On January 17, Manitoba Race to Reduce officially launched and Manitoba’s businesses are now racing to reduce their energy use by at least 10% over the next 4 years.
Manitoba Race to Reduce represents unprecedented collaboration within Manitoba’s Business community. The Race is aimed at providing businesses with the tools and resources needed to encourage smart energy use within their buildings.
What would it look like if ALL Winnipeg office buildings reduced their energy?
A 10% reduction in energy use across ALL office buildings in Manitoba could mean...
Which building owners have signed up?
So far over 6 million square feet of commercial office space - equal to 5,000 residential homes - have committed to the race. The initial goal was to get 3 million square feet confirmed before launching the race and that was quickly surpassed with Manitoba businesses quickly getting on board.
A few well-known buildings in the race include:
Who can join the race?
Any commercial office building in Manitoba with 30,000 square feet or more can join.
What’s the incentive to join?
Manitoba Race to Reduce will be tracking the results through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® and every year will give awards to the building owners, tenants and staff who lead the race. Most businesses and tenants have businesses goals that include being better environmental stewards, so joining Manitoba Race to Reduce is one way to accomplish that goal. They can also save hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy.
How can employees contribute to make a difference?
If you are a landlord or tenant wanting to learn more, contact Manitoba Race to Reduce at email@example.com or check out www.manitobaracetoreduce.ca to register today.
Manitoba’s economy continues to out-perform its prairie neighbours, but we need to continually improve conditions for a competitive, diversified, and resilient economy which provides a high quality of life to all Manitobans
ECONOMIC CONTEXT | Manitoba still strongest economy in prairies
Weaker global performance is keeping expectations modest for the Canadian economy. Infrastructure spending programs have improved prospects in some provinces, including Manitoba, but the Chamber continues to monitor the deficit position and acknowledges that stimulus spending is at best a short-term rather than long-term strategy.
With a strong and diversified economy, Manitoba’s economy is presently out-performing its prairie counterparts. As oil-producing regions see declines in job and GDP numbers, Manitoba remains steady. The Conference Board of Canada suggests that only Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia will see job gains in 2017.
Although the province’s goods-producing industries are generally healthy, there have been a few disruptions, particularly to vulnerable northern industries. Heavy rain and flooding have weakened the outlook for agriculture, and gains in mining are offset by a slump in oil and gas. Manufacturing is expected to advance by 2.4 per cent and construction by 0.9 per cent; the latter fuelled by large Hydro and infrastructure projects, including Winnipeg’s True North Square and Southwest Transitway. Manitoba is expected to see increases in goods consumption due to the addition of new jobs to the economy in 2017.
We focused our comments to four priority areas:
1. Establish a tax commission to improve the tax system
Manitoba’s tax system has been without a comprehensive review for 16 years. We recommend the development of a commission to establish a streamlined tax system, including matching federal-provincial exemptions for individuals, raised exemptions for small businesses, and the elimination of the payroll tax. This recommendation is particularly timely in light of a proposed price on carbon, as it will impact other government cash transfers.
Since 1999, the provincial government has experienced continued increases in revenue due to a combination of increased taxation (including a rise in the PST) as well as increased revenues from the federal government though transfer payments and equalization. Repeated budgets have shown that the provincial government has not shown a focus on reducing expenditures.
2. Enable better access to capital and labour
From a regulatory perspective, we recommend participation in a coordinated federal regulatory commission. From a budgetary perspective, we recommend that the government develop an “access to capital” strategy that identifies all stages of capital financing, current capital availability, and local gaps along the entire capital continuum (idea, incubator, angels, venture capital). We also recommend increasing funding to incubators for prototyping and beta testing, and a clear delineation between commercialization and innovation or research.
To complement the earlier recommendation in social enterprise training, engage education leaders in a comprehensive review of Manitoba’s education outcomes to ensure they are in line with the needs of industry. This includes a need to improve outcomes in primary, secondary, and post-secondary education (reading, math and science skills), as well as college and trades-oriented schools. In addition, we recommend re-examining ways of re-opening the “employer direct” initiative of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, which allowed employers to directly nominate individuals for permanent residency.
3. Outline your plan to reduce the deficit
While Manitoba’s provincial debt remains the 4th lowest in Canada for 2015-16 (at 1.3% of GDP) according to RBC Economics Research, its expenses are somewhat higher relative to other provinces. Manitoba can improve its credit rating and economic outlook by outlining a plan to get the deficit under control, partly by creating a culture in the public sector that inspires and rewards employees for finding efficiencies.
