The provincial election is over, the budget will be announced in the coming weeks, and Premier Wab Kinew will provide his inaugural State of the Province Address to The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce members on December 7 at the RBC Convention Centre.
What is the State of the Province Address?
The State of the Province Address is an annual address to the province by the Premier. It brings together over 1,000 participants, including dignitaries, officials, business leaders and community leaders, to hear the Premier’s reflections on and highlight their achievements during their tenure, with a specific focus on their government priorities.
What happens during the State of the Province Address?
Premier Kinew will give his inaugural State of the Province Address, setting out his government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the next four years in office.
What will The Chamber look for at this year’s State of the Province Address?
1. Economic Development Strategy
The Chamber has been clear and consistent on the need for a focused provincial economic strategy, developed in partnership with the business community, to ensure long-term economic growth, social cohesion, and environmental resilience in Manitoba. The new government must also recognize municipalities as key entities at the frontlines of future economic, social, and ecological opportunities. We are excited to see how the Premier and his government will work with the private sector to grow our province.
2. Net-Zero Strategy
It is evident from recent news announcements that Premier Kinew and his government take the complexities of the climate crisis seriously, stating on numerous occasions it sees climate change as “not just a threat on the horizon” but as a reality “knocking on our doorstep.” The Chamber is also pleased to see the priority areas outlined in the Mandate letter for the Minister for Environment and Climate Change and the Minister responsible for Efficiency Manitoba, specifically to create a roadmap to meet net-zero targets by 2050.
However, a net-zero strategy is still needed. They complement each other, with the strategy providing the overarching guidance and the roadmap outlining the actionable steps to implement the strategy.
The Chamber is hopeful that the Premier and his government will commit to developing a focused net-zero strategy that includes:
- An emission reduction pathway for net-zero by 2050 and actively pursue additional opportunities for 8.0 Mt cumulative emissions reductions by 2027 as recommended by the Expert Advisory Council to the Minister of Environment, Climate and Parks.
- A net-zero action plan with clear accountability – detailed, sector-specific road maps produced in collaboration with industry and municipalities.
- A green skills plan to help map out the quantity and type of skills needed, where the new “green jobs” are located and how to invest in education and retraining.
- Circular strategies to address the challenges of complex supply chains, consumer behaviour, and investment.
3. Downtown Winnipeg
In a recent survey by The Chamber, 67% of respondents indicated that improving downtown Winnipeg should be a high priority for the new Premier and his government to address.
“It’s clearly a really big impediment to our economic development. I just don’t want to see one provincial task force go off and come up with seven good initiatives they are going to do to revitalize economic activity downtown without working with everyone else that is trying to address social issues and doing it productively together in an efficient manner.” ~ Chamber Member.
Winnipeg’s downtown business area is a significant economic driver and a major sports, arts and culture, education, and hospitality hub. We look forward to the continued collaboration between the Premier and the Mayor, and how they will establish a joint platform for ongoing dialogue and collaboration between the provincial government, municipal authorities, downtown businesses, residents, and community organizations to ensure that policies and initiatives align with the needs and aspirations of downtown Winnipeg.
With over 1000 business and community leaders in attendance, the State of the Province event is the business community’s opportunity to hear more about the province’s approach and priorities. This will be an event you won’t want to miss.
Please join us to hear Premier Kinew outline his vision and priorities for Manitoba businesses and our economy.