The Manitoba government is investing over $1.4 million to expand community mobilization, community safety and well-being planning pilot projects, and Portage la Prairie is one of the recipients. 

Portage la Prairie MLA Ian Wishart outlines what it means for our community.

"For Portage, in particular, we've been looking for a while to do something more in terms of safety and security issues in the community," says Wishart. "This will let us plan what's right for our community, because every community is a little different. We want to work with the community to develop the best plan, and then implement some of the practices to try and improve safety and security across the whole community."

Wishart speaks about whether or not the money has already been designated.  

"We have a couple of pilot projects that have been going with some level of success," continues Wishart. "I think those will be the ones we look to expand across the community, but we'll probably discuss some different approaches as well. Problems keep evolving and so you have to try and stay ahead of them." 

He explains funding like this has a cascade effect and frees up opportunities in other areas.

"When you solve a preventive problem, then, of course, all of the issues that would have grown out of that problem are avoided, you now have resources to put in other places," adds Wishart. "We've been working with the businessmen in the community for a number of years now with the issue of shoplifting, and things like that. I'm sure they're going to want to focus a little bit on that as well."

Wishart notes some funding is also going in the Interlake region.  

"A number of First Nation communities also are participating in this, so that's a good initiative as well," says Wishart. "They have to develop their own solutions. They have to be homegrown solutions to really work and understand the problem in each community because they are all a little different."

Portage's Wawokiya program is also being funded $20,000. This partnership will coordinate police and community services to provide structured responses to individual needs for those in crisis and reduce overall risk to the community, noted the minister.

The community of Portage la Prairie will receive a total of $110,000 from the Government of Manitoba for their community. $50,000 will support the planning process in Portage la Prairie, with the remaining funding available for community safety actions and initiatives that the planning process identifies as local priorities.