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MHCA Board sets out steps for economic recovery

Special meeting focuses on restarting economy through infrastructure investment

The MHCA Board of Directors passed resolutions at a special teleconference meeting April 15, calling upon the provincial government to take immediate steps to kick-start Manitoba’s economy.

The resolutions form the basis of the MHCA discussion in a teleconference townhall with key provincial ministers with infrastructure investment programs.

They were also the subject of a letter sent April 15 to Premier Brian Pallister, from Board Chair Jack Meseyton and President Chris Lorenc. To see the letter, click here.

On March 31, the Manitoba government shut down all but critical businesses and services to contain the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction was listed as a critical service.

The MHCA board on Tuesday resolved to call on the Government of Manitoba to:

  • turn the government’s attention to economic recovery, alongside its continued efforts to contain the threat of the COVID-19 virus
  • over-commit its infrastructure investment programs for 2020 to take advantage of competitive market prices and the rapid returns of infrastructure investment in job creation and the spin-off of purchasing in local communities
  • restart the Quarry Rehabilitation Program, halted in 2018, to make use of the $8 million in the quarry rehab reserve account held by the province expressly to fund rehabilitation of spent quarries and pits

The board was told the Alberta government announced it would be doubling its investment in capital maintenance and renewal in 2020, by accelerating the capital program it had set out from 2020-2023.

“Manitoba should follow Alberta’s example to kick start our economy that has, like all provinces in Canada, been badly hurt by the pandemic’s shut-down of business,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc said. “It can move up those investment dollars and borrowing to 2020, to take advantage of very competitive prices and low interest rates now.”