Manitoba’s credit rating was downgraded by Standard & Poor’s partly because Manitoba is expected to have a sustained debt burden over the long-term. With a year-end deficit for 2016 of over $1 billion, the government must signal to the investment community that we are ready to improve our fiscal position.
4. Improve value for money in government services
Manitobans consistently expect better value-for-money from our government while balancing demands for improved social outcomes and service delivery. While the Chamber appreciates that a value-for-money audit has been undertaken, we also hope the government explores unique opportunities to innovate service delivery models, including social investment strategies.
In addition to independent recommendations, we suggest tying provincial collective agreement compensation adjustments to the average weekly earnings and CPI for Manitoba. Broadly speaking, we also encourage the government to seek opportunities for modern technology and procedures to enhance both service and communication to citizens.
We also recommend that the government consider the February 2015 Manitoba Social Enterprise Strategy, which may multiply the impact of dollars spent in the private (or “third”) sector which would otherwise be spent directly on government services.
Finally, there may be an opportunity to significantly reduce the bureaucratic costs associated with the delivery of cash benefits while simultaneously improving social outcomes. We recommend that the province consider the creation of a basic income pilot project in 2017 that would improve social outcomes, workforce participation rates, and administrative efficiency.
By improving our tax system, improving our pools of labour and capital, seeking better value-for-money in government services, and outlining a plan to improve our fiscal position, the Chamber believes that we can improve the wellbeing of all Manitobans for generations to come. These measures can create not just a more desirable investment climate, but it positions our city and province as a desirable and dynamic place to live.
When you jump aboard a party bus at 8 a.m., you know it's going to be a great day.
The January session of the Leadership Winnipeg Program included a closer look at Winnipeg's Social Enterprise Centre and Urban Training Circle. However, participants needed a way to get there. Cue the Bada Bing Party Bus!
Here's a look at how our Leadership Winnipeg participants spent the day:
For over a decade, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and Volunteer Manitoba have partnered together to offer Leadership Winnipeg, a 10-session leadership program (plus class project), which runs from September through June. The program provides experiences that inspire and help individuals to develop an understanding of themselves, their community and their role within it.
Click here for more info.
Valentine's Day is around the corner and many local Manitoba companies are pouring their hearts into special products to celebrate love of all types. We've gathered a few into one easy buy local gift guide to help Manitobans share the love with their Valentine, Galentine or Palentine, while also supporting some lovely Manitoba brands.
1. Gourmet Inspirations Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fondue Sauce
This rich fondue sauce is a must for any Valentine's date. Serve with strawberries, marshmallows and pretzels for a delicious dessert.
2. Cornell Creme Red Red Wine Ice Cream
This romantic treat only comes out once a year. This fruity, boozy delight is made with Manitoba’s own Rigby Orchards Estate Wine.
3. Sutton Smithworks Missing Piece ring
This subtle but gorgeous ring features a cute negative space heart in a brushed silver band, the perfect way to say "I love you".
4. The Fairmont Kiss & Wake Up Package
You'll be greeted by sparkling wine and chocolate strawberries on arrival, and can then enjoy an overnight luxury experience followed by a lavish breakfast in the VG Restaurant. Because even the strongest relationships could use a little pampering now and then.
5. The Velvet Glove Restaurant Aphrodisiac Menu
This 8 course Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiac Menu will be available on Saturday, February 11 and Tuesday, February 14, 2017 only so don't miss out!
If that's not enough, one lucky person will get to take it all home! All they have to do is follow the above brands on Instagram and tag a friend on one or all of the contest posts! We are also asking people to tag a photo with #mymanitobavalentine for one more chance to win.
Be sure to check our Membership Directory and show some love to Winnipeg #shoplocal
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” Written by Dickens to juxtapose profound differences in perspective at a time of great upheaval, the famous opening line applies impeccably well to Canada’s current trade relationship with the United States.
Despite regularly posting record trade numbers and having built upon increasingly seamless supply chains across our shared border, Canada is faced with loose talk of hefty tariffs and open questions about the inherent value of free trade agreements. This, in an environment in which the President has demonstrated a willingness to quickly enforce nebulous Executive Orders of profound consequence.
Our trade relationship has seemingly turned on its head overnight. A free trade agreement recently considered vital to our mutual economic interest is now unabashedly called “the worst trade deal in history” and the win-win narrative of pursuing trade liberalization has instantly disappeared. Canadians are instead having to endure a daily diet of Shock and Awe from President Trump’s Twitter account, which is far from reassuring for anyone depending on unimpeded access to their market.
