“This year, I also presented at a 2020 budget consultation happening in my area of the city alongside Manitoba Trucking, Manitoba Child Care Association, and many more constituents. I was nervous about my three to five minutes at the mic, and I wanted to be sure to represent the interests of my region, while acknowledging that this is a provincial budget that should benefit us all. Being a part of the Manitoba Chambers network helped me guide my presentation, and I was able to take messaging from our meetings with provincial representatives at the 2019 Day of Advocacy and amplify those. It’s really important that, as chambers, we take advantage of all opportunities to advance social issues and economic development to strengthen our province. Overall, this was also a really good experience!”
When Invited by a Government Official to Attend a Roundtable Discussion on a Saturday Morning – You Go!
By Kristi Meek, President & Executive Director, Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce
Constituency staff of our newly elected Member of Parliament, Marty Morantz (PC), called me on a Thursday saying: “Do you have plans for the weekend? Marty will be hosting The Honourable Pierre Poilievre on Saturday morning and would like to meet with local business leaders.” My initial response was: “Absolutely, see you there.” I hung up the phone and did a quick Google search for Pierre Poilievre, then accessed the policy platforms set out by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce to support me with my conversations.
What I learned from this meeting where business leaders of the Charleswood-St.James-Assiniboia-Headingley federal riding met with Marty, Pierre, and also James Bezan, MP for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman, was that we all want the best for our communities. We may all have different opinions about how to get there, but the bottom-line remains the same – we are all looking for better. Better programs, better incentives, better supports – you name it, we want better and we all deserve better. No matter the subject — labour market, healthcare, access to capital, education or taxes — all of us seated around the table nodded our heads.
When my turn came to speak, I chose to speak about crime and drugs and how they affect our West Winnipeg businesses. I made them aware that I am not silly in thinking that this problem is only in West Winnipeg, but one that is facing every business, home, and person in Canada. We hear of community groups, business groups, and each level of government working towards their own solution. The problem is greater than one individual or group, but we need to start somewhere; the feeling that something has to be done is urgent. I shared that our Chamber network was tackling the conversation and would make them aware of what we are hearing from businesses. I encouraged them to also hear from other groups as they related to health and the justice system.
Following the event, our Chamber was recognized on the MPs social media sites, and I’ve had a few subsequent conversations with MP Morantz. We highlighted the meeting on our social media and in our Chamber newsletter.
This event was held at the Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West (Assiniboia Chamber member.)