WINNIPEG - Premier Heather Stefanson reaffirmed her government’s vision and plans for a strong economic and social recovery during her inaugural State of the Province address to nearly 1,200 members of Manitoba’s business community, hosted by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
“As we continue to work through the ongoing fiscal and public health challenges posed by COVID-19, we have developed an ambitious agenda to incent investment, foster job creation, improve education and training opportunities, all to facilitate economic growth, drive innovation and get our economy fully on track,” said Stefanson. “Advancing reconciliation with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Manitobans and forging a new relationship based on respect, co-operation and collaboration is fundamental to our province’s economic future.”
Key initiatives the premier highlighted include:
- addressing the collateral impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health system, setting a path for clearing surgical and diagnostic backlogs, and enhancing Manitoba’s intensive care unit (ICU) capacity;
- incentivising nursing graduates to stay in Manitoba;
- implementing the Manitoba Tourism Strategy, creating a more prosperous future for northern Manitoba;
- reducing red tape for businesses to fostering investment in the mining sector that will expand job opportunities for northern and First Nations communities;
- harnessing opportunities to use innovative technologies and create green jobs in Manitoba through a new energy policy framework;
- promoting policies that support startup and small business growth, and get new products to market;
- implementing a venture capital framework to improve access to capital for Manitoba businesses;
- improving Manitoba’s kindergarten to Grade 12 education system to better prepare students for academic and labour market success;
- working closely with post-secondary institutions and employers so Manitobans can gain the skills to build their careers at home;
- working with business and industry to deliver demand-led skills training that will address labour market needs in areas such as hospitality, trucking, manufacturing and nursing;
- seeking expansion of the Provincial Nominee Program to increase immigration and build a diverse workforce; and
- listening to Manitobans, from all backgrounds and perspectives, on how to move Manitoba forward, together.