PCs will bring Manitoba into New West Partnership

Province must join trade agreement for the benefit of Manitoba companies, families: Pallister

A new Progressive Conservative government will bring Manitoba into the New West Partnership Trade Agreement with Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

The Pallister PCs will seek membership in the partnership to increase business opportunities and expand the number of customers for Manitoba companies.

"Promoting Manitoba trade is a key part of our ten-point economic strategy,” said PC Leader Brian Pallister. “We will foster freer trade and stronger partnerships for our Manitoba companies, and for the families they employ."

Our province has resource wealth, a strong manufacturing sector and the natural advantages of a central location within North America. We need to restore Manitoba’s place as a gateway for goods destined for national and international markets. Provinces within the New West Partnership collaborate to improve their international trade, which would bring substantial benefits to Manitoba’s historically strong manufacturing sector and CentrePort Canada.

Membership in the partnership will also improve prospects for Manitoba families and help reverse the province’s out-migration, which has more than tripled under the Selinger NDP. The Selinger NDP’s continuing refusal since 2010 to join the New West Partnership has put Manitoba’s economy at a disadvantage through trade isolation. Some Manitoba firms have been denied work because Manitoba remains outside this partnership.

As business declines for Manitoba companies, the drop in employment opportunities prompts Manitobans and their families to move to other provinces in growing numbers. Manitoba’s net migration to Saskatchewan alone has increased more than fivefold since Greg Selinger became NDP leader, from 89 in 2009/10 to 498 in 2014/15.