Southern Manitoba Cabinet Leader Brandon Burley says his role representing the vast region in the NDP cabinet is rewarding. The vast region Burley covers is 24,000 square kilometers.
Burley's role involves meeting with a broad range of stakeholders, including school boards, municipal councils, community groups, individuals, and outreach organizers.

The plan is to eventually set up a physical office, but for now, Burley has been on the road a lot.

"It's a lot of travel and a lot of visiting, but it's going very well and there's a lot of opportunity, I believe strongly in Southern Manitoba and I believe the government does as well. And so being able to identify and work towards the challenges and the opportunities that need to be addressed has been a rewarding one."

Burley said he's been working hard to get the many opportunities addressed in cabinet and the premier He said the premier and cabinet are very interested in promoting and growing Southern Manitoba.

"There's a lot of opportunity to work collaboratively. Southern Manitoba offers a lot of challenges due to its size and its remoteness on some occasions, but it's also an area that has an awful lot to offer the province in terms of opportunity and potential."

Initially, Burley said the plan was to open an office for people to come to him. "But again, the area is massive. so it became apparent that the most important thing for me to do was to get out and see the communities and see people, and get an idea for context before doing that. And so I've been making myself available for meetings where people are at, and I think that's most advantageous."

When Burley took on the role, he said a couple of extremely important opportunities and challenges caught the attention of the premier and cabinet. Burley was then assigned some additional work about those opportunities. The additional work has kept him busy at the Legislature to get those opportunities addressed.

"Those will be moving off of my desk sometime in the next month or two, freeing up more time as well for community engagement. "The Community engagement piece. I'm more than happy to meet people, chat with them where they are, meet them somewhere."

Burley says his goal is to have an office set up this summer to give people a location to meet with the government.

Brandon Burley can be reached by email at

~ with files from Candace Derksen ~