For the 2010-11 academic year, our primary hands-on activity in Business/Government Navigation was becoming involved in the public hearings on the provincial budget.
In Fall 2010, students in our Business/Government Relations class developed recommendations to the provincial government on budget initiatives that, in their view, would improve the chances of success for young, rural entrepreneurs.
They reviewed the government programs designed to spur rural economic development.
They researched what the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association, the Business Council of Manitoba, and other business advocates had proposed, and considered the provisions in the previous budget.
They went to two public hearings—the first to understand how the process of budget submissions worked, and the second to actually give their presentation.
The Minister of Finance was very taken by their presentation and, in Spring 2011, invited them to attend the reading of the budget as their guest. Nearing the end of her speech in the Legislature, she said:
As I draw to a close, Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to recognize a few people in the gallery, and these are the students from Providence College and their instructor who have joined us today.
Why do I want to recognize these students? Because these students are the future of our province and these students took the time to come to two budget consultations. I know it must have been intimidating: came to the first meeting to figure out what you were doing; then they came to the second meeting and made a presentation.
I would hope that the instructors and students in other parts of the province would look at this and encourage students to take part in this process. So I thank them for taking this opportunity to hear—to have us hear them, and I want to tell them that one of the recommendations that they made has been implemented.
I sincerely do encourage people that are here to encourage other people to get involved and help shape the future of Manitoba.