PREMIER BRIAN PALLISTER DELIVERS INAUGURAL STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS
At an event hosted earlier today by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce in front of an audience of nearly 1,300 of the province’s business and private-sector leaders and innovators as well as nearly 100 future leaders from Manitoba high schools, Premier Brian Pallister’s inaugural State of the Province address reaffirmed the government’s commitment to making Manitoba the most improved province in Canada and laid out the province’s road map to economic growth and prosperity.
The premier spoke of the realities of Manitoba’s challenging economic climate including the province’s large budgetary deficit, past credit downgrades and as-yet untapped opportunities for growth in rural and remote regions of the province. Pallister also committed to improving services, increasing government transparency and fiscal management, and to continuing to stand up for the priorities of Manitobans on the national stage including the elimination of inter-provincial trade barriers and restoring balance and sustainability to federal funding of health care.
“Our government has an ambitious vision for Manitoba and is taking steps to demonstrate that we are open for business, committed to improving the services available to Manitobans and to creating an environment that is attractive to investment both from within our province and from outside,” said Pallister. “We are investing in education, infrastructure, immigration and economic development throughout our province and we know that Manitobans are motivated to partner with us to create sustainable growth and economic opportunity for generations to come.”
The speech highlighted the government’s Look North initiative, which will continue the development of a northern economic development plan to create jobs, increase investment and ensure long-term stability. The premier announced that three Northern Economic Summits will take place in the spring of 2017, one each in The Pas, Thompson and Churchill, with a dedicated website and additional details to be revealed early in the new year. The membership and mandate of the Premier’s Enterprise Team were also announced, further movement on the government’s commitment to pursuing strategies for job creation and economic development across Manitoba.
The premier also challenged Manitobans to sign up as volunteers for the 2017 Canada Summer Games and to participate in events and celebrations around Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. He encouraged citizens to continue supporting charitable initiatives throughout the province, including through social impact bonds that will engage the commitment and devotion to community that is so unique in the province, and he congratulated those Manitobans whose success in the province began with their arrival through the Provincial Nominee Program.
“Our love for this province unites us and our spirit of inclusion and acceptance makes Manitoba a truly special place. The decisions we make both as individuals and collectively will determine the future of our families and our community,” said Pallister. “We have a worthy cause, an unparalleled opportunity to rebuild our province. We will continue to listen and to engage with all Manitobans – new immigrants, Indigenous communities, rural and northern Manitobans as well as representatives from business, labour and any other sector committed to helping Manitoba reach its true potential. There is no greater goal and if we join together, there is no greater team to tackle it.”