Written by Jamil Ahmed, Policy and Research Analyst
The NDP government of Manitoba, led by Premier Wab Kinew, unveiled its first throne speech on November 21, 2023. The speech, titled “A New Day in Manitoba,” outlined the government’s agenda to work together with various stakeholders, strengthen health care, lower costs for families and grow the province’s low-carbon economy.
The speech acknowledged the challenges that Manitobans face, such as increased wait times for health care, rising costs of living, homelessness and climate change. The speech was welcomed by the business community, who saw it as a positive sign of the government’s willingness to work with them to address the province’s economic challenges and opportunities.
Key Takeaways ⬇️
The commitment to make Manitoba a leader in the low-carbon economy with the federal government’s backing for a geothermal heat pump program that will connect homes across Manitoba with low-carbon, affordable energy and offers new opportunities to train the next generation of energy workers.
This initiative presents a promising opportunity for employment generations, reducing emissions and lowering energy bills for Manitobans. The program would also position Manitoba as a leader in the low-carbon economy and attract investments and innovations in the clean energy sector.
The government is committing to provide immediate relief to families and businesses by freezing hydro rate increases for one year and cutting the gas tax.
The freeze on hydro rate increases and the cut on the gas tax is a relief for families and businesses, as they would lower the cost of living and operating in Manitoba.
The throne speech emphasizes growing Manitoba’s economy and creating good jobs through investments in various industries. Encouraging investments in value-added manufacturing, trade, and natural resources can boost economic diversification.
The investments in Manitoba industries like value-added manufacturing, trade and natural resources are a boost for the economy and job creation, as they would enhance the province’s competitiveness and productivity.
The commitment to collaborating with front-line organizations, the business community, and all levels of government to address the issue of homelessness is a praiseworthy social initiative.
The Chamber acknowledges the importance of creating a comprehensive strategy that involves shelters, outreach programs and economic support to tackle the root causes of homelessness. We believe collaboration with businesses is crucial for creating job opportunities and sustainable solutions, contributing to the broader goal of ending homelessness in Manitoba.
The action on social issues, such as making Orange Shirt Day a statutory holiday and combating racism and antisemitism through Holocaust education, showcases the government’s commitment to reconciliation and inclusivity.
Making Orange Shirt Day a statutory holiday in Manitoba is a meaningful and important measure for the business community to honour, learn and act in support of the Indigenous peoples and their rights. However, this measure also requires some consideration and preparation from the business community, which may face some implications and trade-offs in implementing this measure.