Welcome to the President’s blog on the Business Council of Manitoba website.

From time to time we will post blogs and other content in our Insights and Publications sections offering comments and views from the Business Council on topics currently under discussion or on emerging issues that we believe are important to our province and our country.

As a non-partisan organization the Business Council refrains from endorsing candidates or parties; but we do advocate polices we feel are in the best interests of Manitoba and Canada. There is an abundance of critical issues, nationally and provincially that will continue to be at the forefront of discussions over the coming months.

Manitoba is a province built on trade – interprovincial and international – in goods and in services. The level of employment and incomes for Manitobans is considerably higher than it would otherwise be if we relied only on our small Manitoba market. What should we be concerned about?

For starters we need to be competitive – that means a province and a country where the business climate including taxes, regulations, access to skilled labour and capital are on a par with those jurisdictions we compete with elsewhere in North America, and indeed the world. And there is trade policy: allowing access to our Canadian market, and in return gaining access to international markets will support our future growth and investment. The direction and shape of our trade policy is fundamental to our economic future. Truisms yes. But others are constantly looking for ways to grow. Are we? Are we open to enhanced trade? Do we value our home-grown businesses that generate tens of thousands of jobs? Will we work to keep them competitive and growing?

When assessing government statements and commitments whether on trade policy, taxation, labour and skills training, infrastructure, innovation, or capital investment we need to consider the very important implications for our province. And especially in Manitoba, how will we engage with our indigenous people? Also do we have the right mix of economic and social policy? Have we considered our environmental approaches and impacts? Through all of this everybody will have their own priorities, but we need to agree on the policy mix that will carry us forward.

Will we and our governments be bold enough to implement the policies to keep our economy competitive and innovative, our people educated and skilled, and be committed to a sustainable future where all Canadians – indigenous and those here through immigration – have the opportunity to fully participate in our society?

The Business Council of Manitoba seeks to advance balanced innovative ideas to promote discussion and lead to positive change.