News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 26, 2017


Working Together to Create Jobs, New Opportunities in Northern Manitoba: Wishart

The Manitoba government is partnering with Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) and Manitoba Aerospace to lay the foundation for a new manufacturing company in the Paskwayak region that will supply products for the aerospace industry, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today.

“Manitoba is one of the largest aerospace hubs in Canada, and this partnership will ensure the products and expertise needed for further growth and innovation are available,” said Wishart.  “We are pleased to work together to create high-paying, highly skilled jobs and allow our province to maintain its global competitiveness in the aerospace industry.”

The minister noted the goal is for a new facility to be up and running within two years, to supply products that are currently unavailable from local suppliers.  Training partnerships will be established and several Manitoba-based aerospace companies have offered to work with employees in a mentorship role to assist them in moving into their new jobs with confidence, he said.

“We are excited to partner with OCN on this initiative which will determine the feasibility of establishing a manufacturing facility in northern Manitoba,” said Wendell Wiebe, CEO, Manitoba Aerospace.  “We are grateful to the Manitoba government for supplying the funds that will be used to collect the data so that all partners can make an informed decision.”

Manitoba Aerospace is an industry-driven sector council that works to connect the local aerospace and defence industry to national and international markets, and develop a world-class workforce to meet industry’s needs through partnerships with Manitoba educational institutions.  The growing aerospace sector directly supports over 5,000 jobs in the province.

“Opaskwayak Cree Nation looks forward to working with Manitoba Aerospace and bringing an Indigenous voice to the Canadian aerospace sector,” said Onekanew (Chief) Christian Sinclair.  “We see a role for the Indigenous community in further strengthening this thriving part of Manitoba’s economy by providing a unique advantage, with potential for other communities to benefit as well.”

Wishart confirmed the Manitoba government is investing $85,000 through the departments of Education and Training and Indigenous and Northern Relations, and OCN is contributing $25,000.  With this funding Manitoba Aerospace will hire an external partner to develop a proposal and business plan. 

“This investment supports the shared priorities in the Look North Report and Action Plan for Manitoba’s Northern Economy of building stronger partnerships and creating new economic opportunities together with industry and Indigenous communities,” said Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen, who took part in today’s announcement at the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development.  “Fostering a dynamic, highly skilled workforce is a key part of our government’s plan to grow Manitoba’s economy and build a strong, sustainable future in the north.”  

Pedersen noted the proposed partnership is the first of its kind in Manitoba and could be a business model for other partnerships between industries and Indigenous communities. 

The Look North Report and Action Plan for Manitoba’s Northern Economy is available online at