Mak­ing a pitch for Ama­zon

Winnipeg Sun - - NEWS - JOYANNE PURSAGA jpur­saga@post­media.com Twit­ter: @pur­sagaw­pg­sun

Win­nipeg’s mayor and Man­i­toba’s premier have of­fi­cially joined forces in their bid to at­tract Ama­zon’s sec­ond head­quar­ters, though the mayor notes the price tag to woo the on­line retail giant isn’t clear.

The two joined the Premier’s En­ter­prise Team to work on that ef­fort Thurs­day.

When asked if he ex­pects the city and prov­ince would face a bid­ding war with other cities, Mayor Brian Bow­man said he “wouldn’t be sur­prised” if tax waivers and other fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives were re­quested by the com­pany.

But the mayor also stressed no ex­act asks have been made and a busi­ness case would be done to gauge what could be of­fered.

“What in­cen­tives are go­ing to be re­quested? We don’t know, if (any). But when and if that hap­pens, the busi­ness case would have to be made in or­der for me to sup­port any such in­cen­tives from the City of Win­nipeg,” Bow­man said.

Both Bow­man and Premier Brian Pal­lis­ter said the $5-bil­lion head­quar­ters would have the po­ten­tial to trans­form Win­nipeg, since it’s ex­pected to cre­ate up to 50,000 jobs.

“I call it a once-in-a-life­time pos­si­bil­ity to im­prove our prov­ince,” Pal­lis­ter said.

Pal­lis­ter said he dis­agrees with naysay­ers who ar­gue Win­nipeg “doesn’t stand a chance” of win­ning the in­vest­ment. Crit­ics claim the city is too small and lacks the mass tran­sit, ed­u­ca­tional qual­ity and tal­ent pool to win.

Bow­man said even if Win­nipeg’s bid fails, it will pre­pare the city to com­pete for other busi­ness from Ama­zon and other com­pa­nies.

“There’s tremen­dous ben­e­fit in as­sem­bling that team not only to go af­ter this bid but to see if there’s other head­quar­ters and other op­por­tu­ni­ties that we could work col­lab­o­ra­tively with the prov­ince to go af­ter,” he said.

CHRIS PRO­CAYLO/WIN­NIPEG SUN

Man­i­toba Premier Brian Pal­lis­ter (left) looks on as Win­nipeg Mayor Brian Bow­man speaks yes­ter­day.

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