The Winnipeg Promise will help more children get a higher education.

Poverty is a complex and critical issue in Winnipeg, and United Way works with many partners who share the belief that any and all steps we can take towards ending it are important.

At the Cities Reducing Poverty: When Mayors Lead summit, Mayor Bowman announced The Winnipeg Promise, a steering committee dedicated to removing barriers that prevent low income families from accessing the Canada Learning Bond.

Families can benefit from increased access to supports like the Canada Leaning Bond.

Photo: Winnipeg Boldness Project.

The Canada Learning Bond is money the Government of Canada deposits directly into a child’s Registered Education Savings Plan, and though many low-income Canadians are eligible, not all know about the program or take advantage of the money it provides. Some face barriers like not having identification, established bank accounts, or a stable address to receive mail.

And sometimes, the barriers are social isolation, stigma and mistrust.

Easier access to the Canada Learning Bond could make a practical and real difference, inspiring hope for the future in families where money for an education after high school is hard to come by.

United Way President & CEO Connie Walker is part of the committee, along with voices from the Indigenous community and the social, business, health, and education sectors.

It’s exciting to see the commitment Mayor Bowman, the McConnell Foundation, and leaders throughout the community have to easing the barriers poverty puts in the path of Winnipeg families.

We’re looking forward to working with our community on this and many other efforts needed to lift children and families out of poverty. And we’re really looking forward to more Winnipeg children—and their families—feeling hopeful about their bright futures.

Working together: the Business Council of Manitoba’s bold support for Early Childhood Development.

United Way is guided by the simple but profound belief that we are stronger and can have greater impact together than we ever could alone.

We’re committed to partnerships that work to find innovative solutions to the underlying causes of Winnipeg’s most pressing issues. It’s only in bringing everyone to the table that we can affect real change in our city.

That’s why we’re so excited to see the Business Council of Manitoba‘s 15 year strategic plan, with its focus on partnering to set and achieve early childhood development and school-readiness goals.

School readiness is an important factor in young people's success.Together with the Province of Manitoba, The JW McConnell Family Foundation, United Way and others, the Business Council is focusing on initiatives like the Early Childhood Development Innovation Fund that are the starting point on which to build future strategic and methodological breakthroughs in early childhood development.

The Council envisions at least 90% of Kindergarteners arriving with the basic skills that make them ready to learn by 2028. Today, 71% of children provincially, and only 55% of Aboriginal children and 49% of newcomer children are school-ready by age 5.

The Council’s vision and dedication is an important part of how together we can really move the needle on this vital issue. Our entire city and province stand to grow stronger and more prosperous when we address school readiness.

“(We can raise) the bar not just for Manitoba but for the entire country. Manitoba can be world-class in early childhood development.”

It’s exciting to be a part of Manitoba’s future, and to dream boldly of what that future might hold when we work together.