ABOUT

MYRNA

Hon. Myrna Driedger.JPG
Honourable Myrna Driedger, MLA Roblin,
Speaker of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly

Myrna’s path in life is rooted in her strong desire to make a difference.  Having served as a nurse, a leader in the area of missing and exploited children, and as an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly in Manitoba, Myrna’s many roles have reflected this calling to help make her community a better place. 

 

Myrna was first elected as an MLA in April, 1998. She held several diverse roles since then including that of Interim Leader of the PC Party of Manitoba, Deputy Leader, Critic for Health, Status of Women, Finance, Civil Service & Crown Corporations Council, Child & Family Services and Housing, Persons with Disabilities, and Education.  She also served as a Legislative Assistant to the Minister of Family Services and the Minister of Health. She has been a member of the Public Accounts Committee and the Standing Committees of WCB & Children’s Advocate.

 

As the Finance Critic, Myrna chaired the Northern Lights Committee of Caucus, which worked towards the development of an economic strategy for northern Manitoba. 

 

Myrna was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba by her peers on May 16, 2016 and again for her second term on September 30th, 2019.

 

As an MLA, Myrna has had the rare success of having five Private Members’ Bills passed. 

 

In 2011, Myrna was the first Manitoban to be elected for a 3-year term as Chair of the Canadian Region of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) by her peers from across the country.  In September 2012, Myrna was also elected the Vice-Chair CWP International. CWP works for better representation of women in legislatures throughout Canada and the Commonwealth as well as strategizes and acts on gender-related issues in Canada and internationally. While Chair of the CWP Canadian Region, she led the organization through a strategic planning process to give structure to this new organization. She also led the development of the CWP Outreach Program Framework in 2014. She has published a number of articles in the Canadian Parliamentary Review addressing the challenges and opportunities for women in politics. She has also been a keynote speaker at a number of conferences advancing the importance of having women in leadership roles.

 

Before entering public life, Myrna had a successful and rewarding career as a registered nurse with experience in general duty, nursing education, quality assurance, medical and nursing research, patient education, and nursing administration.  Her nursing experience has led her to have a strong and passionate voice for a better health care system.  

 

As President and Executive Director of Child Find Manitoba, Myrna was a leading advocate for the protection of children.  Her fierce determination and leadership were the driving force behind the early survival and development of Child Find Manitoba, which as the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, is now recognized across Canada as a key player in child protection issues.

 

One of Myrna’s most fulfilling achievements in her constituency is the development of the Charleswood Active Living Centre for Older Adults following her initiative to bring seniors together to celebrate the International Year of Older Persons.

Myrna’s professional achievements have earned her recognition in the "Canadian Who’s Who” as well as recognition as a Manitoba Legislative Assembly “Trailblazer of the First 100 Years”. For service to her community, Myrna was presented the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal as well as being made an honourary Rotarian and honoured with a Paul Harris Fellowship. She is a member of Women of Winnipeg, an organization of women identified as leaders in the community. In 2021, Myrna was honoured to receive a Nellie McClung Manitoba 150 Women Trailblazers Award recognizing her contributions to Manitoba’s health and well-being, and its social, cultural, and economic life.

 

Not afraid to take on a challenge, Myrna has been a strong voice for health, education, justice, and economic issues, and is a champion of youth, seniors’ and women’s issues.  Her persistence, as well as her strong belief in the power and ability of women, led to her founding the Nellie McClung Foundation and the monument of Nellie and the Famous Five on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature. She currently is a Board Member of the Foundation.

 

Myrna and her husband Hal live in Charleswood.  She enjoys the company of family and friends, gardening, reading, photography, music, sports, and the occasional round of golf.  

 

 

Board and Organization Positions

Current:

  • Co-Chair of the Manitoba Legislative Building Restoration and Preservation Advisory Committee

  • Chair, Legislative Assembly Management Commission (LAMC)

  • Member, Manitoba Legislative Assembly Audit Committee

  • Member, Legislative Security Management Working Group

  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Speakers Association of Canada (SOCA)

  • Founder and Board Member of the Nellie McClung Foundation

  • Member, Women of Winnipeg

  • Honourary President, Association of Former Manitoba MLAs

  • Member of the Executive Committee, Midwestern Legislative Conference (U.S./ Canada)

  • Member, Midwestern Legislative Conference: Midwest- Canada Relations Committee (U.S./ Canada)

 

Past:

  • Chair and Host, Midwest Legislative Conference (2018)

  • President, Regional Executive Committee, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Canada

  • First Vice- President, Regional Executive Committee, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Canada

  • Chair and Host, Canadian Region- Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference

  • Co-Chair, Nellie McClung Foundation Centennial Gala: Celebrating 100 Years of Manitoba Women’s Right to Vote

  • Chair, Canadian Region of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP)

  • Vice- Chair, Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians International

  • Board Chair and Executive Director, Child Find Manitoba

  • Board Member and First Vice President, Child Find Canada

  • Community Safety Committee of the Downtown Biz

  • Poverty Advisory Committee and Homeless Children and Youth Action Committee of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg

  • Leadership Winnipeg

  • United Way

  • CRNM- Canadian Nurse Practitioner Report Review Committee

  • Manitoba President and National Board Member of the Manitoba Chapter of the Canadian Association of Neuroscience Nurses

  • Canadian Orthopedic Nurses Association

  • Volunteer Coordinator for Track and Field at the 1990 Western Canada Summer Games

  • Founding member of the Manitoba Ophthalmology Nurses Interest Group

  • Founding member of the Manitoba Urology Nurses Interest Group

 

 

Awards/ Recognition

  • Manitoba Legislative Assembly Trailblazer of the First 100 Years

  • Nellie McClung Manitoba 150 Women Trailblazer Award

  • Listed in the Canadian Who’s Who

  • Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal

  • Honourary Rotarian/ Paul Harris Fellowship

  • Honourary Director of Friends of the Harte Trail

  • Manitoba Nursing Research Institute, Recognition of Scholarly Contribution to Nursing Research

  • Paul Harris Fellowship

 

Initiatives

  • Led the Legislative Assembly through the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Created and curated the contents of a time capsule in celebration of the 100th birthday of the Manitoba Legislative Building

  • Oversaw the historic Manitoba Legislature Chamber renovation to improve accessibility

  • Hosted Equal Voice’s Daughters of the Vote, Manitoba Legislature Day

  • Hosted Equal Voice Manitoba’s Municipal Campaign Bootcamp

  • Initiated Trailblazers of the First 100 Years permanent exhibit at the Legislature

  • Initiated Vote100 permanent exhibit at the Legislature (Manitoba women being the first in Canada to be granted the vote)

  • Introduced “Growing Excellence in Leadership” a leadership development program for the Manitoba Legislative Assembly Management Team which resulted in the first Mission, Values, Aims statements for the Assembly

  • Hosted Girl Guides Under the Dome, the first time in Manitoba history that girls have filled all seats in the Legislative Chamber

  • Hosted Pathfinders in the Chamber

  • Introduced 5 Private Members Bills which were passed:

  1. The Nellie McClung Foundation Act

  2. Liquor Control Amendment Act (Helping to Prevent Date Rape)

  3. The Regional Health Authorities Amendment Act (Mammography Accreditation)

  4. The Sexual Assault Awareness Month Act

  5. The Centennial of Manitoba Women’s Right to Vote Act

  • Introduced 2 Private Members Bills which were not passed but later introduced and passed by the government of the day:

  1. The Domestic Violence Death Review Committee Act

  2. The Workers Compensation Amendment Act (Presumption re: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)