Manitoba's Legislators are back at work today with the reading of the Throne Speech that launched the fifth session of the 39th legislative assembly. The speech, read by Lieutenant Governor Philip Lee, covered a wide range of topics. Below are some of the points that specifically effect rural Manitoba:

Innovation, Trade and Education

- elimination of the small business tax December 1st
- in co-operation with the Premier's Economic Advisory Council, the creation of a Manitoba Youth Corps that will focus on mentoring opportunities and direct job experience for young people
- the launch of a broad consultation process to help parents help their children excel by utilizing things such as plain-language report cards, standardized in-service days and       improving student attendance;
- new initiatives to help combat bullying in schools;
-  an expansion of child-care spaces; and a new pension plan for child-care workers to be implemented December 1st

- the establishment of quick-care clinics staffed by nurse practitioners
- a new ambulance helicopter
- new mobile units minimally invasive surgeries
- legislation to cap health-administration costs.

Justice and Security
- more community-based police
- more Crown prosecutors
- planning for new correctional facilities
- a new mental-health court

Families and Consumers
- a further increase to the minimum wage
- a long-term plan on housing security for seniors
- a new program to improve the infrastructure and programming of community centres throughout the province
- a new initiative to revitalize community centres in rural Manitoba

- new nutrient reduction targets to improve the quality of water in Lake Winnipeg
- regulation of residential development outside of Winnipeg in order to ensure proper water and waste-water treatment
- improvements to provincial parks including repairs caused by recent bad weather

The province also committed to a new a new five-year plan for highways and bridges, expanded drainage, especially in the Interlake, and work towards better access to Red Seal apprenticeship designation in rural and remote areas.