At the end of 2022 Deputy Premier and MLA for Spruce Woods, Cliff Cullen, announced to his party that he would not seek re-election in the October elections for his constituency.
"I didn't take this decision lightly, but I turned 60 this year, my wife is retired from teaching, and we recently welcomed two beautiful grandchildren into this world," Cullen wrote in a letter at the time, which was made public by his office. "After nearly two decades in politics as an MLA and minister it's time for me to be Cliff," he added.
So, this week one of Manitoba's most respected provincial leaders will be honored at his special retirement dinner in Wawanesa where friends and family and his constituents can say 'farewell' and wish him and his family well.
Cullen was raised on a farm near Wawanesa. He attended the University of Manitoba where he received his diploma in Agriculture. Cliff and his wife Marilyn raised their children and currently reside in Glenboro.
Cullen's political career officially began in 2004 when he was first elected as MLA for Turtle Mountain with the Progressive Conservatory Party of Manitoba. In 2011 the Turtle Mountain Constituency was abolished for the 2011 provincial election, and Cullen sought election in Spruce Woods, which absorbed the western portion of the former Turtle Mountain Riding. He served as MLA for Spruce Woods since 2011, having served 5 terms, a 19-year commitment.
"Cliff has held high profile positions," shares Colleen Robbins, Vice President of staff through the duration of Cliff’s political career, “especially in the past two years of him being in government, being the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of Manitoba.”
In 2016, MLA Cliff Cullen was appointed to the Executive Council of Manitoba as Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade.
He was named Minister of Crown Services and Government House Leader in 2017.
In 2018, Cullen was named Minister of Justice, and Attorney General, and in 2021, he was named Minister of Education.
The following year, in 2022, Cullen was named Deputy Premier of Manitoba and Minister of Economic Development, Investment and Trade, and when Cameron Friesen resigned as Finance Minister and MLA in January of this year, Cliff Cullen was named Finance Minister.
“How many rural MLA’s can say that they’ve had this kind of importance to all of Manitoba?” shares Robbins. “So, we’re pretty proud of having him and I know our new MLA, Grant Jackson, will grow in to the roll just like Cliff did, as he’s gotten some important oppositionals now.”
“We really want to send Cliff and his family off to have a great retirement and enjoy the years with his family,” she adds. “His wife, Marilyn, has retired as a schoolteacher so now maybe they can do some travelling and enjoy their children’s new families.”
The farewell dinner for former MLA Cliff Cullen will take place this coming Saturday evening, November 18th at the Wawanesa Community Hall.
Doors open at 5 pm, with dinner being served at 6 pm. A brief program and live entertainment will follow. “So, people can mix and mingle or dance,” adds Robbins.
Tickets are $75 but there will be a cash receipt provided.
To purchase tickets please call Colleen Robbins at 204-725-9374 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Robbins invites everyone to come out to wish the Cullens well as they enjoy their retirement. “This will be a very nice meet and greet, for Cliff and Marilyn to see everyone and to have a great send off for his retirement!”
On behalf of the Manitobans who you've served over the past 19 years, we here at CJRB Radio and Golden West Broadcasting would like to say, 'Thank you, Cliff and all the best to you and your family in your retirement!'
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