Written by Colin Fast, Director of Advocacy at The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
Premier Brian Pallister will take to the stage on December 6th to deliver his third State of the Province Address. Now sitting midway through his government’s term, what will the Premier have to share with The Chamber audience? Here are three big issues to look for:
1. Economic Development Strategy
At last year’s State of the Province, Premier Pallister announced that former Winnipeg Chamber CEO Dave Angus and Payworks CEO Barb Gamey would be heading up an effort to develop a new economic development strategy for Manitoba. Several months of province-wide consultations were held to gather input into the strategy, which is expected to be released soon. For several years the Chamber has championed the need for a comprehensive economic development plan, so we’re excited to see how the government wants to work with the private sector to grow our province.
2. Carbon Tax
Maybe you’ve heard of this one lately? With the recent cancellation of the provincial carbon tax and the announcement the federal government will assess its own tax in Manitoba, there has been a great deal of confusion and concern over how we will reduce emissions in our province and who will be paying for it. We will be looking to the Premier to clarify his government’s plans going forward, including next steps for the Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan.
3. Education Reform
The province has promised it will begin a comprehensive review of the education system in 2019 that could include everything from curriculum to standardized testing, taxation, provincial funding and potential amalgamation of school divisions. As this is the next big policy issue for this government, we’ll look for the Premier to give some signals about what he hopes to accomplish from this review and how changes to the education system might help young Manitobans prepare for the jobs of the future.
Get your seats for this year's State of the Province Address on Dec. 6.