Academic journal article Canadian Parliamentary Review

Legislative Reports

Academic journal article Canadian Parliamentary Review

Legislative Reports

Article excerpt


The Manitoba Legislative Assembly did not sit during the November to January time period, however matters of interest to legislators continued to receive public attention.

Electoral Division Boundaries Commission

The Manitoba Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission released its final report in December. The Commission, comprised of Chief Justice Richard Scott, University of Manitoba President Emoke Szathmary and Chief Electoral Officer Richard Balasko, had released a preliminary report in July, and followed up release of the preliminary report with public hearings. Hearings were held in the communities of Thompson, The Pas, Portage la Prairie, Steinbach, Dauphin, Brandon, and Winnipeg. The Commission heard a total of 61 presentations, and received 140 written submissions from groups and individuals who did not appear before the Commission.

In the final report, the Commission recommended that the number of ridings remain the same at 57, and that the urban and rural split of seats remain at 31 and 26 respectively. However, the boundaries of many of the ridings have been changed, to reflect a decade of population shift within the Province. Included in the recommendations is the disappearance of several ridings and the creation of new ones, as well as some riding name changes. To come into effect, the new electoral division boundaries will require passage of pertinent legislation by the Legislature. Once the electoral division boundaries are enacted into law, they will come into effect for the first general election following the enactment.

Children's Advocate

As a result of Bill 4 - The Child and Family Services Amendment and Consequential Amendments Act, which was passed during the last legislative session, the position of Children's Advocate will be moved from the auspices of the Department of Family Services to become an officer of the Legislative Assembly. The Children's Advocate will report directly to the Legislative

Assembly, and the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections will have the authority to refer matters to the Children's Advocate for review, report and investigation. A Sub-Committee of the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections has been conducting the hiring process for the Children's Advocate position, and an appointment is anticipated during the early months of 1999.

Cabinet Shuffle

On February 5, the Manitoba cabinet was shuffled. Two Ministers, James Downey and Glen Findlay, who had previously announced intentions to not seek re-election, were moved out of cabinet positions and were thanked by the Premier for their commitment and hard work during their tenure in cabinet. In addition, two new Ministers were sworn into cabinet, while 6 Ministers were assigned to new portfolios.

Joining the Manitoba cabinet are Shirley Render, who becomes the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, and Mervin Tweed, who is the new Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism. Assuming new areas of responsibility within the Manitoba cabinet are: James McCrae, who moves from Environment and the role of Government House Leader to the portfolio of Education and Training; Harold Gilleshammer, the new Minister of Finance who previously served as the Minister of Labour; Darren Praznik, who moves from Health to become the Minister of Highways and Transportation and the new Government House Leader; Eric Stefanson, who takes on the mantle of Minister of Health and Deputy Premier after serving as the Minister of Finance; Linda McIntosh, who moves from Education and Training to become the Minister of the Environment; and Michael Radcliffe, who becomes the Minister of Labour, and who relinquishes the portfolio of Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs.

Members Not Seeking Re-Election

Several Members of the Legislative Assembly have announced their intentions to not seek re-election during the next provincial general election. …

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