20th ANNIVERSARY OF THE CLOTHES CLOSET PROGRAM

Remarks by
The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

Government House
Thursday, April 13, 2017 – 5:00 p.m.

Friends, Manitobans, creators of opportunity and encouragement, welcome to Government House for this celebration of 20 years of helping women.

We are gathered here on Treaty One territory, on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Métis people.

In this land, we have strived to build a society of equality and opportunity, where all can enjoy the possibilities of this great country.

Because we don’t all start in life from the same point, creating that society of equality and opportunity requires a conscious effort from us all.

As volunteers and supporters of the Clothes Closet and the South Winnipeg Family Information Centre, you have dedicated yourselves to that, hour after hour, year after year.

Because of you, hundreds of women every year are able to start new chapters in their lives with a little more confidence, a little more encouragement.

Some are young women looking for their first jobs. Some are returning to the paid workforce. Some have been through difficult transitions and long journeys both of the metaphorical kind and the kind involving passports, visas and border crossing.

By the time you help them, the women you serve have already met and surmounted many challenges – economic, educational, social, physical.

Without you, the cost of a suitable outfit for an interview or a new job might be a final obstacle – one that could stand in the way of a journey to a better and more fulfilling life.

I am sure that the benefit you provide goes far beyond the items of clothing you make available.

I am convinced that most of the women who make use of the Clothes Closet leave wearing your kindness, your encouragement and your belief as a suit of armour or as a warming overcoat.
As we celebrate our country this year, during the 150th anniversary of Confederation, one of the things we celebrate most enthusiastically is the spirit of service to others that connects us across this vast country.

I thank you for 20 years of strengthening the fabric of our country.

Congratulations on this anniversary.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.