As Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, I have the pleasure of seeing the countless examples of the opportunities our province offers to its people.
I am however, aware that not all Manitobans enjoy the same access to those opportunities.
Therefore, I am using the visibility of my office to focus on the importance of helping Manitobans overcome barriers. People with visual impairments are one group that require services and supports to enjoy the opportunities and quality of life many of us take for granted.
More than 800,000 Canadians live with substantial visual impairments that can’t be corrected with glasses. As we age we face greater risk of vision loss from conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration – one in 11 Canadians over age 65 and one in seven over age 75 experience significant vision loss. Loss of vision is also caused by diabetes, which is a major health problem in our province.
We enjoy the benefits of living in a province that was built by people of great vision – vision in the metaphorical sense. And so I am making vision – in the literal sense of the word – a special theme of my term as Lieutenant Governor and I am pleased to be an honorary patron of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.
I also believe in the importance of providing young Manitobans from all walks of life, from North and South, city and country, with the opportunity to gain the experience and education that will allow them to enjoy and contribute to life in our province and country.’
For that reason, I support programs such as the Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Experience Program, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Young Canadians’ Challenge, Scouts and Guides and Cadets.