Nearly 1,300 community leaders, politicians and business people came together on December 8 for the largest State of the Province Address in The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce's history, eager to hear the upcoming priorities of Premier Brian Pallister's newly elected team.
Teamwork formed the core of Premier Pallister's message to the audience as he laid out the challenges facing Manitoba's economy and the opportunity to "turn the canoe" by drawing on the strengths of our community. "Never underestimate a Canadian - and never underestimate a Manitoban," Premier Pallister said after emphasizing the urgency of Manitoba returning to fiscal balance.
At various points, the Premier called on groups in the assembly to stand and be recognized - the 100 high school students sponsored by Herzing College as well as MLAs from all party affiliations. He also announced the creation of a new team charged with advising the government on fiscal policy: The Premier's Enterprise Team.
“Manitoba’s new Premier’s Enterprise Team will offer its vast entrepreneurial and business expertise to the development of a new provincial strategy for economic growth,” said Pallister. “This strategy will guide the future policy and funding decisions of government to ensure that our efforts are focused on Manitoba’s many untapped opportunities for sustainable, long-term economic development.”
The Premier’s Enterprise Team will incorporate elements of the government’s work to reduce red tape, increase access to venture capital, and to expand trade and workforce training to meet the needs of Manitoba’s job-creating sectors such as aerospace and advanced manufacturing, value-added agricultural processing and industries attracted by the province’s clean hydroelectric energy, Pallister noted. Chaired by Hartley Richardson and vice-chared by Barb Garney, the PET includes
Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Loren Remillard noted the record-setting crowd enjoyed what audiences have come to expect from the State of the Province and State of the City addresses - first-hand knowledge of policy and action that will shape their community for years to come.