The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce was pleased to be in attendance yesterday when Lieutenant Governor Anita Neville delivered the Government of Manitoba’s Speech from the Throne, signaling the opening of the fifth session of the 42nd legislature.
This year’s speech focused on affordability due to the rising cost of living, strengthening Manitoba’s economy through strategic investments, and addressing our province’s serious labour force challenges.
Included in today’s speech were some important policy wins for the business community and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce:
- The Government of Manitoba announced that it will reopen the Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF) business loan program to support key sectors of Manitoba’s northern economy. This focus on growing Northern Manitoba’s economy is critically important to the economic health of our province and has long been a key focus for MCC. CEDF provides business concierge services to aspiring entrepreneurs, enterprises of any size, and northern communities, and manages a fisheries loan program.
- The provincial government also reiterated its commitment to boost health care staffing through the implementation of a Health Human Resource Action Plan. With this commitment, the government has directly responded to physician recruitment and retention recommendations we made in our joint report with Doctors Manitoba.
- While there was focus on issues important to the Chamber network specifically regarding economic competitiveness, workforce development, and red tape reduction, the Throne Speech was light on details and did not express the sense of urgency we were hoping to see in these important policy areas. MCC will continue to press the government to ensure competitiveness, workforce, and red tape reduction remain priorities that help grow the Manitoba economy.
Other highlights from today’s Throne Speech include:
- Creating up to 1,000 addictions treatment spaces throughout Manitoba.
- Funding 17 new childcare facilities to serve 1,200 new spaces, along with operating funding to increase wages for early childhood educators.
- Strengthening collaboration between post-secondary and business to identify skills and labour needs and respond to the training, research, and development needs of business.
- Developing an Adult Education Strategic Plan to better support micro-credentialing and retraining to fill high demand jobs in Manitoba.
- Continuing to make strategic investments in venture capital and infrastructure to position our province to capitalize on developing global economic growth opportunities in green energy, digital services, sustainable agriculture, manufacturing, and critical minerals.
- Enhance the success of Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program to attract potential immigrants based on provincial economic priorities, while collaborating on the settlement and integration of newcomers.
To read the speech from the throne, visit www.manitoba.ca/thronespeech.