Yet despite this historic about-face in American rhetoric, nothing has materially changed in our trade relationship since the inauguration. In fact, all signs point to a renewed commitment to the status quo. President Trump’s son-in-law and closest advisor even took the time to present an optimistic picture to our federal Cabinet in Calgary a few days ago.
So how are Canadian businesses supposed to engage its suddenly mercurial neighbour?
As difficult as it may be, Canadians must view the American market just as they did last year; as a uniquely dynamic marketplace with boundless opportunity. No country can match the cross-section of technological sophistication, innovative spirit, and commercial prowess found in the American business environment. While their liberal economic order will be stress-tested in the coming years, it will certainly take much more than a populist president to undo decades of continental integration and reshape a deeply ingrained business culture, especially if done so unilaterally.
The bottom-line is that panic-inducing hyperbole does not change the practical reality of doing business in the United States. Canadian companies must still ensure that taxes are appropriately filed according to legal structure, that proper procedures are followed when hiring locals, that repatriation of income is done effectively, and that intellectual property is legally protected. Organizations such as TDS Law, EDC, and BDC offer great guides and advice on how to tackle these fundamental questions.
In effect, while the world looks elsewhere to mitigate investment risk, there might well be some wisdom in taking a second-look at the golden opportunities left behind for Manitoba businesses willing to bet that economic realism will eventually trump ad-hoc protectionism.
For further information, we welcome you to attend a half-day conference on the American business climate on February, 28, 2017 entitled What’s in it for U.S. eh?.
President and CEO
World Trade Centre Winnipeg
By: Susan Kuz, Being Pukka
How it all started
Being Pukka developed from my passion for helping people to go for their dreams in life. I’ve always been a fan of personal development and about 8 years ago I began facilitating workshops and coaching people in discovering their life passions. Soon after I discovered the new field of positive psychology and began my formal education in the science of human flourishing. I have a background in marketing research so I loved that the findings are backed by science-based research.
One of my signature strengths is love of learning so I am always reading about the latest studies in human flourishing. I take what I learn from experts in the field and transfer this knowledge to clients so they can begin applying the tools and techniques in their own lives. I do this through speaking, writing, facilitation, coaching and program development.
According to a 2010 Gallup study only 7% of people are flourishing in all 5 areas of wellbeing: career, social, financial, physical and community. That leaves a lot of room for improvement. With the many recent changes in governments around the world, people are looking to strengthen their resiliency, and up their levels of happiness, positivity and optimism.
The power of positivity
Infusing more positive emotion in our day has many benefits. It helps us to broaden our minds, be more creative, and be better problem solvers. We make better decisions, have better negotiation outcomes, and are more able to cope with adversity when we have a positive state of mind.
Happiness is good for business. Studies have shown that increased happiness causes greater career success and not the other way around. Happier CEOs lead organizations with higher ROI, have happier employees who produce more, and have companies that are more profitable. Those who are happier have higher incomes over time, superior job performance and productivity, and they sell more. They are more engaged in their jobs, experience less conflict, are less likely to be absent, experience job burnout or quit.
One quick tip before I go
Whether you see yourself as more optimistic or pessimistic our thinking styles are mostly learned which means they can be changed. For the most part it is better to have an optimistic thinking style but there are times when a pessimistic thinking style is useful. Flexibility is the key. One quick way to cultivate optimism is by writing about your best possible (realistic) self. Here’s how: Write down what you expect your life to be in 3 years from now. Imagine that every day has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and have succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals and dreams. Now write about what you imagined. Begin your paragraph with “In 3 years I am…” Studies have shown that this exercise boosts optimism and hope.
Connect with Susan and Being Pukka on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeingPukka/
This April, the Manitoba government will revise the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) to better match foreign skilled workers with Manitoba employers. As well, the revisions to this program will also prioritize the selection of foreign entrepreneurs who can establish job creating businesses in Manitoba.
This focus is welcome. The MPNP is, first and foremost, and economic immigration program designed to help businesses grow and attract successful entrepreneurs to our province.
In the last number of years, the majority of immigrants who have come to Manitoba arrive without jobs. While many are successful in participating in our workforce, the process for some of these individuals often results in periods of initial unemployment. By focusing the MPNP on Manitoba employers who have vacant positions and entrepreneurs who are ready to do business, the MPNP will become a focused economic development tool for Manitoba.
