State your case

Premier’s State of the Prov­ince

Winnipeg Sun - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS PROCAYLO/WIN­NIPEG SUN

“(This) means re-pur­pos­ing the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment’s role so it doesn’t du­pli­cate what’s be­ing done very ef­fec­tively by oth­ers.” Premier Brian Pal­lis­ter

The Man­i­toba gov­ern­ment launched an eco­nomic growth plan Thurs­day, which aims to bet­ter co-or­di­nate pro­grams, elim­i­nate du­pli­ca­tion and re­vamp tax-in­cre­ment fi­nanc­ing.

“We need to do that by re­ally fo­cus­ing our re­sources and tar­get­ing them ef­fec­tively. And we need to do it also by mak­ing sure the peo­ple and the agen­cies that work on eco­nomic devel­op­ment work to­gether,” said Premier Brian Pal­lis­ter, af­ter an­nounc­ing the plan dur­ing his 2018 State of the Prov­ince ad­dress.

Pal­lis­ter in­di­cated the process could sim­plify pro­grams that aim to sup­port eco­nomic growth.

“In terms of the (gov­ern­ment) fund­ing, it was leak­ing all over the place. You’re talk­ing about close to 90 dif­fer­ent pro­grams that were be­ing funded by the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment in part,” he said.

The new plan in­cludes a prom­ise to re­view all ex­ist­ing eco­nomic devel­op­ment pro­grams.

"(This) means re-pur­pos­ing the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment’s role so it doesn’t du­pli­cate what’s be­ing done very ef­fec­tively by oth­ers,” Pal­lis­ter said.

Growth En­ter­prise and Trade Min­is­ter Blaine Ped­er­sen said gov­ern­ment will change how it works on eco­nomic devel­op­ment, spark­ing staff trans­fers but not lay­offs.

“There is a re-or­ga­ni­za­tion within Growth, En­ter­prise and Trade, the de­part­ment. There (are) no lay­offs in here, all staff (mem­bers have) a job,” said Ped­er­sen.

As part of the plan, the prov­ince will cre­ate an eco­nomic growth com­mit­tee, chaired by Ped­er­sen, and add a new Man­i­toba eco­nomic devel­op­ment of­fice to lead projects.

Un­der new re­gional part­ner­ships, the Com­mu­ni­ties Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Fund will co-or­di­nate devel­op­ment in north­ern Man­i­toba, a new or­ga­ni­za­tion will de­liver ru­ral Man­i­toba eco­nomic pro­grams, the Win­nipeg Metropoli­tan Re­gion will lead devel­op­ment in mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties sur­round­ing Win­nipeg and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Win­nipeg will lead devel­op­ment for the cap­i­tal city.

The prov­ince has yet to re­veal ex­actly how it would change tax-in­cre­ment fi­nanc­ing, a process that waives taxes for a set time pe­riod to at­tract devel­op­ment.

The pro­vin­cial ac­tion plan is based on the Grow­ing Man­i­toba’s Econ­omy re­port, which was also re­leased Thurs­day, and also in­cludes roles for North Forge Tech­nol­ogy Ex­change, the World Trade Cen­tre and Travel Man­i­toba.

Man­i­toba’s op­po­si­tion par­ties crit­i­cized the plan for its lack of de­tail. NDP leader Wab Kinew al­leged the prov­ince failed to fo­cus on job cre­ation and did lit­tle be­yond cre­at­ing the re­lated man­i­to­ba­growth. ca web­site.

“This is not 1995 ... when an­nounc­ing a new web­site was news­wor­thy. So I think the premier left a lot to be de­sired on the part of Man­i­to­bans who are strug­gling with the cost of liv­ing or have heard that their jobs may be dis­ap­pear­ing,” said Kinew.

The prov­ince’s Lib­eral leader, Dougald La­mont, also deemed the plan too vague.

“There are no com­mit­ments to do­ing any­thing. There are lots of shoulds and coulds,” said La­mont. “There are no time­lines, there are no re­sults.”

Premier Brian Pal­lis­ter de­liv­ers his state-of-the­p­rovince ad­dress yes­ter­day. CHRIS PROCAYLO/WIN­NIPEG SUN

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