At least three major Manitoba firms have seen a decline in their business prospects because of the Selinger NDP’s continuing refusal to join the New West Partnership Trade Agreement with the governments of Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. The Premier needs to abandon his policy of trade isolation and seek partnerships with the other western provinces.
“The recent refusal of several Saskatchewan Crown corporations to allow contract bids from companies in provinces outside the New West Partnership is a serious concern for Manitoba’s economy,” said Heather Stefanson, Opposition critic for jobs and the economy. “Businesses are hurt by the lost opportunities. The NDP needs to rethink its long-held policy of trade isolation that is hurting Manitoba businesses and the families they employ.
Minty’s Moving, based in Onanole, is no longer eligible to bid on contracts with SaskPower because of the NDP’s decision to refuse to join the New West Partnership. Virden-based T.L. Penner Construction is considering opening a satellite office in Saskatchewan to maintain its eligibility for work with Crown agencies in that province. Depending on how that plays out, the company may consider relocating permanently. As well, Leech Printing in Brandon has found itself shut out of many of the kinds of contracts it had successfully bid on in Saskatchewan.
“Other firms will also lose work outside Manitoba if the NDP doesn’t change course and accept invitations it has stubbornly refused since 2010 to join our neighbours in the New West Partnership,” Stefanson added. “The Premier’s unwillingness to heed the concerns and listen to Manitoba businesses is irresponsible.”
For more information, please contact:
Ross Romaniuk, Communications Officer
Manitoba Progressive Conservative Caucus
Tel: (204) 945-4689 Cell: (204) 291-7702