Premier Brian Pallister today announced that two of Manitoba’s most accomplished business leaders have been recruited to lead the government’s efforts to craft a bold and modern approach to economic development that will address today’s challenges and take advantage of tomorrow’s opportunities.
Dave Angus, former CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and entrepreneur Barb Gamey, a member of the Premier’s Enterprise Team, will develop this new approach to economic growth, Pallister announced at the State of the Province speech hosted by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
“I am delighted and enthused that business leaders of the stature and track record of Dave Angus and Barb Gamey have agreed to take on this important task,” said Pallister. “They will have their work cut out for them as we inherited an unfocused and antiquated system that is not serving Manitoba and Manitobans.”
A new modern and bold economic growth strategy was the recommendation of a government-commissioned report by Deloitte that undertook a comprehensive review of Manitoba’s economic development efforts.
That report identifies a multitude of problems with the current state of the province’s economic development efforts, namely:
- “a lack of clearly defined goals and objectives” in how the province funds outside partners in economic development;
- “significant areas of mandate overlap” reflecting a lack of co-ordination and synchronization of objectives; and
- “limited…co-ordination across economic development programming” in the government.
“We knew when we formed government there was no provincial economic development strategy,” said Pallister. “It’s time to change that. We are going to do just that.”
The report calls for a new economic growth strategy, a Team Manitoba investment partnership, harnessing the province’s natural and human strengths, and a new, dedicated economic growth agency with modern and effective business development programs in one shop.
“This is exciting and I’m honoured to be asked to participate,” said Gamey. “I know the challenges of starting a business in Manitoba. But we need people doing that because new businesses are the engines that create jobs and prosperity in our communities. Reforming a clunky system to work effectively and efficiently will encourage more entrepreneurs and create more wealth in our province.”
“I love the emphasis on ‘Team’, on harnessing the best ideas and strengths of all the talented people in this province to create a new system that will work for Manitoba and Manitoba’s future,” said Angus. “That is the approach I took in my years with the Winnipeg Chamber and I can’t wait to get going on this new project.”
Angus and Gamey will set up a board to drive this initiative and will report to government in the first half of next year, said Pallister.
The announcement of a new economic development direction for the province was the centerpiece of a wide-ranging presentation that highlighted the progress Manitoba has made in the past year and acknowledged the challenges that remain as the government strives to fix the finances, repair services and rebuild the economy.
“Leadership requires courage,” said Pallister. “For years, chambers of commerce across the province called for governments to be bold.
“Well, this is a bold agenda. You have a bold government. We challenge you to be bold with us and make Manitoba’s future a bright one of hope and prosperity.”