The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
South Lawn Manitoba Legislative Building
July 15, 2020 – 1:30 p.m.
Dignitaries, special guests, friends, fellow Manitobans, keepers of distance and keepers of faith, hope and wisdom – what a pleasure it is to come together again to celebrate the province we call home.
I acknowledge that the Anishinaabe and Metis people lived here long before this place became known as Winnipeg. And our province remains home to a large and vibrant Indigenous community.
We’ve gathered here today to rededicate a building that plays a central role in our province – and by doing so to commemorate a milestone anniversary for Manitoba.
Exactly 100 years ago, Lieutenant Governor Sir James Aikins declared this building open with these words:
“It proclaims to all the right and power of a free people to make and maintain such laws as they think best for their own guidance, the performance of duties and the preservation of their rights.”
As I think of that opening ceremony and this date on the calendar, I’m reminded of an old saying by Mark Twain. History, he said, doesn’t repeat itself – but it does rhyme.
This July afternoon certainly rhymes with one exactly 100 years ago.
On July 15, 1920, Manitoba marked the fiftieth anniversary of the legal creation of Canada’s fifth province by officially opening this beautiful building.
Today, Manitoba turns one hundred and fifty and this building is one century old.
On that summer day in 1920, Manitoba was getting back to normal after the devastating flu pandemic of 1918-19. Today, we are carefully moving into our new normal.
In 1920, The Winnipeg General Strike had recently shown Manitobans that they had work to do to build a more just, more equitable and more trusting society.
Fast forward a century and the grounds of this building recently hosted a huge, peaceful rally by Manitobans who reminded us of the work still to be done to that end.
The Manitoba Legislative Building is more than just a meeting place. It is a symbol of our democracy. It’s a rallying point. It contains our dreams of a society governed by principles of fairness, equality and wisdom.
It is a place of beauty, hope and inspiration.
And in 2020, just as they were in 1920, beauty, hope and inspiration are essential.
May this grand building continue to inspire you and the rest of Manitoba throughout its second century.
Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.