Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew was the guest of honor at this week's State of the Province luncheon, hosted annually by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce.

Premier Kinew addressed a roomful of community leaders from across the Westman Region yesterday at Wednesday's event held at the Keystone Centre.

"It was a fantastic day!  We had 510 in attendance," shares Brandon Chamber President, Lois Ruston. "It was a packed room.  We had mayors, and councilors and leaders from communities, and RM's and First Nations from across southwestern Manitoba and beyond!  So, it was a great event and excellent to have Premier Kinew here in Brandon."

From the podium Premier Kinew announced additional funding to Brandon University and Assiniboine Community College.

"Here in Brandon, we're so fortunate to have two post-secondary educational institutions in our community," says Ruston. "We actually have three because we have the Firefighter's and Emergency Services College. And for a community our size, they are wonderful partners, and we are just so fortunate to have such well-respected educational institutions in our community. They both received funding through an announcement that Premier Kinew made yesterday at the State of the Province luncheon."

Two million dollars has been designated to ACC and just over $7 million has been allocated for Brandon University.

Ruston says Brandon University has been working with the University of Manitoba and the Province to look at adding more medical seats to Brandon U.  "To train doctors and to ideally do their residencies here and hopefully stay within the region," she explains. "Obviously that's a long-term plan but certainly funding of this level will be very helpful in moving forward on that type of an initiative."

In addition, Ruston praised ACC's efforts of expanding their programs where all of Westman shares in the benefits. 

Please listen to more with Lois Ruston, President of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce below!

(Photos submitted by Brandon Chamber of Commerce - group photo below (l-r) Jennifer Ludwig, Vice-President; Emelio Brown, Secretary Treasurer; Lois Ruston, President; Premier Wab Kinew; Tanya LaBuick, Past-President; Jeff Fawcett, Mayor, City of Brandon; Connor Ketchen, General Manager.  Also, photos of Brandon Chamber of Commerce President Lois Ruston on stage with Premier Wab Kinew)