New Labour Minister Sworn In

October 22, 2013

On Friday, October 18, Premier Greg Selinger announced the appointment of a new Labour Minister, the Honourable Erna Braun, MLA for Rossmere.

Minister Braun replaces the Honourable Jennifer Howard, who has been appointed Minister of Finance. Along with her appointment, the Premier also announced that the Labour Department will be removed from the much larger Family Services and Labour Department into which it had been merged. The new department will be called Labour and Immigration.

Minister Braun was first elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Rossmere in 2007. A long-time resident of North Kildonan, she attended Springfield Heights School and River East Collegiate. The North Kildonan Community Club was a centre of activity where she played on the girls’ softball team, attended many teen dances and skated on the ice rinks in the winter.

Minister Braun attended the University of Manitoba where she received a Bachelor of Home Economics. In her final year, she worked with a women’s community group helping them learn to sew for their children. This sparked an interest in teaching and she enrolled in the Faculty of Education, where she earned her Teaching Certificate, followed by a Bachelor of Education.

Minister Braun’s teaching career has spanned 34 years, with 31 spent in the Winnipeg School Division. She has taught Home Economics – Clothing, Child Development, Family Studies and Nutrition. Her last teaching assignment was at the Adolescent Parent Centre, an alternative program in which young mothers are able to complete their high school education.

An active member of the teaching profession, Minister Braun served on the executives of the Manitoba Home Economics Teachers’ Association and The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association (WTA). She was elected WTA President in 1989-90 and 2005-2007. She also served on the Provincial Executive of The Manitoba Teachers’ Society during the late 1990s. Minister Braun was also recognized for her work on curriculum and was seconded for 3 three years in the mid-1990s to the Department of Education as Curriculum Consultant for Home Economics and Skills for Independent Living.

Minister Braun is a member of the First Mennonite Church. She has had a long-standing commitment to her church, having been a Sunday School teacher in the past. Currently, Erna is a member of the women’s group “Evergreen Circle” as well as the Ministerial Council as Head Deacon.

She served as NDP caucus chair from June, 2008 until 2011. She also chaired the Special Committee for Senate Reform of the Legislative Assembly.