The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce was pleased to host the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), on Dec. 3 as our #MBPoli Power Hour special guest.
The Minister spoke on a variety of topics, including his vision for PrairiesCan, economic development in the North, and COVID-19 recovery supports.
Minister Vandal confirmed that PrairiesCan has not been left out of federal funding this round and that dollars for economic development programs and initiatives in the prairie provinces have been approved and allocated. He believes that a minister overseeing PrairiesCan from Manitoba is incredibly positive and he has committed to working with academia and the business community to identify niche markets for potential investment and growth.
In terms of COVID-19 recovery, the Minister shared with viewers that his government’s priority is to get to the other side of this pandemic. Until we do, the economy can never return to normal. To that end, he confirmed that the federal government will continue with supports related to the hardest hit sectors of the economy. Bill C-2 extends the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 2022 and proposes new funding to deliver targeted support to hardest hit sectors through three streams: Tourism and Hospitality Program; Hardest-Hit Recovery Program; and Local Lockdown Program.
The Minister also emphasized the importance of the North, stressing that Churchill has a crucial role to play in the future development of the north and arctic, and that it will only become more important as a transportation and tourism hub. The Minister expressed his government’s commitment to actively working with the community, academia, and the business community to collectively address housing, infrastructure, and food insecurity challenges. The Minister expressed that housing and good, modern infrastructure are key to ensure Northern Manitobans are safe and that the economy can thrive.