m excited and up for the challenge.
This fall also kicks off public consultations for Budget 2018, and we want to hear from you! Residents of the St. Vital constituency are invited to a town hall meeting on Mon., Oct. 2 at my constituency office at 117C St. Anne’s Rd. from 6:30 to 8 p.m. to discuss choices facing Manitobans. The town hall meeting will begin with an overview of the province’s fiscal climate and how we spend Manitobans’ tax dollars. The decisions we make together are important, and our government wants to make sure you have your say.
In addition, to hear from as many Manitobans as possible in advance of next spring’s provincial budget, we have posted an online survey at www.manitobansmakingchoices.ca. Residents of St. Vital, and of every part of our province, are encouraged to take the survey and make their voices heard.
Telephone town-hall sessions will also be held in October to give people across Manitoba opportunities to speak with government ministers.
A new optimism has emerged in Manitoba, as our government makes progress in fixing our finances, repairing our services and rebuilding the economy. We continue to have important choices to make.
I encourage anyone who would like to discuss any community or government matters to reach out to their local MLA. To reach my constituency office, contact me at 204-505-9300 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next time in St. Vital.
Originally published in The Lance September 25, 2017 online and September 27, 2017 in print.