The MLA for Steinbach says there were a few commitments in Tuesday's Throne Speech that will be of particular interest to residents of the southeast.

Kelvin Goertzen notes the Speech From The Throne is really a listing of high-level priorities. Then through the course of the session, more details are released, particularly at the time of the provincial budget. 

"But the Throne Speech really is about setting out those high-level priorities and the things that we think matter most to Manitobans," adds Goertzen.

Goertzen says one topic that comes up time and time again from local residents is affordability, the high cost of living and inflation. He notes there are things the provincial government is able to do to provide support. One such initiative is the school tax rebate. Goertzen says this last year the rebate was 37 per cent. On Tuesday, his government announced plans to raise that to 50 per cent for 2023. That will work out to about $750 for an average home in Manitoba, returned to Manitobans in the fall.

"I think that that is welcome news for those who are finding that every bit of extra support helps," he says. "So very important in terms of affordability."

On the justice side, Goertzen highlights a pair of items noted in Tuesday's Speech From The Throne. He says residents of rural Manitoba voice their concerns over property crimes. Goertzen says his government has promised more police officers for Manitoba and more resources for those officers.

On the flip side, he says those entering a life of crime are often there to feed a drug addiction. To help combat this, the Conservative government is committing financial support for up to one thousand addiction treatment spaces.

In terms of health care, Goertzen says the expansion promised last year for Bethesda Regional Health Centre in Steinbach will likely begin in 2023. He notes the dialysis unit is already under construction and will open next year. 

Tuesday's Speech From The Throne officially opened the fifth session of the 42nd legislature. With less than one year to go before the next provincial election, Goertzen says this increases the stakes for candidates but also gets more people interested in what is happening politically. The Steinbach MLA says it is really important for Manitobans to examine their candidates and take time to think about who they want to represent them.