Manitoba premier promises to attract more investment to province

WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is promising to attract more investment to the province as part of a revitalized economic development strategy.

Pallister has named Dave Angus, former CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, and business owner Barb Gamey to lead the government’s efforts.

The premier says the two have their work cut out for them because of what he calls an “unfocused and antiquated system.”

A new economic growth strategy was recommended in a government-commissioned report by the accounting and consulting firm Deloitte.

It said it found a lack of clearly defined goals in how the province funds outside investment, significant overlap and limited co-ordination between economic programs.

The report calls for an entirely new agency dedicated to economic development with all programs available under one roof.

Angus and Gamey are to come forward with a strategy within six months.

“We got hired to fix the finances of this province. We got hired to repair the services. We got hired to rebuild the economy, too, and we’re going to do those things — with laser-like focus, we will do those things,” Pallister said in a state-of-the-province address Thursday at a chamber luncheon.

He pointed out Manitoba is paying $1 billion this year in debt servicing costs and called that figure unacceptable.

Pallister also spoke about improvements needed in health care, to marijuana legislation and in relationships with Indigenous communities across the province.

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