Stefanson Lays Out Vision 2030 for a Two-Million Person-Strong Manitoba

Sep 11, 2023 | 2023 Election News

Preparing Manitoba to be a ‘have’ province by eliminating the payroll tax to make province more competitive, growing Manitoba’s economy

WINNIPEG — Today, PC Leader Heather Stefanson outlined Vision 2030: her vision for the future of Manitoba, and the PC Party’s plan to make life more affordable, grow the economy, and prepare for a population of 2 million people.

“Under a re-elected PC government, we will prepare Manitoba for a growing population with endless opportunities, driven by strategic development in key sectors and bringing new industries into our economy,” said Stefanson. “We will do this by supporting our critical minerals sector, and making Manitoba more attractive and competitive for businesses and workers.”

Following last week’s affordability promises of continuing to reduce income taxes and eliminating the Land Transfer Tax for first-time homebuyers, the PCs announced today that they would also phase out the anti-competitive Payroll Tax on Manitoba businesses over eight years, with a 50-per-cent reduction in four years.

“This tax has been deterring business from coming to Manitoba or expanding in our province,” said Stefanson. “A diverse and growing economy will power our ability to lower taxes, invest in services, and create prosperity for all Manitobans.”

The PC’s record of growing the economy and attracting new opportunities is strong: employment is up 21,800 jobs year-over-year, as are labour income, provincial exports, and manufacturing sales. Manitoba is the third-fastest growing economy in Canada, behind only Saskatchewan and Alberta.

“Heather Stefanson refuses to let good opportunities pass her by. In the face of uncertainty and delays from the federal government, she stepped up and funded the full $40 million required for the CentrePort project,” said Martin McGarry, President & CEO of Cushman & Wakefield Stevenson. “Her leadership and unwavering support for economic development is an asset for this province.”

Stefanson outlined her vision to business and community leaders in downtown Winnipeg following two months of meeting with Manitobans across the province. It builds on key investments Stefanson has made as Premier to advance Manitoba’s economic potential over the next decade:

  • $2.5 billion for highway infrastructure over the next five years to improve Manitoba’s key trade routes, and upgrade Winnipeg’s Perimeter Highway to freeway standards;
  • $74 million to upgrade the Hudson Bay rail line to the Port of Churchill, unlocking the potential to transport Western Canadian commodities to European markets; and
  • $40 million to expand CentrePort, North America’s largest inland port and foreign trade zone, which will attract more than $1 billion in investments once completed.

Stefanson’s vision for Manitoba centres around three key priorities for the economy:

  1. Expanding markets for Manitoba goods and services, and building the infrastructure to get them to market;
  2. Incentivizing employers to train up their workforce and work with the province to certify internationally-educated professionals in their profession; and
  3. Making Manitoba’s tax system more competitive with neighbouring jurisdictions, and allowing businesses and workers to keep more of their income.

Supporting these priorities, Stefanson said, are commitments to a fiscally responsible government that balances the budget in 2025, invests in skills and training to fill 100,000 jobs over the next five years, and leverages Manitoba’s affordable, clean energy to attract and power new industries entering the provincial economy—including aquaculture, solar glass manufacturing, biofuels, critical minerals such as potash and lithium, and carbon sequestration.

Strengthening Manitoba’s economy will create more revenue for government to pay for the services that Manitobans rely on, while reducing burdensome taxes on Manitobans.

“Four years from now, your taxes will be lower, your bank account will be larger, your kids won’t be as likely to move away, and Manitoba will be on its way to being a ‘have’ province,” Stefanson said. “We are the only party fighting for Manitoba’s future with a long-term vision—not short-sighted, temporary fixes like the NDP, who will let the world pass us by.”

The provincial election will be held on October 3, 2023.

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