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Steady Economic Growth, Good Jobs for Families

November 12, 2013

Throne Speech Focused on Basics to Keep Manitoba Moving Forward Through Uncertainty: Premier

Lt.-Gov. Philip Lee today delivered the speech from the throne to open the third session of the 40th Manitoba legislative assembly.

“Despite persisting economic uncertainty around the world, Manitoba has remained strong and stable with growing businesses and a good quality of life,” said Premier Greg Selinger.  “We’ve made a lot of progress by focusing on the things that matter most.  And with a focus on the basics today, we’ll build for an even brighter tomorrow for Manitoba families.  That means a steady, growing economy, more training opportunities and good jobs.

“Today, we’ve set an ambitious goal of building the core infrastructure that will grow our economy.  Working with municipalities, industry and workers’ associations, we’re creating good jobs and ensuring Manitobans have the skills they need to do those jobs and build a good life for their family, here at home.”

Strong Infrastructure to Grow Manitoba’s Economy

A new five-year, $5.5-billion plan focused on core, strategic economic infrastructure will build Manitoba’s roads and bridges, flood protection and municipal infrastructure like water and sewer.

Highlights include:

  • A multi-year reconstruction of PTH 75 to better protect this vital route from flood-related closures and major upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway to Ontario to strengthen another critical trade route.
  • Major investments in the Perimeter Highway system and a new Trans-Canada Highway bypass around Headingley to improve traffic flows and help realize the full potential of CentrePort Canada Way.
  • New investments in PTH 10 from Brandon to the U.S. border and north to Minnedosa, and the redevelopment of Brandon’s Daly Overpass.
  • A commitment to expand Winnipeg’s rapid transit project including completing the southwest corridor to University of Manitoba, adding an additional lane to the Pembina Highway underpass and improving active transportation.
  • Advancing work on a permanent flood outlet for lakes Manitoba and St. Martin.

Good Jobs, Better Education and Training for Families

Record investments in building Manitoba’s infrastructure will create thousands of good jobs and keep the economy growing.  New education and training initiatives, and better resources for young entrepreneurs will ensure every Manitoban can take advantage of these opportunities.  Highlights include:

  • Better and streamlined tax credits for employers to take on more apprentices, and new tools to help match apprentices with job openings.
  • A new grant program for young entrepreneurs in technology-based startups and access to better resources for young people in skilled trades wanting to start their own business.
  • Expanded co-op and workplace credit options for high school students and upgrades to more shop classes so students can gain practical experience.
  • New schools for growing neighbourhoods including a new school in north Winnipeg and a major new investment in Frontier Collegiate Institute in Cranberry Portage.
  • A new language arts curriculum to improve reading and communication skills for all students, new French as a first language and French immersion curricula, and a renewed focus on improving high school graduation rates in Aboriginal communities.
  • A new Churchill transportation authority to diversify and market the port to attract investment and develop opportunities in the north.

An Even Better Place to Live

Manitoba is one of the most affordable provinces in which to live with a high quality of life.  New steps will be taken in the year ahead to improve the services families count on most and protect consumers. Highlights include:

  • New child-care centres to give parents more convenient options for care.
  • More health professionals to help family doctors’ offices take on new patients, expansion of care options for cancer patients and building more clinics for families to conveniently access the care they need.
  • New legislation to address high-cost credit products that risk ballooning debt for vulnerable people.
  • New rules to ensure fairness for families when negotiating the sale of or renovations to their homes.
  • An expansion of Manitoba Hydro energy-efficiency incentives to lower-income renters.
  • Investments to strengthen provincial parks and further efforts to protect and restore the health of Lake Winnipeg.

The premier noted as a result of savings realized from the recent merger of two Crown corporations, the elimination of several health authorities and progress on reducing the size of the civil service, the provincial government will conduct a comprehensive review of government office space to create further savings.

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