While the parameters of the revised program show promise, the final re-write will have to address a number of key issues to make sure that all Manitoba businesses can participate.
The first thing that needs to be done is to reduce the paperwork in the immigration process. Currently, it can take up to five different applications, filed with four different government departments over two levels of government to bring someone in as a foreign worker and transition them to permanent residence. While no one is arguing that the government shouldn't do background checks, streamlining the process would go a long way to making it more accessible for Manitoba businesses.
The second thing the government needs to do is to reduce processing times. Currently, it can take months or years for a foreign immigrant to become a permanent resident. While some immigrants can work in Canada earlier, the processing time for these individuals still range in weeks or months.
By having long processing times, the only businesses that can adequately use this immigration solution are large businesses with predictable employee turnover. In general, businesses do not have the luxury of waiting weeks or months for new employees.
For entrepreneurs, processing times that range from weeks to years do not work within commercial realities. If Manitoba is serious about attracting foreign entrepreneurs, it must facilitate the entry of these entrepreneurs on a timely basis.
The third thing the government needs to do is to provide incentives to immigrants with family in Manitoba. Individuals who come to Manitoba to live among family are more likely to remain here. A program that allows Manitoba residents to match their overseas relatives with employers here is needed. This would have the benefit of reuniting families, providing businesses with needed employees, and providing immigrants with a job upon arrival.
Since the final version of the new program has not been released, there is still time for Manitobans to make their thoughts known. If you operate a business that may require employees from outside of Canada, the time to make your views known is now.
Reis Pagtakhan is an immigration lawyer with MLT Aikins in Winnipeg.
It’s officially 2017, which means we’re a few months away from hosting the Hottest Summer in Half a Century! The Canada Games are this country’s largest multi-sport and cultural event for young athletes, and we have a lot planned in the months leading up to the 2017 Games in Winnipeg.
From unveiling the medal designs to announcing the entertainment lineups for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, we’ve got excitement coming your way until the Games officially begin in July. You won’t want to miss these!
The first phase of ticket sales, with select packages available, went on sale in mid-November and early-bird pricing ended on December 31st. Advance pricing on those same packages is available until February 27th.
In February we will celebrate 150 Days to Go by launching phase two of our ticket sales which will include gate pricing on the packages and the introduction of individual ceremonies, preliminary sport competition, and medal competition tickets.
We also have ticket packages for every type of sports fan, so you can experience the Games your way! The Niibin Family Package is perfect for a sports-loving family of four, with special pricing for two adults and two children who want to experience the Games together. Not your kind of deal? Don’t worry, the Niibin package is also available for adults and children separately.
Hosting clients or team building with your employees this summer? We have a range of corporate ticket packages to suit your needs. Please contact Peter Valde for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in establishing - or expanding - your presence in the United Kingdom?
The UK Department for International Trade is a government organization that provides free and confidential support to firms interested in establishing a presence in the UK, through which they can access both the British and the EMEA Market. Although based in Calgary, they cover all sectors across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. They assist clients with all matters that impact their business decisions, including market cost comparisons, property availability, taxation, skills, immigration, etc.
They're in Winnipeg on Wednesday, January 25 at the Elephant & Castle for a free open house. RSVP to UKEvents@fco.gov.uk.
Following the adoption of the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, Manitoba is still considering its options on carbon pricing and climate mitigation. Eight out of ten provinces have already signed on to the Framework, with Saskatchewan and Manitoba being the sole hold-outs. The Framework proposes that if provinces do not design their own carbon pricing mechanisms, a price will be imposed upon them by the federal government.
On Wednesday January 10, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce held a consultation on carbon pricing and climate mitigation with a small group of stakeholders. Stakeholders represented a broad range of perspectives from the most highly impacted Industries including agriculture, transportation, and building and construction, as well as representatives of Manitoba’s clean tech sector and researchers in the area of climate mitigation and adaptation.
We were pleased to be joined by Premier Brian Pallister as well as David McLaughlin, special adviser to the Premier on climate change. Guests were invited to share their concerns about the framework, or to provide options for revenue recycling in a revenue neutral system. Options for revenue recycling range from carbon emissions reduction to land use and conservation, as well as clean technology investments.
The dialogue was sincere and productive, and the Chamber will continue to engage with government and industry stakeholders on this file going forward with the aim of designing a simple but effective regulatory framework.