For most people, summer is a time to kick back and relax. But for politicians, summer is a time to kick it into high gear. The very purpose for politicians is to represent their constituency, and we cannot do that without visiting just about as many people as we can in our community. I see summer as the very best time to do that, and I sure covered a lot of ground these past few months.
I kicked off my summer with the Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History at the Woodhaven Park Community Club to raise funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis treatment, research, and support.
Next up I had the pleasure to tour Perimeter Aviation with their President and CEO James Lindsey. He told me about the challenges they faced due to the pandemic and the incredible ways they overcame them to support Manitoba and Ontario’s northern communities.
Folklorama is something I always look forward too. I was glad to attend the Israel Pavilion this year and catch up with some old friends. I spoke and handed out medals at the All-Seniors Games closing ceremonies at Sturgeon Creek retirement residences and was even the parade marshal for the Metropolitan Kiwanis Courts Fair Week. I connected with a ton of members of our community at events such as the ground-breaking for the Assiniboia Residential School Commemorative Monument and Gathering Place, Pioneer Days at Grant’s Old Mill, the St. James 100 mural unveiling, and the Hong Kong Veterans Association’s ceremony at Brookside Cemetery for Victory over Japan Day.
Over 300 jobs were created in Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley thanks to the Canada Summer Jobs Program. Given this, one of my favourite things to do during the summer is visit students who were able to find valuable work placements because of the grant. I had the pleasure to visit places all around the community such as the YMCA on Portage, Jim’s Vintage Garages, Grace Community Church, Camp Manitou, Metro Kiwanis Courts, the Historical Museum of St. James – Assiniboia, and Headingley Library. It was such a pleasure to meet youth in our community and see how impactful the Canada Summer Jobs Program is. We have so many hidden gems in our community, you just need to keep an eye out and I promise you will find them.
It goes without saying that I also did a lot of eating this summer. To make myself feel better about all the food I was eating, I tried my best to only eat out when it was for charity. I shared a Dairy Queen Blizzard with my friend Dorothy Dobbie on Miracle Treat Day as well as some Teen Burgers for A&W’s Burgers to Beat MS campaign. It was great to attend St. James Burger versus Willy Dogs donation match day for the Bruce Oake Foundation as well. I might be biased, but they seriously have the best burgers and hot dogs in the city.
One of my favourite days of the summer was when my colleague and Shadow Minister of Transport and Chair of Outreach MP Melissa Lantsman came to tour Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley. We met with the CEO of the Winnipeg Airports Authority Nick Hayes and VP Tyler MacAfee, sat down with my friends Gustavo and Adam at the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, took a tour of Perimeter Aviation, but most importantly, shared a burger from St. James Burger & Chip Co.
My favourite event of the summer, however, was my BBQ with MLA Scott Johnston. I had the opportunity to catch up with so many old friends as well as make some new ones. It’s days like those that make me so thankful for what I do.
I would not have traded the memories I made this summer for anything. I had the pleasure to find countless hidden gems in our community and meet so many wonderful people. We have such a beautiful community here in Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley, and I am always grateful for the opportunity to represent its amazing citizens who help make Canada such a great country in which to live, work and play.
Marty Morantz is MP for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley.