Manitoba Chambers Attends Northern Perspectives Conference

Mar 4, 2024 | Chamber News, Events, Front Page, Policy

On February 27, Chuck Davidson, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce (MCC) President and CEO, Nick Gamble, MCC Policy Analyst, and Christa Rust, MCC Program Director, attended the Northern Perspectives conference held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery Qaumajuq. The conference was centered around key issues for Nunavut and identified several areas of opportunity for Manitoba. Notably, Premier Kinew addressed attendees over lunch and provided some insights regarding the possibility for Manitoba to develop a stronger relationship with its Northern neighbor.  

Key Takeaways 

Manitoba’s Opportunity

The Premier began his address by outlining the potential for Manitoba to seize the green economic opportunities ahead. He remarked that our Western provinces have already “cashed in” on their energy exports while Manitoba made investments in renewable hydroelectricity that have gone unrecognized. Given that Nunavut is currently reliant on fossil fuels for energy, there is opportunity for Manitoba to provide its clean energy as Nunavut looks for alternative sources of energy that are sustainable and reliable. Additionally, the Premier remarked how Manitoba is home to 29 of the 31 critical minerals noted by the Federal government, showcasing the opportunity for providing key materials for green industries. 

Providing Sustainable and Low Carbon Electricity 

One initiative discussed at the conference was the Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link that could provide 150 MW of electricity to various communities in Nunavut from Manitoba’s northern electricity generating stations. The Premier noted that “Nation Building” initiatives such as this should garner federal funding to develop, with this line traversing 1,200 kilometers of challenging terrain but has the potential to replace burning millions of litres of diesel. 

Strengthening Ties between Regions 

The Premier highlighted that the relationship between Nunavut and Manitoba was significantly stronger in the past and noted that prior visits of the provincial cabinet to Nunavut would be emblematic of the close relationship that should be fostered. He reiterated that Manitoba is at the table, and that his common tagline is still valid when put in a Northern context as “the economic dog pulls the social sled.” 

Manitoba a Key Link to Nunavut 

Premier Kinew also expressed a desire to be stronger economic partner for Nunavut outside of energy supply. He stated that Manitoba can be a hub to provide Northern supplies, healthcare, and shopping that are currently done in Ottawa and through the Port of Montreal. Kinew reinforced that investments in CentrePort and the Port of Churchill are paving the way to facilitate this goal, evidenced by the Port of Churchill expecting shipments of critical minerals to begin this summer. 

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