Trail Talking

Active Time for Dawson Trail Community

  • Bob Lagassé, Author
  • Member of the Legislative Assembly, Dawson Trail

The Dawson Trail community has been very active the past few weeks. February was I Love To Read Month, so I spent lots of time visiting the different schools throughout the riding and reading to the students. We gained a few new schools this year due to the boundary changes, so it was nice to see all the new faces. On Feb. 17, I attended the 5th annual Louis Riel Day celebration in Anola. It was a great day spent learning about and celebrating traditional Métis culture. On March 2nd, I hosted another Coffee With Bob event, this time in Landmark, where I was joined by MP Ted Falk. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and chatted with us, it was a great time, and I’m looking forward to hosting another one soon.

It has also been a very active time for government as well. On February 20, our government signed a memorandum of understanding with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC). This was to formalize discussions toward an agreement on the transfer of our province’s northern airports and marine operations to Indigenous ownership and operation. This agreement gives Indigenous people independence in controlling the transportation infrastructure they depend on daily and benefits northern economies.

The northern airports and ferry infrastructure provides a lifeline for remote communities, as it enables the transportation of medical patients, essential supplies such as food and medication, and provincial service staff from several departments. Our government is committed to maintaining this vital service at current or improved levels, and finding a solution that ensures uninterrupted, reliable and cost-effective services for all Manitobans who rely on them.

In 2019, our government sold Grace Lake Airport – near The Pas – to Missinippi Airways. Expanding on that, our province has broadened its discussions with Indigenous partners through the AMC to consider transferring assets, ownership, and operations of Northern Airports and Marine Operations (NAMO) to the jurisdiction of Manitoba’s First Nations.

The transition of assets will begin this summer, and in the upcoming months, our government and AMC will work diligently to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. This agreement is a critical step toward furthering true reconciliation in Manitoba.

I think of important actions like these as our government begins its legislative session. I’m reminded of the important and humbling work our government does as we gather to continue putting our ambitious agenda on the table. Our PC government will be working hard to move Manitoba forward. I’m glad to be back in the Legislative Chamber, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we will be able to achieve for Manitobans.