Progressive Conservative MLAs were sworn in last week taking their new role as the Opposition Party of Manitoba.
Morden-Winkler MLA Carrie Hiebert was given the role as the Shadow Minister for Housing, Addictions, and Homelessness.
"It's a portfolio that's really actually quite dear to me. I've always really been an advocate for addictions and for homelessness. I've done different things in my past and I'm looking forward to working with the local mayors and the community here in rural Manitoba in my community, on our housing issues. And of course, I believe we need more services in rural Manitoba as well as Winnipeg for addiction and that's something we can always do better on. So, I'm really looking forward to working on this portfolio and making a difference."
Hiebert agreed, homelessness is a prevalent issue many people are facing today.
"I believe as we grow, we will have more new people coming to the community because we have an affordable housing issue. Definitely homelessness is something that's happening. People are living on people's couches, and they just don't have a place to go. So, we're talking with different people in our community just learning about it. What is exactly happening here? Because it's more than what we realize."
She is thrilled to be chosen for this portfolio as her family has welcomed newcomers into their home in the past.
"Helping them look for a place to live, basically just taking them in because they don't have any family or friends here. Somebody to help them navigate and learn about our community and how things work. But definitely helping them find a place to live, services that they can use because they do need that help and giving them rides because they don't have cars and stuff. Those are things our family has been very involved in in the past. We've had a room in our home we've rented out for people who are looking for something that needs something right away until they can get on their feet. We've done that as well as a family."
With the new assignment at hand, Hiebert is ready to work.
"I'm really looking forward to getting to work both here in our home community of Morden-Winkler and helping province work towards providing the services that we need to help people get up on their feet. I'm looking forward to working with Henry Siemens, our local mayor. Different groups are approaching me and asking me, 'What can we do to help with our housing situation?' So, I'm really looking forward to that. My goal is to work out here in my constituency first and then with the province as well."
Other regional Shadow Cabinet responsibilities are:
Josh Guenter, MLA for Borderland, has been tapped to serve as Shadow Minister for Transportation and Infrastructure, and Shadow Minister for Consumer Protection and Government Services.
Lauren Stone, MLA for Midland, has been named Shadow Minister for Families, Shadow Minister for Accessibility, and Shadow Minister for Gender Equity and;
Doyle Piwniuk, MLA for Turtle Mountain, will serve as Shadow Minister for Manitoba Public Insurance.