During this provincial election campaign, the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce (MCC) has been pleased to see attention paid to the importance of a growing economy.
Party leaders have talked about the economic horse pulling the social cart, they’ve committed to eliminating the job-killing payroll tax and promised the creation of thousands of jobs.
Political parties appear to agree that a strong economy is important because it means employment to fill in-demand jobs, it creates wealth, and it generates the tax revenue that gives the provincial government an ability to invest in programs and systems that are critically important including healthcare, education, infrastructure, housing, and social services.
MCC has shared with all parties our Vote Prosperity platform which promotes economic growth and resilience in the province of Manitoba. We favor a forward-looking campaign that promotes long-term prosperity in our province.
Organized into four public policy pillars, MCC’s 2023 provincial election priorities focus on:
PILLAR 1: Strengthening Economic Competitiveness and Business Confidence
- Commit to eliminating the payroll tax and continue to focus on personal tax competitiveness, which has been identified by business leaders as the greatest impediment to economic competitiveness and growth in Manitoba.
- Invest in sectors and industries with the greatest strategic opportunity in Manitoba and develop corresponding action plans to support these investments, including in the areas of critical mineral development, the green economy, agri-food, transportation, and bioscience.
- Promote Manitoba’s access to capital framework to support private sector growth and ensure equitable access to capital by supporting businesses owned by women and underrepresented entrepreneurs with valuable venture and growth capital.
- Commit to undertaking thorough consultations with businesses and other stakeholders prior to introducing new legislation or regulations that significantly impact labour and/or the business community.
PILLAR 2: Attracting and Retaining Manitoba’s Talent
- Foster stronger alignment between post-secondary and employers by accelerating industry-education partnerships and by creating work-integrated learning programs, especially in rural and Northern Manitoba. Work with both sectors on a strategy to establish a new governance framework to address deficiencies in the quality and sharing of Labour Market Information (LMI), enhance interprovincial collaboration, and establish a cross-departmental committee to improve LMI coordination.
- Collaborate with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and various stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategy to tackle net interprovincial migration population losses within the first 12 months in office.
- Improve labour market outcomes for Manitoba’s Indigenous population by committing to the creation of an Indigenous-led strategy and ensure that Manitoba’s Indigenous Peoples are partners in the development of provincial economic growth and labour policies.
- Expedite and streamline foreign credential recognition and work with both the federal government and provincial regulatory authorities to remove barriers to employment for newcomers. Work with the federal government to expand immigration intakes and improve Manitoba’s immigrant retention rate by extending regional immigration programs and wrap around settlement services for both primary immigrants and their families.
PILLAR 3: Facilitating Global Trade and Reducing Barriers
- Commit to developing a clear and robust trade strategy in Manitoba to build international trade opportunities for Manitoba businesses and to take full advantage of our province’s export potential.
- Work with the federal government on the mutual recognition of regulations, rules, and policies to allow for the free movement of labour, goods, and services in and out of Manitoba.
- Commit to a strategic, sustained, disciplined approach to investment in Manitoba’s core infrastructure.
- Develop a consistent, coordinated approach to Indigenous consultation and accommodation, which clearly identifies Indigenous rights and responsibilities, the duties of the Crown, and the role of industry as a stakeholder supporting the process.
PILLAR 4: Building Strong, Resilient and Healthy Communities
- Implement all five recommendations with supporting actions from the joint Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and Doctors Manitoba October 2022 report titled Manitoba’s Physician Shortage: Physician Recruitment and Retention Recommendations from the Rural & Northern Health Summit.
- Ensure that Manitoba has the necessary supply of trained Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) to support the implementation of the Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement by expanding training options, improving access to ECE programs through added financial support, and valuing the work of ECEs.
- Ensure that Manitoba municipalities have the resources and predictable funding they need to create safe communities.
- Commit to addressing the existing fiscal framework between the Government of Manitoba and municipalities to meet the challenges of the future by establishing a simplified, fair, and predictable funding model for municipalities, and rebate the more than $25 million in PST paid on an annual basis by Manitoba municipalities.
At the MCC, we believe that for our province to achieve the level of prosperity needed to lift Manitoba’s economy to a level that is genuinely competitive with other Canadian jurisdictions, the next provincial government must enhance its focus on economic growth and competitiveness.
By creating a competitive economic climate that provides business with the confidence and certainty it needs to grow, invest, and create jobs and opportunities for Manitobans, we can achieve that prosperity.
To view our platform in full, visit voteprsperity.ca