News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 14, 2009

CANADA'S FIRST MINISTERS TO MEET ON ECONOMY AND WITH NATIONAL ABORIGINAL LEADERS



Premier Gary Doer will join Prime Minister Stephen Harper and provincial and territorial premiers in Ottawa Thursday and Friday for a first ministers’ meeting on the economy, which will include a session with Canada’s Aboriginal leaders.
 
“Manitoba is in a solid position to weather the current economic storm, but we cannot be complacent. We are prepared to do our part as a province to ensure our province and country not only remains economically strong but continues to grow for the benefit of all our citizens,” Doer said.
 
Doer met with Manitoba First Nations and Métis leaders in advance of Thursday’s meeting with national Aboriginal leaders. Issues Manitoba will raise include improving education and training opportunities and investing in housing, water and other critical infrastructure.
 
“As we develop a national plan, it is important that we work with Aboriginal leaders to ensure Aboriginal and northern communities don’t fall further behind,” the premier said. “While we are facing challenges as a country, we are also presented with an opportunity to make strategic investments that will improve our quality of life and build our economy for the future.”
 
The premier also met with business and labour leaders prior to the first ministers’ meeting. Other proposals he will raise include:
·         accelerating infrastructure projects and approval processes including implementing current federal-provincial agreements and making new strategic investments;
·         targeting fees and taxes in areas, such as air travel fees, where Canada is not competitive with the United States in order to enhance transportation, trade and tourism;
·         supporting business to ensure Canadian companies are well-positioned to compete globally including such measures as ensuring access to credit;
·         increasing and diversifying trade by implementing the premiers’ July 2008 agreement on internal trade and expanding into new international markets such as the European Union, China, India and Brazil; and
·         investing in skills development, worker retraining and upgrading, Aboriginal education and addressing the needs of the new economy.
  
The premier reiterated that Canada’s economic situation is more stable than those of other countries. Manitoba also continues to perform well, posting stronger economic growth in 2008 than most provinces. Manitoba also posted the country’s second best job-growth rate in 2008 and one of the lowest unemployment rates.

 
- 30 -