The spring session of the Manitoba Legislature finished this week, and more than 20 bills became law.

Portage la Prairie MLA Jeff Bereza says it was a good learning experience for him as a rookie MLA. 

Bill 201 and 202 were two pieces of work that Bereza was happy to see passed. Bill 201 amended the Manitoba Emblems Act to include the mottled dolomitic limestone, known as Tyndall stone, as Manitoba's new provincial stone, while Bill 202 proclaimed April 26 as Community Foundation Day.

"I think those are two outstanding bills we passed through."

He says the Progressive Conservatives were fairly pleased with how everything turned out.

"I refer to Kelvin Goertzen, who once said something to me that I'll never forget. One of my first days at the Ledge,  he said, 'Every seat in this House is great. Some of them are just a little better than the other ones,' he continued. "It's truly an honour to serve in the Manitoba legislature, and I will never take for granted how important it is to sit in that building and be one of only 850 people who have ever sat there. Would it be better to be on the government side? That's what Kelvin was talking about. But seeing the differences we can make, even being in opposition, is amazing."

An area of concern for Bereza regarding the spring sitting is the NDP cutting back on Green Team funding across Manitoba.

"My daughter was employed because of the Green Team program years ago when she was going to high school and university, and it was like a summer job for her. I look at Southport Aerospace, which was denied funding this year, which they've received over the past three years for Green Team funding. It affects things like the camps that kids go to. So, yeah, that one hurt,  I really think that hurts all different areas of Manitoba."

file photo

Walking across the floor to chat with NDP members and having them do the same for the PCs is something that is not unusual, according to Bereza.

"A lot of things that we deal with are truly nonpartisan issues. I think we all want what's best for Manitobans. I can't speak for all of us that are in the House, but at the end of the day, we're all trying to make Manitoba a little better than it was yesterday.

The Portage MLA adds that a big issue for him that he will continue to fight for is getting an MRI machine in the new Portage Hospital.

"It's for our community, it's for our province, and I will not stop until we see that MRI in that hospital."

Bereza notes that he has taken between 3000 - 4000 signatures on a petition to receive a new MRI machine in the community, which would help the 21,542+ people waiting for an MRI across the province.