An economic growth strategy, clear training mandates for colleges and a plan to move people from welfare to work more quickly were some of the highlights for the business community in the provincial government’s latest throne speech, delivered on November 20th.
Business and community leaders have been eagerly anticipating the release of a new action plan for economic growth, based on the review conducted by former Winnipeg Chamber CEO Dave Angus and Payworks CEO Barb Gamey. In the throne speech, the government committed to releasing that plan shortly, and we expect to hear more details at the State of the Province address on December 6th.
Ensuring the training provided by colleges is closely aligned with the demands of the labour market was another focus. The government said it will issue mandate letters to colleges, implement a performance-based funding model and streamline the approval process for new training programs, which was a recommendation in the Chamber’s BOLD Manitoba platform from the 2016 provincial election.
Getting more people into the workforce is also the goal of a new initiative that was announced to improve the assessment process for people on welfare. The new system will help identify opportunities to move people into paid work on an expedited schedule.
Other highlights included:
While the Chamber appreciates the government’s efforts to streamline its operations, tackle the deficit and modernize the civil service, we would like to see a stronger focus on competitiveness as the government enters the second half of its current mandate.
We’re hopeful the economic growth plan will provide some of that direction, and we continue to push the government to establish a tax review commission to ensure our tax system is as simple, streamlined and competitive as possible.
Director of Policy