July 15, 2020

Occasion Also Marked with Unveiling of Time Capsule To Be Opened Again in 2120

To celebrate the Legislative Building’s 100th birthday, Lt.-Gov. Janice C. Filmon and Premier Brian Pallister joined Speaker Myrna Driedger at the Louis Riel statue on the bank of the Red River in a rededication ceremony.

The lieutenant-governor, as the special guest of honour, formally rededicated the building and unveiled a plaque to mark the significance of this occasion, as the 100th birthday of the opening of the building on July 15, 1920.

“The Manitoba Legislative Building is more than just a meeting place,” said Lt-Gov. Filmon. “It is a symbol of our democracy. It contains our dreams of a society governed by principles of fairness, equality and wisdom. Beauty, hope and inspiration live within its walls. May this grand building continue to inspire Manitobans young and old throughout its second century.”

Today also marks the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of The Manitoba Act, which created the Province of Manitoba. The Manitoba Act was passed by the Parliament of Canada and received royal assent on May 12, 1870. It was then proclaimed on July 15, 1870.

“During the last 150 years, people from all over the world have come to our Keystone province in search for a safer, more prosperous life for themselves and their families, and they found it here in Manitoba, their home of hope,” said Pallister. “I often say that the only thing better than today in Manitoba is tomorrow in Manitoba, and I know that is true because of the many people making meaningful contributions to ensure a healthy and prosperous Manitoba today and well into the future.”

The Speaker was thrilled to unveil a time capsule designed and created by Manitoba Indigenous artist, Darren Sakwi. The time capsule celebrates both the building’s 100th birthday and Manitoba’s 150th anniversary as a province and is to be opened in July 2120.

“The time capsule contains messages from the lieutenant-governor, the premier, the leader of the official opposition, the leader of the Liberal party, the clerk of the legislative assembly and myself,” said Driedger. “Included in the time capsule are many items which we carefully curated in order to share a glimpse of what we hope our future colleagues and Manitobans will find interesting a century from now.

In addition to the time capsule, the Speaker shared a new booklet produced by the staff of the Legislative Library, in collaboration with the director of education and outreach services for the Legislative Assembly, called 100 Facts for 100 Years: The Manitoba Legislative Building. The booklet will be available at www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/.

The Speaker noted today was the right day to hold the rededication ceremony as it officially marks the sesquicentennial of Manitoba joining the Canadian Confederation as its fifth province. Manitoba is the birthplace of the Métis, a people whose leader, Louis Riel, was responsible for negotiating the terms under which Manitoba joined Confederation. Riel was instrumental in launching the Red River resistance and forming a provisional government to represent the rights of the Métis, as well as all of the other people calling Manitoba home at the time.

Under Riel’s leadership, negotiations began between the Canadian Parliament and the Red River Métis, resulting in the passing of The Manitoba Act. Manitoba remains the only province to join Canada under Indigenous leadership.