Why the economy should by the priority in OurWinnipeg

February 5, 2018
The Winnipeg Chamber has begun work on a comprehensive submission to the OurWinnipeg review.

Created in 2011, OurWinnipeg is a 25-year vision of our city’s potential. The regularly scheduled in-depth review process (every five years) has already begun, and hundreds of Winnipeggers have already provided feedback on what direction they want to see the City of Winnipeg go.Presently, OurWinnipeg is based upon the three pillars of economic development, environmental sustainability and social equality. Each of these goals are important, but without a leading pillar, the plan currently lacks both direction and focus. Your Chamber will advocate strongly for the plan to focus on economic development.

Picture

Why?

A healthy economy pays for the social services we use, such as parks and community centers. A strong economy allows governments to invest into infrastructure or other assets. Greater economic growth leads to higher incomes and lower unemployment rates, whereas stagnation encourages people to leave, shrinking the tax base, which leads to rising taxes. Governments benefit when they receive higher tax revenues, allowing them to cut taxes or reinvest back into the community. Accelerating and planning for economic growth isn’t mutually exclusive to environmental sustainability and social equality – it funds those two activities. That’s why it needs to be the focus of OurWinnipeg.

A key issue we’ll focus on is dealing with our rapid growth. (Upon reflection, it’s not the worst problem to have.) Winnipeg is expected to grow by over 200,000 people by 2040. Over the past 15 years, Winnipeg grew almost twice as fast as it did in the previous 20. This creates challenges such as how and where people are going to be housed, and how we all get around.